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WHY IS EYE CONTACT IMPORTANT?

Advice on why eye contact is important when performing to an audience. 

WHY IS EYE CONTACT IMPORTANT

Why Is Eye Contact Important: Eye contact is very important when you are performing to an audience. Not only does eye contact help you convey the emotion of the song to the audience, but it also helps the audience connect to you as a performer. Performing is one of the most important parts of being a singer, and so knowing how to entertain your audience through your performance and facial expressions is crucial. Eye contact is an essential ingredient to this! 

HOT TIP! Watch other performers’ performances and see how they engage with eye contact. 

The Importance of Eye Contact

As a performer you need to be able to connect to your audience and create audience engagement so they’re on your side. It is important to have a certain presence on stage, which lets the audience know that you are confident in your singing abilities. What you do with your eyes during a performance should be determined by what is artistically appropriate to the song or performance. You need to avoid looking at the ground and actually engage with your audience through eye contact, give the audience a reason to keep their eyes on you. You’ll make the audience feel special if you communicate strongly through eye contact.  

Overcoming the Fear of Eye Contact

Avoiding eye contact with the audience due to stage fright or shyness is not uncommon, especially for novice performers, however the problem with this is that the audience will feel a similar discomfort if you never look at them. Appropriate eye contact can give you greater command of your stage presence. 

As difficult as it may seem to overcome the impulse to not look at the audience, if you don’t you may always appear to be a novice in the audience’s mind.  A way to overcome this issue is to look at a point just above the audience if you are performing in a big room or at an audience’s members head, as they will think you are looking at them. Gradually you will be able to become confident enough to actually look in their eyes. They will be nervous than you if you do!

Using Eye Contact Appropriately 

If you’re singing a sad song, closing your eyes may be the best way to convey the mood, so don't be afraid to do this if it is appropriate. There are many situations however when looking directly at your audience is exactly what is needed to create the most impact emotionally. If you look them straight in the eye it can make your performance more powerful and really engage your audience. Let your song interpretation dictate what you do with your eyes. 

If the stage lights are shining in your eyes, it may be difficult to actually make eye contact, but don't let that be an excuse for you to stare at your feet or the ceiling. Keep in mind that the audience do not have the lights shinning in their eyes and they can see you. It usually doesn't occur to them that you can't see them, so they expect you to be looking their way, not at your feet! Know where the audience is, so even if I can’t see them, still look in their direction. Even if you can’t actually see anybody, you can create the illusion that you’re looking people in the eye and forging that real connection. When singing to larger groups, although it can be hard to see your eyes, it's crucial that an audience still feels a connection through eye contact. Try splitting the audience into quadrants and sing to each quadrant for a few seconds. Even if you’re not making eye contact with every single person it will look and feel as if you’re singing to each audience member.

Why is Eye Contact Important? 

Check out our other tips for singers below and check out our Open Mic UK 2016 singing audition dates by clicking here.

Singing with Facial Expressions

Audience Engagement

Performing on Stage for Singers

To keep up-to-date with other advice for singers, keep an eye on the Open Mic UK Facebook and Twitter pages:

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