I recently watched this very moving video made by Amnestyy International. It really brought home to me the power of ‘unspoken communication’. We can say so much without words yet often fill the space with constant chatter. The silence feels frightening and powerful. It makes us feel vulnerable. This short experiment was originally discovered by Arther Aron 20 years ago. He found that looking into each others eyes for 4 minutes can bring people closer together. As you can see from the footage it works. I can also vouch for the power of unspoken communication as it is a method sometimes used in the rehearsal room as a way of getting actors psychologically ready to more deeply explore the characters they are playing. In relation to public speaking eye contact is something that speakers often avoid and yet it is the most important means of engaging your audience. ‘Feeling’ if the listener is with you or not is unreliable as what might feel like connection to you may not to someone else but actually looking into their eyes brings certainty. It feels exposing and sometimes uncomfortable but if you’ve practised your content using eye contact will free you to take a well earned pause and make a point with added impact. Commiting to fully engage with your audience makes us feel vulnerable but it’s effects are profound and unforgettable. A major component of great speech making simply becomes about noticing and allowing the human being in front of you to effect you.