Public Speaking: Pupils Don’t Lie

January 29, 2018 Public Speaking No Comments

The human (eye) pupil reacts quicker than any conscious decision. Therefore, in principle, pupils cannot cheat. This points to their importance in authenticity.

That is, of course, unless you train beforehand in faking authenticity…

Or if you cheat by taking chemicals such as atropine droplets – ‘bella-donna’ – which have historically been used by women to appear more attractive through getting larger pupils.

And it works quite well this way, as scientifically investigated.

This of course makes the point even stronger: eyes are central!

Anyway, pupils don’t lie… in natural circumstances. Your mere willpower cannot consciously dilate or constrict them. That’s why they readily are so meaningful. This is quite important for a public speaker as well. Fortunately, we are – slowly – getting past an era in which speakers kindle mainly superficial motivations in their audience.

In other words: we are getting real.

Looking someone deep into the eyes creates deep-to-deep contact. It’s what lovers are expert in, literally: love at first sight. Love may be blind in certain ways. At the same time, it sees deeper truths and a path towards deep connection. A deep connection with the public is also what a speaker should be looking for.

A public speaker can fool his audience. He shouldn’t. This text is for you if you choose to be authentic.

If so, you know, eyes are wonderful. Yours too. Please after reading this text, go to a mirror and look yourself into the eyes for a few minutes with the intention to really find their beauty, even in case you didn’t yet find it after so many years…

Your eyes are beautiful!

Back to the stage. The audience being far away, seeing how pupils dilate or not is hardly possible. Still, looking at eyes is very meaningful. It builds relationship. Maybe you ‘fall in love’ with the audience. Maybe the audience ‘falls in love’ with you?

Pupils are authentic. You can use them to convey this authenticity that you may build up in many ways but one element stays the same:

You are 95% un-consciously aware of your own mental processing.

That leaves 5% reaching your conscious awareness. So, what does all that un-consciousness do on stage? It transmits and takes in massive amounts of information and processes it in meaningful ways. You think – consciously – that you are merely looking at someone. In fact, you are doing massively much more. Lending to this the role it can and may take, makes you much more effective as a speaker.

How? Spontaneously. No techniques between you and your public. Try to let any learned techniques ‘dissolve’. That means more than simply forgetting them. Let them become you. In the meantime, be you. This way, you don’t use them. You are them.

Also when speaking to eyes. In any case, do not technicalize this.

A nice exercise: try to let your eyes do some talking, gently, without any aggression.

Do this while speaking. You are saying one thing. At the same time, with your eyes, you say another thing. <Nice to be here.> <So glad to see you smile.> <Do you feel personally spoken to?> …

Whenever you think of it, you may take a few moments to look at your public this way and let your public look at you. It might not work the first time. You may be surprised the second or third time.

Eyes on stage – as well as in the audience – will never again be the same.

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