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Eye Contact Activities for Adults

Instructor: Shanna Fox

Shanna has been an educator for 20 years and earned her Master of Education degree in 2017. She enjoys using her experience to provide engaging resources for other teachers.

Everyone can benefit from improving their eye contact. These activities for adults will help you guide participants in a few exercises that can help them improve eye contact by practicing with a partner, addressing an audience, and setting goals.

Eye Contact Activities for Adults

Adults may consider themselves quite effective in the area of eye contact, but we all have room to grow. Use these eye contact activities with your adult participants to encourage them to explore their own eye contact habits, set goals, practice with a partner, and present to an audience. Participants can also benefit from a whole class, team, or partner debrief at the end of each activity.

Game On!

  • Materials: Two-player games.

In this activity, participants will practice eye contact as they engage in game play. Before the session, procure a variety of two-player games. These can range from a simple deck of cards to a board game. Instruct participants that the goal is not only to win the game but to maintain eye contact as much as possible throughout game play. This challenge will be difficult, as lengthy eye contact can be uncomfortable.

Encourage participants to challenge themselves to either engage in eye contact a specified number of times throughout the game or work on lengthier periods of eye contact. For example, you may want participants to be sure to make eye contact every time they verbally interact with one another and at least ten times throughout the game. Alternatively, you may want participants to maintain eye contact for a period of ten seconds each time they engage with one another.

At the end of the activity, ask some guiding questions. Was the exercise uncomfortable? Did they feel that it increased their connection to their partners? Have participants discuss with the class, teams, or partners their experience during game play.

Eye Spy

  • Materials: Notecards

In this activity, participants will give an impromptu speech as audience members track their eye contact. Before the activity, write on each notecard one of the following: make eye contact, track eye contact, no eye contact, sporadic eye contact. Ensure that most of the cards indicate eye contact, with just a couple of the other options. Select a participant to give an impromptu speech to the group. Communicate that the goal is to make meaningful eye contact with as many audience members as possible. Speakers should work to engage in more than a quick or darting glance. Next, hand out the cards to the audience members. Explain what each card means without giving away who has which card. During the speech, audience members will complete the following roles:

  • make eye contact: eyes on the speaker at all times
  • track eye contact: count the times the speaker makes eye contact
  • no eye contact: look down or around, but not at the speaker
  • sporadic eye contact: glance around, sometimes landing on the speaker

After the speech, share the results of the trackers and ask for reactions from both the audience and the speaker. How did the sporadic and no eye contact audience members affect the speaker? How often did the speaker make eye contact with the trackers? How did the speaker's eye contact make the audience feel? You may repeat the exercise with additional speakers.

Categories Challenge

  • No materials required.

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