Michael Ellsberg
Author, The Education of Millionaires and The Power of Eye Contact

Gaze Your Way to Love at an "Eye Contact Party"

To embed this video, copy this code:

Michael Ellsberg's popular "eye contact parties" bring singles together for two minute gazing sessions, followed by cocktails. Guess which is the icebreaker?

Michael Ellsberg

Michael Ellsberg is the author of The Education of Millionaires: It’s Not What You Think, and It’s Not Too Late, out Sep. 29th, 2011 from Penguin/Portfolio, and The Power of Eye Contact: Your Secret For Success in Business, Love and Life, from HarperCollins. He also writes a blog on entrepreneurialism, career development, and education at Forbes.com.

The Education of Millionaires is a bootstrapper’s guide to investing in your own human capital. Ellsberg interviewed some of the most successful people on the planet who didn’t complete college and who educated themselves in the real world, to deconstruct their secrets and create a “Syllabus for a Successful Life” based on what he learned from them.

The book features interviews with self-educated billionaires Phillip Ruffin and John Paul DeJoria, Facebook co-founders Dustin Moskovitz and Sean Parker, WordPress creator Matt Mullenweg, fashion designer Marc Ecko, Pink Floyd lead guitarist David Gilmour, and marketing experts Eben Pagan, Frank Kern and Joe Polish. It also features the insights of experts including Seth Godin, “Rich Dad” Robert Kiyosaki, and PayPal co-founder and Facebook angel investor, billionaire Peter Thiel.

The Education of Millionaires has been sold into Korea pre-release, and The Power of Eye Contact has been sold into China, Russia, France, Korea, Vietnam, Poland, the Czech Republic, and Brazil. The latter was featured in the Washington Post, and on Tim Ferriss’s Four-Hour Workweek blog.

Ellsberg is the creator of Eye Gazing Parties, a series of social events based on eye contact which attracted feature press coverage from the New York Times, Associated Press TV, CBS News, CNN, Good Morning America, MSNBC, Regis & Kelly, Current TV, Yoga Journal, the San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco magazine, the BBC, the Times of London, Match.com, Nerve.com, Agence Press France, German and Canadian national television, and in Tim Ferriss’s #1 New York Times andWall Street Journal bestseller The Four-Hour Workweek. Elle magazine called Eye Gazing Parties “New York’s hottest dating trend.”

Ellsberg collaborated with Dr. Marc Gerstein on Flirting With Disaster: Why Accidents Are Rarely Accidental, which was reviewed in the Wall Street Journal. Ellsberg’s work has also been featured in the Harvard Business Review online and on Digital Book World.

Ellsberg was born in San Francisco in 1977, grew up in Berkeley, and graduated from Brown University in 1999, Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude. He lives in New York with his wife Jena la Flamme. Contact Michael at michael@ellsberg.com (Michael reads all mail sent to this address, but may not answer every email individually.)



Michael Ellsberg: There's two scenarios with romance.  One is the very first impression; then there's the date once you’ve connected and you’re going on a date.  And these two scenarios are very different.  

The first impression, it is really possible to overdo the eye contact.  If you’re just staring someone down, they’re going to feel really uncomfortable.  They’re just going to feel oppressed by your eye contact and it’s not the impression you want to make for a first date.  For the flirting kind of initial stages of connecting, it’s important to have a flirtatious eye contact.  You’re flirting, so you want to make eye contact, but you don’t want to make it too intense.  There's a lot of power in sort of making some eye contact and looking away a little bit, making eye contact, coming back, lingering a little bit, then maybe looking away.  That flirtation of the on again off again really has a lot of power--just like you hear about people who are like hot, cold and that really creates obsession, it’s the same thing with eye contact.  It’s very effective for both men and women.

However, once you are past the initial first impressions, once you have some rapport, say you’re on your first date, on your second date, so long as there is rapport--and tha's my assumption here--if the date's not going well, then no amount of eye contact is going to save it.  But, if there's generally a good rapport on the date, it’s really hard to overdo eye contact.  Very few things create and sustain that electric, magnetic sense of attraction more rapidly, more powerfully than eye contact.   

It is very powerful stuff.  That's why people are afraid of it.  People are very scared of eye contact precisely because it’s so powerful.  It brings up so many emotions.  It creates such an electric charge.  Well, that's the electric charge you want on a date.  So, learning how to be very comfortable with prolonged eye contact is a great way to make your date sizzle.  That's the most powerful way I've ever known.


Directed / Produced by

Jonathan Fowler & Elizabeth Rodd