Eye Contact

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Eye Contact
Books and articles that have been written about speech delivery include the immediacy behavior of making “good” eye contact. Eye contact is necessary for conversation and public speaking. However, eye contact is a learned behavior and the duration of eye contact varies within different cultures. American parents have taught their children to make eye contact but not to stare, because staring is rude in the American culture. As you walk down the halls at college or in a department store, you look at a person in the eye, nod, and then look away. If you are talking to an American and do not make eye contact, it will make you appear uninterested or dishonest. However, a person who was raised in Japan may become uneasy if you make eye contact (Richmond & McCroskey, 2000). Furthermore, in different countries around the globe, eye contact
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Good eye contact is an ambiguous idea. Ridiculous advice has been given about how to appear to connect to the audience if a speaker has difficulty making eye contact. For example, authors have suggested that you look on the wall behind the audience, spanning back and forth, so it will seem that you are looking throughout the crowd. Spanning back and forth will only give your audience motion sickness, and they will look down or away to avoid this uncomfortable situation. Another suggestion is that you look at a spot on a person’s shirt or at an audience member’s forehead. If you stare at a woman’s shirt, she may think that you have diverted your eyes to parts of her body that it is inappropriate to stare at. If you look at the foreheads of your audience, this could be a distraction. Those who do not feel comfortable looking at people in the eye need to break themselves of this, and look at people in the eye. This is not to stare. Make appropriate eye contact that is appropriate to the culture you are
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