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Why You Musn't Ignore the Importance of Eye Contact in Communication

Importance of Eye Contact in Communication
The importance of eye contact in communication can't be neglected. Studies conducted over the years have affirmed that eyes play an important role in both verbal and nonverbal communication. Let us know more about the topic.
SocialMettle Staff
Last Updated: Dec 21, 2017
Have you noticed how our gaze drops when we are speaking about a subject with which we are uncomfortable. Or, the way we look intently at someone whose thoughts we can relate to... Eyes play a pivotal role in communication and therefore it is important that we are well-versed with the necessity of developing eye contact while communicating with people.

Eyes are the 'windows to the soul'. While communicating our ideas to someone, we make use of the spoken word and gestures, but it is our eyes that lend credibility to our thoughts. If you notice, people who are known to be able orators are comfortable in maintaining eye contact with their audience. Lack of eye contact may signal lack of confidence and clarity on a subject.

Although, eye contact is important, there are a lot of people who are not very comfortable in the company of others, and who would like to work in relative aloofness. There is a probability that they might come across as rude or cold, but one needs to understand that not everyone is comfortable when surrounded by a group of people.
Eye Contact in Speech
Student in class
While delivering a speech, it is important that you make eye contact with several people or groups of people. Fixing your gaze on one particular individual or group may make other members of the audience feel that they do not hold any importance to you and this can cause them to be disinterested. It is important that you know the appropriate duration till which you are supposed to make eye contact with the members of the audience. There is a difference between making eye contact with your friends and loved ones, and members of the audience and it is important that you remember that. When you are speaking to one particular individual, all your attention is focused on that one person, but in case of an audience, you have to make sure that you make eye contact with as many people as you can. Successful orators agree that the way they use their body language to put their point across plays an important role in delivering an effective, well-received speech.
Eye Contact in Interviews
Candidate in interview
Interviewers often make statements like, "we selected him because he appeared more confident" or "he came across as an assured young man, with a lot of potential". How does an individual make himself appear more positive than others? The answer to this lies in how we communicate both verbally and non-verbally in an interview. If we fail to make eye contact in an interview, we run the risk of being labeled as an introvert or the interviewer may get a feeling that there is something not right about us. Making eye contact portrays one in the right way and ensures creating a positive impression on the interviewer.
Eye Contact Etiquette
Couple in coffee shop
While we have mentioned the importance of eye contact, it is also very important to know that in various cultures, making an eye contact is considered offensive. For example, in China people avoid making eye contact as they consider it as a mark of respect. In Middle Asian countries, eye contact between a man and a woman is minimal (unless you are closely related to each other). It is very important therefore that you do a bit of research on how to conduct yourself in public, if you are planning to make a trip abroad.
All of us know the importance of eye contact, but still sometimes it gets neglected, may be because we are not comfortable with the situation or we take the other person for granted. Our eyes have the power to communicate what we are feeling or how we perceive a situation. It is imperative for us to put in the required effort so that we master the art of making appropriate eye contact to ensure that we are good with our social and interpersonal skills.