Power of smile in public speaking is something we don't know about often enough. We all know how to smile, we've been smiling all our life, it comes naturally to us. So why so few are using smile in public speaking? And better question how to use smile in public speaking and during your presentations and speeches effectively?
Smile. We all know how to do it. We've done it ever since we were little. We do it every single day. But do you realize how powerful a smile is in public speaking? Stay tuned to find out. I am Victoria Lioznyansky and I help entrepreneurs overcome their fear of public speaking and transform into confident, compelling, and captivating speakers.
What is a smile, anyway? When we smile, all we do is we extend our lips and maybe lift them up a little bit and we use our face muscles. Why is it so important? Reason number one. Smiling makes you happy. It really does. When you smile, you send a signal to your brain that you're happy, even when you're not. And when your brain receives that signal your heart rate slows down, and when your heart rate slows down, you feel less stressed. You feel less nervous. All of a sudden, you feel calmer, and when you feel calmer, you feel more confident. You're no longer stressed out and scared. So a simple act of smiling diminishes your anxiety and puts you in a better mood.
I want you to try it today. If you are in a situation where you feel a little stressed, or you feel a little less than confident, or you have some sort of anxiety going on, or if you're just not happy, sit down, relax, and smile. Give it your everything. Make sure that that smile is truly a happy, genuine smile and see how you feel. I guarantee, you're going to feel a little happier and a little calmer right away.
Reason number two: your smile signals to whoever is on the receiving end of your smile that you are confident, calm, and friendly. So not only does your smile put you at ease, it puts your audience at ease. It could be just one person you're talking to, it could be five people, or it could be a huge audience, your smile not only relaxes you, it relaxes them. And don't forget, a smile is truly contagious. If you smile at somebody while you're making eye contact, that other person will usually smile back.
And remember, for that smile to be truly contagious and truly friendly, it needs to be sincere. You cannot get away with a fake smile and expect miracles to happen. Your smile needs to be entirely genuine.
Now that we've discussed what a smile does, let's talk about when exactly you use your smile in your public speaking. First, you will smile just before your presentation. It could be right before you walk on stage or right before you get introduced or right before you know you need to stand up and give your speech. What you're going to do is you're going to take a deep breath, exhale, and smile. And notice how your body relaxes. Notice how you're calming down. Notice how your anxiety is melting away.
Second: you are going to smile at the very beginning of your presentation. So let's say you were walking on stage. As you're walking across the stage to the front, you're going to smile the whole time while you are looking at your audience, or if you're already on stage and somebody just introduced you and now all eyes on you, the first thing you're going to do is you're going to smile. And again, remember, we're talking about genuine, authentic smile. Not a fake, “cheese!” smile like when we take photos, right? It has to be really, really meaningful for it to be contagious.
Number three: if it's appropriate, smile during your presentation. Now you could be talking about something very serious, it could be a somber topic, and you may not be able to smile a lot. But still, remember, a smile shows your friendliness towards the audience. A smile really projects your sincerity. A smile connects you to your audience, so use it whenever appropriate during your presentation. And lastly, number four: smile as you are closing your presentation, as you're thanking your audience. This is the last image they're going to have of you in their mind. This is your last impression. Make it count, make it sincere, make it friendly, make it confident, make it calm. Smile at your audience and you'll project all of that.
So today, as you go about your day and as you meet new people, maybe strangers or maybe you meet somebody that you already know, practice the smile. Practice smiling at them in a real sincere way and watch what happens. You do it all the time anyway. It's not something brand new that you've never done before, but I want you consciously pay attention to what happens when you smile. What happens to you and what happens to the other person who's on the receiving end of your smile.
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