The Importance of Smile in Public Speaking

Smile. We've all done it million times. We do it every single day, right? But do you know how powerful a smile is in public speaking?

If you prefer audio only, you can listen to the full episode on my podcast below or on iTunes. 

What's a smile anyway? We smile when we're happy, right? But there has been a lot of research done showing that a smile actually works both ways. Yes, when you feel happy, when you feel content, or when you see or hear something funny you smile!

But also, even if you're not happy or if you're just in a regular mood but you make yourself smile, that sends a signal to your brain that you are happy. All of a sudden, all the physical signs start acting like you are happy. So, whether you're happy or not just the simple act of smiling puts you in a better mood. And what happens when you're in a better mood? You feel more relaxed. You feel more confident. You feel more calm.

So where would you use a smile in public speaking? Number one, you want to smile before you go on stage. Just like we've talked about. The mere act of smiling can put an anxious or scared person into a calmer, more confident state.

So, give it a try. You may feel nervous. You may feel a little shaky. But take a deep breath and smile, really smile. Really extend your lips. And stand like this for a few seconds and see how it affects your whole mood and your whole physical being.

Now that your smile relaxed you a little bit, you’re going to use your second smile. As you are walking on stage or as you are coming on the live video for example you are going to smile to your audience. That's the first thing you're going to do before you open your mouth to say anything. The first couple of seconds is just you smiling.

Now it has to be a sincere, genuine, and authentic smile. I'm not talking about a fake smile where you're smiling, and you really don't mean it. No, you have to mean it! You have to smile like you mean it. Look at your audience, look at your camera if it's a video and smile.

What does a smile do? It shows your friendliness towards your audience. It shows your sincerity towards your audience. It shows that you want to be there. It shows that you're a nice person. So, remember to smile as soon as you get on stage.

And third, smile during your presentation. Now of course you could be talking about something serious, it could be somber topic, and you may not be able to smile about it. But if there is a chance, definitely smile at your audience. Again, it helps you connect with them. It helps you engage with them. It puts not only you in a better mood and in a more calm and confident state, but also your audience. Because remember, a real genuine smile is very contagious.

There are two things I want you to try. First, practice smiling when you don't even feel like smiling. As you're going about your day and you're doing your everyday stuff just take a second, stop, and smile sincerely, happily. Let people think you're crazy. But smile and watch how your body reacts. You are going to feel it almost immediately. How you are beginning to feel better. How your mood improves. How your heart rate decreases. How you're becoming less stressed and more confident.

And the second thing I want you to try is to smile at some random people. Again, in a very sincere, genuine way. Maybe you're in the store or paying for your purchase. I want you to smile at the cashier, a real nice genuine smile. And see what the smile does, because what you’re going to feel is that not only will it relax you and put you in a better mood, but the other person will most likely, if not smile back, they will still light up.

You are learning to connect with people every single day. Every single day, as we're meeting people, we're learning something new about engaging with the audience. So, try this simple, simple thing. Smile at other people. It doesn't matter if it's just one person or five people. But practice your sincere smile and watch them feel a lot friendlier towards you and feel a lot better about being in your presence.

I wish you lots of success! Have a fantastic day.

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