Your FACE says it all! Here’s why you should be mindful of this non-verbal part of your talk. [Wednesdays: “Speak on the Shoulders of Giants”]
Imagine sharing good news with your friend, and as you finish talking, your friend replies with,
“That’s great! I’m really happy for you.”
Normally, you’d feel good hearing those words… except, imagine your friend said that while frowning and looking down.
How would you interpret that reaction?
Highly likely you’ll assume your friend isn’t really happy for you.
As this example suggests, a lot of people trust non-verbal cues more than verbal cues. That’s why in public speaking, you have to make sure you reinforce your spoken message through matching non-verbal languages, particularly…
According to Dale Carnegie in the book, “The Art of Public Speaking,” a speaker’s facial expressions may mean a great deal more than the movements of the hand.
“The man who sits on a dejected heap with a look of despair on his face is expressing his thoughts and feelings just as effectively as the man who is waving his arms and shouting from the back of a dray wagon. The eye has been called the window of the soul. Through it shines the light of our thoughts and feelings.”
As a speaker, your facial expression is one of the quickest and easiest ways to get your message across!
Have you ever heard the line, “You can hear a smile over the phone?”
What this means is the look on your face and your emotions have the ability to change how your voice sounds and in effect, how your audience thinks of you.
Here are some key concepts to keep in mind regarding your facial expressions in public speaking:
- Your facial expressions must match your message or what you’re saying out loud.
Facial expressions create dynamism in your speech or presentation. They give listeners the impression that you believe in the ideas, thoughts, and concepts you’re sharing.
So, if you say, “I’m so excited about these new initiatives!” your face should show the same emotion. This will prevent your audience from doubting your sincerity through the messages you’re communicating to them.
- It’s okay to smile when your content allows you to do so.
Smiling at your audience is wonderful as long as it’s appropriate for the main theme or topic of your talk.
For instance: You can’t smile or laugh throughout your speech or presentation especially if your topic is about poverty, wars, crimes, etc. Some of your listeners might get offended and think you’re making fun of a serious topic.
On the other hand, if the main theme of your message is lighthearted, then smiling is a great way to match what you’re saying.
Avoid thinking that smiling will rob you of your authority as a speaker. Contrary to that, smiling gives the audience an impression that you’re approachable. This will help them feel at ease as they listen to your talk.
- Pay attention to your audience’s facial expressions, too.
Your listeners’ facial expressions are just as important as your own. Being able to read their faces enables you to respond to their reactions accordingly.
Seeing the audience smile or nod at your message will motivate you to be more enthusiastic in delivering your speech or presentation. On the other hand, seeing them frowning or yawning will give you a hint that you have to improve your presentation to sustain their attention until the end.
Additionally, there will always be members of your audience whose faces appear cold, skeptical, or even nasty even when they don’t mean that. When you see a few who wear these expressions on their faces, remember to keep your cool and take their reactions with a grain of salt.
To better understand what your facial expressions look like, take some time to make faces in front of a mirror during your rehearsal. This may seem a little silly at first, but this will help you exercise your facial muscles when you’re expressing certain emotions.
You may also try the Emoji exercise!
Using the emojis on your phone as your guide, copy 5 to 10 expressions in front of a mirror to see whether or not you’re doing a good job imitating these icons.
Doing this exercise every day in the days leading up to your actual speech or presentation will do wonders in stretching your facial muscles and making your message more effective.
Take note of the tips above to improve your facial expressions!
Let this non-verbal language strengthen your talk. Remember that as a speaker, you have important ideas to convey. So…
Use your facial expressions to reinforce your main point/s and sustain your audience’s attention!
About The Dynamic Marketing Communiqué’s
“Wednesdays: Speak on the Shoulders of Giants”
In a meeting with one person
…a boardroom with five people
…or a huge venue with hundreds of people
—whatever the situation or setting, it’s very important to learn and eventually master the art of public speaking.
No matter what, you always need to effectively get your message across.
What good is a presentation with awesome content if you don’t deliver it properly?
Every Wednesday, we publish different tips, insights, and secrets on how you can improve your presentation skills to captivate your audience and lead interesting discussions.
The need for great presentation skills applies EVERYWHERE.
(Small meetings with your team, big meetings with your boss, an important marketing pitch, speaking engagements for events with a big audience, etc.)
Learning these skills is not just for the corporate world. Being in other industries such as the Arts, Information Technology, Medicine, and Education while knowing how to present well will definitely give you an edge.
Have that advantage.
Hope you’ve found this week’s public speaking tip interesting and helpful.
Stay tuned for next Wednesday’s Speak on the Shoulders of Giants!
Head of Marketing
Valens Dynamic Marketing Capabilities
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