If You Smile at Your Audience, I Guarantee They Will Smile Back

Posted on Posted in Public Speaking

Were you to give a presentation with no vocal variety, no facial expression and no body language, what do you think the reaction would be of your audience? Unless you are a comedian and that characteristic is part of your ‘shtick,’ do not expect your listeners to be much enamored by your lack of color – the life, emotion, and animation one displays in speaking.

What is fascinating about good public speaking is that if you speak to your audience as if you were having a conversation in your living room, their reaction to you will be positive. Thus, if you smile, they will smile. Not all, admittedly, but many in the room will respond to you just as you are responding to them. It is a given.

If you say something thought-provoking, for instance, their look will copy yours. If you same something dramatic, so too will they respond in kind. And, if you say something with a smile, they indeed will smile back.

Your tone sets the stage for a reaction from your audience. If you tone is distant, they will not feel the intimacy which dynamic public speaking invokes. Your job as the speaker is to create trust, integrity, and honesty not just with your words but in how you deliver those words. Without expression, those qualities will not be emanating from you.

It is important to recognize that while you may have a wonderful message which you want to share, unless your audience believes in you, then your words are for naught. Their compassion, their understanding, their desire to agree with you – even their desire to buy from you – can only occur if they believe in you.

This is what happens when you create an intimacy with them which means that you are opening up to them – honestly. They are getting to know you on a certain level. In doing so, you are establishing their trust in you. Those in your audience want for you to solve their problem; but, they first must trust in your ability, your likeability, and your credibility.

Audiences can tell those who are genuine and those who are not. A presentation delivered rotely, with scripted smiles, is not genuine because the presenter is more concerned with his/her delivery than with the audience’s reaction.

Remember, your audience is there to learn something from you. A smile from you, the speaker, will enhance their enjoyment and increase your success.