When you’re smilin’

Your mom probably told you this– along with “stand up straight,” but smiling is a good thing. Singers know that if their pitch is off or flat, they add a slight smile and the pitch improves.

If your speaking voice feels flat or dull, generate a genuine smile to positively affect your tone and demeanor. When you smile at your audience, their mirror neurons fire and initiate brain activities that evoke warm feelings. It’s an efficient way of getting an audience to experience empathy or pleasant emotions. Of course, only smile at the appropriate times in your presentation, but make it happen early for the best effect.

Smiling also enhances likeability. Recently, we conducted trainings at Realogy in New Jersey. Participants were so witty and engaged that we laughed constantly. The benefit? We liked one another immediately, and they had an impressive level of achievement. Plus, we all left feeling refreshed and satisfied.

 

Fog of Inattention

August, 2017. The USS John McCain collides with a tanker near Singapore, resulting in the tragic loss of 10 lives and $223 million. The crew members in charge didn’t notice the other ship in time, and take appropriate action. They weren’t paying attention.  As the world...

Da Vinci

One of history’s finest artists, Leonardo da Vinci, was demeaned by his biographer. Giorgio Vasari described da Vinci as touched by God. In fact, da Vinci was mortal, but endowed with two critical traits-- unbridled imagination and intellectual curiosity.  Surprisingly, Da Vinci had almost no schooling. But...

Off and Running

Opening any presentation is nerve-wracking. Not only is stage fright at its peak, but the audience expects you to say something compelling. Plus, not everyone listening to you processes information the same way. The most difficult to satisfy are those with short attention spans. The...

Bats and Brains

Paul Cox believes the combination of an ethnobotanist, bats, and Jackson Hole, Wyoming holds the key to defeating neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's and ALS. He's assembled a consortium of scientists for this very purpose. Because Cox isn't working for big Pharma, he's not constrained by...

Strike a Chord

Glenn Close won Best Actress at the 2019 Golden Globes. Other winners can take note for how to deliver a memorable acceptance speech.  Close didn't waste time thanking her dry cleaner, dog walker or astrologer. Instead, she gave a respectful nod to the other actresses in...

Unlink

In a recent Eloqui workshop, an attendee, we’ll call him Patrick, became overly excited each time he got up to speak. Nerves and stage fright drove him. As a result, he increased his speed and volume. This made Patrick difficult to understand and affected his ability to...

Rack Focus

The more you attract new and fresh, the better you’ll feel, and ultimately sound. Stage actors in long-running shows know their most critical challenge is making the script sound spontaneous each night. Take on this challenge and have the best speaking year of your career....

Speak Out

Sarah Gardner went to England and brought home the gold. But Sarah isn’t an Olympic athlete-- she’s the Development Director for the non-profit THORN. Their mission is to prevent child sex abuse and trafficking through technology. Sarah is outgoing and professional. But when she was asked...

Holiday Reflection

We wrap up each year with an exercise that puts our life and business in perspective. After almost twenty years, it's become a cherished tradition. Here's how it works. Purchase a spiral-bound, lined journal with enough paper to last for years. Set up the following...

Time-Worn

David Sax's NY Times article: End the Innovation Obsession explored how society values innovation. But innovation cuts both ways. To please investors, customers and the media, firms put a priority on inventing new technology. Unfortunately, many of those innovations wind up in landfills or the dustbin of...