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.

 

Embracing Your Stage Fright

It’s not just you. Most people suffer from speaker anxiety. In my years of coaching and training clients, I’ve found that speaker anxiety can be greatly diminished simply by speaking on a regular basis and having the right tools in place when anxiety rears its...

Always Look for Feedback

Rehearse your presentation in front of a trusted colleague, friend, or family member. Poll them for specific feedback. If you simply ask “How did I do?” most people will say, “Great!” which tells you nothing. Ask for specifics like the goal of your presentation, what...

Be Colorful, Creative and Specific In Your Speech

To be a successful speaker or communicator, the most important thing you can do is put your full attention on the audience and what would serve them best. If you want to deliver value or drive others to take an action, trust your intuition and...

Silencing the Voices in Your Head

The pressure we put on ourselves to be perfect and deliver presentations that no one can criticize becomes a metaphorical straight jacket. The nagging voice that resides inside our heads is loud, obnoxious, and demoralizing. Moreover, it kills our creativity. No speaker can simultaneously monitor...

Building Trust as a Presenter

Audiences don’t trust presenters who are too polished or perfect. They prefer speakers who are a bit rough around the edges, speak in a genuine voice, and are doing their best to engage an audience. There may be another principle at play. Women can be overly...

Learning to Laugh at Yourself

There’s nothing like humor to warm up an audience. I don’t mean telling a joke. Comedy is best left to professionals. Besides, if you’re like me, you can never remember the punch line—it’s embarrassing to set up a joke and then screw up the ending....

The Phony Speaker

Audiences can tell if you are trying to be something you’re not. Personally, I’m turned off by motivational speakers. They seem phony. Their gestures are often exaggerated. I’m not sure what they really believe. Because their delivery sounds canned and rote, it’s obvious this talk...

The Hidden Driver

Daniel Goleman, science journalist, psychologist and author of Emotional Intelligence has published a new work on the brain. In Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence, Goleman delves into how to harness attention to accomplish daily tasks. As the holidays approach, these insights are even more critical with traffic,...

Identifying Your Differentiators

To become successful when you’re out front, play to your strengths. Discover what makes you stand out from others in your field. What are your strengths and distinguishing characteristics? Zero in on what makes you unique. Consider where you’ve lived, your hobbies, other jobs you’ve...

The Authentic Amateur Wins

The difficulty for speakers stems from the belief that it is their responsibility to educate, inform, and then make sure the audience understands the topic. With this perspective, there is always the potential to add more content, especially if you want to be as thorough...