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.

 

Rehearsal techniques

We never advocate people "wing it" when it comes to practicing their presentations. But if you over-rehearse, or always do it the same way, you can sound canned and memorized. Here are some tips. First, devise an outline as opposed to writing out every word. We...

Plagued by Perfection?

Women professionals will sometimes come to me and say "I want to be more polished and perfect when I speak." We need to change that thinking. Audiences don't respond to a polished speaker, because they don't seem genuine or authentic...