Do you smile when you present, either live or on video, or are you trying hard not to be nervous, that smiling is the last thing on your mind?
……….I was taken aback, because it made me wonder when he decided that was true – that no-one smiles that much.
The truth is I absolutely love what I do, especially when I am speaking, empowering others. A smile just comes naturally for me.
There was a period in my life that I found it hard to smile – a time when I was searching for happiness, and the more I looked the more elusive it was. Once I realised that happiness was within and always available by choice, I made a better choice – to be happy now.
Of course, I still have my unhappy moments, but never when I am presenting or performing.
So the question is, to smile or not to smile when presenting.
It obviously depends on what you are talking about – you don’t want to be smiling through a serious or sad piece and you don’t want to be serious when it’s time to loosen up a bit.
Just as a smile can be a great gift to give someone in the street a smile can put the audience at ease. To me, a smile means you are relaxed and happy to be there. It can convey confidence and that you do know what you are talking about.
So how do you smile?
I do not suggest that you fake it. Nothing looks worse than a plastic smile. I remember a gymnast back in my very young days of competing and she was known for her fake grin – it was there throughout her floor and beam routines. Not quite the same as a smile that comes from within.
When you are presenting, I want you to feel the joy and the passion of what you are to share with your audience. That will radiate from you. A smile is more than the slight upturn of your mouth – it’s in your eyes, it’s in your whole face.
I want you to connect with what you are speaking about – if you connect with it, feel it, then you’re audience will too, and they in turn will connect with you.
A smile is not always appropriate or necessary. Your face is a communication tool, as important as the words you speak.
My smile is real and authentic because I am thinking happy thoughts – I am delighted to have an opportunity to share valuable information with others. I usually smile walking down the street too, so it’s part of my nature.
If you are focused on being there for your audience and the recipients of your message, then a smile can come naturally. And that is key, above all else do what comes naturally for you.
You want to bring your authentic self out on to the stage or in front of the video, so people get to know you, like you and trust you. Have fun!