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How to Smile during a Speech

Learn how to smile effectively while giving a speech from media coach TJ Walker in this Howcast public speaking video.


Should you smile during your speech?

It's not that you should have some kind of Stepford wife smile on your face at all times, but here's what you want to avoid. You want to avoid the sort of, people get this blank look on their face. They have a vacant look because they're thinking about, what am I going to say five seconds from now. It's like they're trying to read a teleprompter in their brain. Their face goes blank. You don't want that.

You do want to smile some, but you want there to be a full range of emotion on your face. You can frown if you want to. The main thing is be expressive. You just don't want to be bland, flat.

There's this myth out there, oh I'm giving a serious business presentation let me be serious. That's not businessllike. That's boring. You don't want to be boring. You want to express the full range of emotion, and for part of it, yeah, you do want to look happy to be there. Certainly when you begin, when you're introduced, when you stand up, when you finish you do need to have a smile on your face.

Great speakers give you the sense that they love being there. That there's nothing else in the world they'd rather be doing than speaking to you right now. So, you do need to look happy. Don't look like, oh this is painful this is going to the dentist. No, you don't want to be like that. You do want to look happy. Not fake, phony happy, but you do want to look pleasant.

That's the interesting thing about speaking. It's one of the few things in the world where simply acting like you're having a good time will help. Now, if you and I go out golfing today I can have the happiest attitude in the world. I can get up there, and boom. It's going to go in the sand trap, in the water every time. I'll shoot 150 and that's cheating. Me being happy is going to have nothing to do with helping my golf game.

But if you do look happy and upbeat when giving your presentation it's going to help you and your audience.

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