5 Facial Expressions to Build Rapport
Updated: Nov 17
Your face is another tool that you can use to communicate besides the mouth. There is so much more to communication than just what you say. Your body language, facial expressions, and eye contact are just as important as words when you’re communicating with others. For example, consider a time that you were being interviewed. Was your interviewer serious the whole time, or did they smile? How did their facial expressions make you feel while you were being interviewed? Were you unnerved by a serious interviewer or was put at ease by someone who smiled and made eye contact? Have you seen someone deliver bad news with a smile on their face? Knowing all these, you should already understand the importance of facial expressions for communication. The interpretation of the content of your speech might altered due to your facial expression.
What you may not have considered is how communicating through facial expressions actually works. First and foremost, it’s always important to be conscious and aware of your facial expressions. It can be second nature to frown when you're upset or smile when something goes your way. Once in a while, though, it’s necessary to employ a “poker face,” especially in the business world. Being able to hide your emotions with a blank face or smile when you’re upset can come in handy if you’re trying to appear neutral to a potential employer or business partner as well as giving a speech in front of a crowd.
If you’re giving a speech or a presentation where you’re trying to make people comfortable, start out with a smile. A smile always works in every situation in our life. It will show your audience that you’re happy to be there, and confident with your presentation. Even though sometimes you might be nervous and without noticing, you’ll forced out a smile and when this happens, try to make it as natural as possible. Think of something that makes you happy before you stand up, and hold on to that thought before you begin your speech or presentation. It will make your smile seem more organic and believable.
Well, a genuine smile definitely travels all the way to the eyes!
What are some tips for facial expression when giving a presentation/speech?
Before identifying the tips, you can better understand what your facial expressions are like, and how they convey messages by making faces in front of a mirror. It may seem a little silly to you at first, but it will help you understand how your facial muscles feel when you are expressing certain emotions. If you have a mirror handy when you’re experiencing these feelings organically, try to take a second to see how your face looks and take stock of how your muscles feel. Understanding your personal facial expressions will help you to communicate more effectively both one-on-one and in presentation settings.
Here come the 5 basic facial formulas for maximum expressions during your next presentation or speech giving!
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1. Smiling Eyes
Every person’s eyes and smile are different. In fact, we all have more than one. Although smiling is an important expression when we are presenting, there are other parts of the face that can help to convey a better message too. When a person has to smile all the time, trying to maintain a constant tooth-show will make you look more like a leering sociopath than a happy, enthusiastic presenter, you can practice smiling with your eyes. First grin slightly, then narrow your eyes (slightly) into a stare (Not the creepy-type-stare). This will allow you to project those good vibes during your presentation without anyone trying to make changes.
2. Looking Up
Keep in mind that you don’t have the luxury of having a long conversation with each member of your audience. You can’t share all your feelings so you have to project them in another way. One way to project your thoughtful consideration of your audience’s comments and questions is to turn your eyes to the skies as you contemplate your answers. It is not that you roll your eyes but just slightly look upward to show that you’re taking the comments and ideas of your audience into account.
3. Laugh A Little Doesn’t Hurt
Although your presentation is no place to let it all hang out, you need to be open and allow your feelings to show through. If you find something nice and funny, don’t be afraid to laugh out loud, especially at yourself. As we all know, “they’ll laugh with you.” It is not something embarrassing or weird. It just shows that you’re connecting with the audience where they share the same emotions and expression as you, the speaker. It will eventually make the message that you conveyed stuck in the audience’s mind because they laughed and talk about it.
4. Nodding Can Be A Good Exercise
Expressing interest in your audience’s feedback is important too. No one likes a self-centered snob. One way to convey that you are indeed engaged with the comments and questions they offer is to nod as you listen. Opening your eyes a bit wider will also help to convey your attentiveness.
Does it sound weird? Hold that thought because it is actually something legit. It may seem odd to practice looking disgusted in order to prepare for a presentation, but it can be a good idea. Looks of anger, disgust, sadness can be exaggerated for humorous effect. A face can be a punchline. Just be careful you don’t make someone want to punch your face.
Well, eBright is here to help the student understand more about facial expression and even when you’re on a call, remember to smile on the telephone too! Because it actually can come through your voice! Use your facial expression wisely to present the best presentations and speeches!
It never hurts to smile more!
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