1- Build your Confidence
A smile is proven to increase your bodies production of such chemicals as endorphin, helping us to feel more relaxed and confident.
One reference I recently read stated:
“Smiling stimulates our brain’s reward mechanism in a way that even chocolate, a well regarded pleasure inducer, cannot match.”
Even a forced/fake smile can have a positive effect on the way we feel. Other studies suggest the smiling reduces stress that your body and mind feel, almost as much as getting good sleep.
All these benefits, emotional and chemical, go a long way to making us feel more confident in the moment.
2 – Influence People
Smiling is a great way to make a visual and emotion connection with people. It can also have the power to induce and influence people. A national study conducted by the Royal Mail showed:
‘Nearly half of those surveyed said that they would not do business with anyone who looked unfriendly!’
If you smile during a pitch or presentation your audience will more likely feel drawn to you and feel they can trust you, possibly leading to you landing the deal/contract at the end of the day.
3 – Create A Positive Atmosphere
Smiling is a sign of happiness, positivity and calm. It is also the easiest expression to recognise. A person can detect a smile from a greater distance than any other facial expression. so even in a large auditorium, people at the back of the room will be able to see you smile, they will see you enjoying your topic, feel a warmth of emotion that will appeal and be positively affected by your appearance.
Another great thing is, smiling is infectious. So if you look happy and comfortable, it is highly likely your audience will follow suit. When you have a happy and comfortable audience, they will more likely take in what you are saying. Conversely, if as a speaker, you look nervous or are a little awkward, your audience may pick up on that and may feel similar.
When there is a positive atmosphere in the room, everyone is happier, leading to the success of an event.
4 – A Long And Happy Life
The Baseball Card Study & The Highschool Yearbook Study.
2 Famous psychological studies, that show the long term benefits of your smile, or a happy disposition.
1- The Baseball Card Study – Found that there was a correlation between how big the smiles on the card and how long they would live. The people who smiled the most turned out to live 7 years longer than those who didn’t.
2- The Yearbook Study – Tracked the lives of women and compared those who had the best smiles with the rest. The women who smiled the most lived happier lives, had happier marriages and had fewer setbacks.
In short, smiling is one of the simplest yet powerful tools a speaker/presenter may have at their disposal. Its highly contagious, but nobody will mind that, so use it freely to boost your confidence, Influence your audience and create a positive atmosphere. Who knows…. you may even live longer!