When You’re Smiling, the Whole World Smiles With You

"Smile when you're presenting"

Smile when you’re presenting

The famous lyrics from the song “When You’re Smiling” were closely identified with iconic jazz singer and trumpeter Louis Armstrong, whose own smile lit up a room.

You can learn a lot from that song about the power of smiling in your personal and business life.

If you smile during a presentation, your audience will smile with you. If you smile when meeting someone new, you’ve already started to build rapport. It’s almost impossible to feel bad when you’re smiling.

Smile When Presenting

When preparing a presentation, build in pauses so you can smile as you scan the audience. It has to be authentic, though. Don’t smile at the wrong time, say, when you’re announcing fourth quarter earnings that didn’t meet the company’s target. Smiling has to be genuine.

The problem is we don’t incorporate smiling into our presentations and conversations often enough. In the beginning, you’ll have to think about smiling. You can be so focused on the content that you bury your nose in your presentation notes.

Try including yellow smiley faces throughout your script to remind you to look up – and smile. Smiling will make you feel good and that feeling will spread to your audience.

CEO Learns to Smile

Some CEOs can look overly stern when presenting. It’s understandable when you consider the import of their words on the financial markets. It doesn’t have to be that way.

We once coached a top CEO, who was a trader on Wall Street. He had the reputation of being an impatient, tough guy. We worked with him so that he learned to pause and smile as appropriate. He used a red smiley face ink stamp throughout his presentations as a constant reminder to smile.

Once he told us he was quite upset. I asked what was wrong. He said he had four pages with no smiley faces!

We’ve had other CEOs paste a smiley face on their watches, which they placed next to the speech they were reading.

After a while smiling will become habit forming. That’s a good habit to cultivate!

Smiling is Healthy

In a one-on-one meeting, when you’re really nervous, the other person is a usually a little anxious as well. A smile helps you to relax and puts the other person at ease. It appears as if you have your act together.

Meeting and mingling at networking events can be nerve racking. Who doesn’t get nervous entering a room full of people you may not know? A simple trick is to take deep breath, hold your head up high and walk in with a smile on your face.

Medical experts believe that smiling even improves your health by boosting your immune system. Others are naturally attracted to you when you smile. Smiling reduces your stress, which helps you function better.

Smiling is a natural drug, releasing serotonin and painkillers (called endorphins) into your body. So smile to improve your health, lower your stress level, and enhance your attractiveness and presentation skills.

Smiling is Contagious

A simple smile can be contagious and is a gift of yourself. Most times you will get a smile back and then the smile will spread to everyone in the group.

No one wants to be around negative people. If you’re frowning when you start your presentation or enter a room, you’re sending negative vibes to the audience. It will be that much harder to get them on your side or persuade them to your ideas.

Listen as Louis Armstrong sings —

Next time you’re down, think of these famous lyrics from “When You’re Smiling” —

“When you’re smiling, when you’re smiling, the whole world smiles with you.
Yes, when you’re laughing, when you’re laughing, yes the sun is shining through.
But when you’re crying you bring on the rain. So stop your sighing, baby, and be happy again.
Yes, you keep on smiling, keep on smiling, and the whole world smiles with you.”

It’s true. Give smiling a try during your next presentation. You’ll be happy you did.

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