Face it; Your Face is Showing: How to Manage Your Facial Expression When You Speak

19161831There was Mary, with a goofy smile on her face, telling her audience about a serious situation they were going to be facing. They had a hard time buying it.

There stood Frank, welcoming new customer to a plant tour, with a sour, grim facial expression. They didn’t feel the vibe.

Do facial expressions matter? Of course, so today let’s see how to make sure your face reflects appropriately your message.

Try these:

  1. Go neutral first. Make sure your face is relaxed and neutral. It should be neutral but pleasant. No frowns, no tension, no licking your lips. Check a mirror. This is your go-to facial expression.
  2. Smile! Practice in front of a mirror. Relax tension from your face. Soften your eyes. Now smile with your eyes as well as your mouth.
  3. Serious face. Practice looking serious and concerned without frowning or scowling. Think of a serious but not horrendous situation and reflect that on your face.
  4. Get feedback. Ask someone you trust to evaluate your face as you speak informally. What habits do you have that you may not be aware of? How expressive is your face when you are speaking naturally?
  5. Now see yourself. Video record your next rehearsal before an important presentation or meeting. As you review it, pay attention to your face. Is it expressive? Appropriate to your message?
  6. Bring it. Be aware as you speak of what your face is reflecting, and change it up as needed to match and reflect the meaning of what you are saying.

Next time you present or speak in a meeting you should be more aware of the impression you are making facially and be able to use a fuller range of facial expressions.

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