“Smile and the whole world smiles…”
My father has said this ever since I can remember. “Smile, and the whole world smiles with you.”
It’s good advice when pitching and presenting. If prospects smile with you, it’s a safe bet that they’re more engaged with you.
I know many presenters through Toastmasters, TEDx and my work in sales improvement. The best presenters openly admit they’re not perfect, that they’re continually improving something.
Humble self-awareness is the first prerequisite to improvement, and I hear more and more presenters say they sometimes catch themselves with serious looks on their faces.
I’m the first one to admit this. One positive of my presentations, I’ve been told and I believe, is that I’m intense and I usually deliver with high-impact. The downside of that is that I sometimes appear too serious and unapproachable.
I’m working on it, though. Are you?
If you’re not smiling, you’re probably scowling.
It’s that simple.
A smile goes further than being visually noticed. It transcends into the voice.
Studies show that, over the telephone, we respond more positively to someone who delivers the same material while smiling than while being serious. Perhaps this is where the cold-calling best practice of “Smile and Dial” comes from.
So while you’re rehearsing a pitch, pay attention to your facial expressions. They will send both a visual and verbal signal to your prospect. While a disingenous, forced smile will only hurt your cause, an occasional, genuine smile will make you look, sound and feel more engaging.
That’s a subtle but powerful advantage.
Smile, and the whole world smiles with you.
More prospects might buy from you, as well.
Photo by Hiking Artist: http://www.flickr.com/photos/hikingartist/3515471358/ and http://hikingartist.com/