Do you smile during your presentations?
The Influence of Remote Working
Nowadays, because we do so much of our work remotely, our presentations are given through tools such as Teams and Zoom. Due to the nature of these programs, they are on a ‘small’ screen, people tend to maximize your presentation making you, the speaker, invisible to the audience. That also means that you only have two tools to captivate the listener: the presentation, and your voice.
Body language has always been an important part of our presentations. Because our audiences were looking at you. There are videos and training galore on how to use your body in these moments.
Those times are behind us now. As mentioned above, you are no longer visible, and if you were, it’s limited to facial expressions. This means that we now have to use our voice to impress.
The Effect of the Smile
80% of the communication with our voice is tone. And something that strongly influences this tone, is a smile.
It may sound silly to smile when no one can actually see you because the screen is occupied by the presentation that you made. However, doing so has a positive effect on the tone. Studies have shown that we can actually distinguish when people are smiling. Moreover, it gives us, as listeners, a better feeling about the presenter. With a bit of luck, we even start smiling ourselves.
"How to Win Friends and Influence People"
In his book ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People’ Dale Carnegie tells a story of a person doing job interviews over the phone. Once they have hired one of the interviewees, the caller asks them why they had chosen this company out of many others. The interviewee responds by saying that he had a very good feeling on the phone with this specific person.
The interviewer had done their best to smile on the phone all the time and apparently, the interviewee had noticed.
Bring It Together
Smiling can change your voice completely and make people on the other side of the screen feel very different. Therefore, when you practice your presentation, it is worth spending time on your smile.
As always, don’t forget to practice!