Facial Expressions

Lenny Laskowski, Professional Speaker

Lenny Laskowski

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Tips You Should Know About Facial Expressions

Excerpt from, "10 Days to More Confident Public Speaking"

(Chapter 5 - pages 112-114)

Copyright, 2001 Philip Lief Group Inc

& Lenny Laskowski


Leave that deadpan expression to poker players. A good speaker realizes that appropriate facial expressions are an important part of effective communication. In fact, facial expressions are often the key determinant of the meaning behind the message. People watch a speaker's face during a presentation. When you speak, your face - more clearly than any other part of your body - communicates to your audience your attitudes, feelings, and emotions.

Dr. Paul Ekman of the University of California at San Francisco has made a career of studying facial expressions and facial animation. He mapped out a technique for coding facial expressions called the facial action coding system, FACS, based on the role facial muscles play in expressing different emotions. Ekman's research indicates that there are seven emotional expressions shared by everyone: sadness, happiness, anger, interest, fear, contempt, and surprise.

Here is a list of tips you need to know:

1. Be yourself. - Don't try to copy the facial expression style of someone else. For example, just because your favorite professional speaker starts his or her presentations by telling a story using exaggerated facial expressions doesn't mean it will work for you.
2. Don't overdo it. - Some people intentionally try to control their facial expressions by forcing themselves to smile or use another expression that isn't natural to them. Watch out for "fake" facial expressions that have a negative impact on your speech or compromise your sincerity.
3. Practice in front of a mirror. - Notice what expressions you use while speaking. Study how to control your facial expressions. Ask yourself, Do they match my words?
4. Create different moods. - While practicing in front of the mirror, see if your facial expressions convey the mood you want to create. If your face isn't showing any emotion, stop, refocus, and try again.
5. Think about what you are saying. - Focus on your message and communicating with your audience, and your facial expressions will follow.
6. Smile before you begin. - As I've said before, the one true international non-verbal expression understood by all is the smile. A warm smile before you begin to speak warms up an audience quickly, and ending with a smile puts your audience at ease with what they've just learned.

Lenny Laskowski is an international professional speaker and the author of the book, 10 Days to More Confident Public Speaking and several other publications. Lenny's products can be purchased "on-line" from this website at: http://www.ljlseminars.com/catalog.htm . Lenny is also available for hire to speak to your organization, college or association. Lenny also provides in-house seminars and workshops. Why not contact Lenny today for your next function or event. You can reach Lenny at 1-800-606-4855 or E-mail him at: Sales@LJLSeminars.com. You can also write to us at: 430 Freeman Avenue, Stratford, CT. 06614-4026, USA.

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