Do you ever think about smiling when addressing an audience? If not, you should. Did you know that it takes 43 muscles to frown but only 17 to smile? Therefore, when you consider energy consumption, it is much wiser to smile than it is to show fear no matter how bad your nervousness. In addition, smiling is better for your health both physically and emotionally.

One of your goals in public speaking is to build a relationship with those in attendance and the chances of that happening are much greater with a smile than a face displaying lack of interest, scorn, or boredom.

There is a woman who reads in my church and displays no emotion whatsoever when reading the lessons. She has a lovely voice; she reads well; but, she shows no visible or aural signs of expression when reading. In fact, I’ve told her about this and have mentioned that her voice always sounds sad. There may be an occasion when your voice will display a quality of sadness but certainly not all the time.

What Gina needs to do is to put a smile in her voice as she says her words – even for those passages which are solemn and serious. Emotion expressed while reading out loud is much more interesting than something read in a voice which is a monotone.

A smile does not necessarily mean that what you are saying is humorous either. A smile shows that you are glad to be there and that you want to give to your audience that for which they are attending. A smile says confidence.

I am not suggesting that you stand in front of your listeners with a perpetual grin on your face however. One of my clients smiled the entire time she spoke, no matter what the subject matter. As one who taught 5-year-olds in her former profession, this woman was projecting her role as a kindergarten teacher when addressing an audience. With wide, sweeping arm gestures and exaggerated body movement and facial expression, Susan’s approach was not correct for adults.

Emotionally, you will feel much better about your delivery if you allow yourself to smile because you will find that you are more likely to make eye contact with your audience when using those 17 muscles. In addition, your smile could provoke a smile in your listeners which helps builds the bond between you and them .

Physically, the benefits can be even greater if your smile becomes laughter. Nothing is better at relieving stress than the increase in your health-enhancing hormones like endorphins and neurotransmitters.

Remember, your audience is there to learn something from you. A smile from you, the speaker, will enhance their enjoyment and increase your success.

Author's Bio: 

The Voice Lady Nancy Daniels offers private, corporate and group workshops in voice and presentation skills as well as Voicing It!, the only video training program on voice improvement. Visit Voice Dynamic and discover the best means of adding some life to your voice and your delivery.