The available scientific evidence suggests that people do sometimes smile when happy, frown when sad, scowl when angry, and so on, more than what would be expected by chance. Yet there is substantial variation in how people communicate anger, disgust, fear, happiness, sadness and surprise, across cultures, situations, and even within a single situation. Furthermore, similar configurations of facial movements variably express instances of more than one emotion category. In fact, a given configuration of facial movements, such as a scowl, often communicates something other than an emotional state. Scientists agree that facial movements convey a range of social information and are important for social communication, emotional or otherwise.
Facial Expressions Matter When Presenting, Here’s Why
Knowledge Emotions: Feelings that Foster Learning, Exploring, and R | Noba
Many speakers are more nervous about physical delivery than vocal delivery. Putting our bodies on the line in front of an audience often makes us feel more vulnerable than putting our voice out there. Yet most audiences are not as fixated on our physical delivery as we think they are. We should still practice for physical delivery that enhances our verbal message.
Many believe that charisma, the ability to captivate and inspire an audience, is innate. Great orators and politicians employ these techniques instinctively, but anyone can learn how to use them. Three are nonverbal: animated voice, facial expressions, and gestures.
As a speaker coach, what did interest me were her comments on Botox. Whether on camera, on stage presenting, or communicating in a meeting, your facial expressions send messages that are just as important as the content itself. They give you the chance to enhance your point, distract from it, or confuse the heck out of your audience. A flat affect, just like a monotone voice will be interpreted as a lack of passion, whether the message is positive or negative. Facial expressions create dynamism.