A real Smile is one of the most effective means to capture the trust, attention, and rapport of an audience. It is an essential part selling when meeting people. It has added benefits as a stress reducer. This is true if speaking to an audience of one or one thousand.
You can reap these benefits if you know what a real or genuine smile is. More importantly, you can learn how to create one at will.
Check out the info at the end of this page to learn the truth of the aphorism that it takes more muscles to frown than to smile.
In basic training, a salesman is taught to master smiling and have it end just as eye contact is made with the clientèle's. The reason is that it makes you look like a decent person. Additionally you can put the person being greeted at ease simply by showing your pearly whites.
Lets Get Real
Actually there are a total of 47 different individual facial expressions. The most commonly seen are smiling and winking. One of the 47 facial expressions is considered genuine or real. This one is more than a grin.
Among the expressions, a less known but often observed are such expressions as the eyebrow wink.
As to smiling, it is even felt that babies have the ability to make this facial expression. This is based on 3-D scans of babies in the womb. It is interesting that most babies don’t have this ability after delivery until they are about 6 weeks old.
Maybe it says something about how much pressure life puts on the new entrants into the human race.
What is a Genuine One?
Smiling is a facial expression created by the contraction of muscles near the ends of the mouth and include or extend into the muscles near the eyes.
Most often it is an expression of delight, pleasure, happiness or love. For some it is an involuntary expression of anxiety as laughter can be some times. This facial expression can be found in all cultures and can even be seen in children born blind from birth. This human ability unique. Animals do not have this ability.
Smiling as a Stress Reducer
Here is the good news. Not only can it put others at ease, it can also do the same for you. By smiling our brains produce endorphins which are like drugs inside our body that help with physical and emotional pain and stress. They can even help produce a feeling of well-being and composure.
But, this only works if you have a real or genuine expression.
Real vs. Fake
So what is a real or genuine smile?
As stated at the outset, it requires the use of the muscles starting at the ends of the mouth and that extend to the eyes. The so called real thing actually has a name. It is called the “Duchenne Smile.” It is named after the French neurologist Guillaume Duchenne. If you’re a Doctor or Nurse you know his name from a Muscular Dystrophy he also discovered.
This is not a new science. His studies started in this field in the 1840’s.
It is a production of the autonomic nervous system. In other words, it is something that just happens involuntarily. So it is said the smile is real if it reaches the eyes.
A fake or voluntary version is used to show politeness or to feign the facial expression involves just the muscles of the mouth and not those extending to the eyes.
It is also known in literature as the “Pan American Smile" and the "Professional Smile"
How Do You Produce the Real Thing?
How can someone learn to produce a real smile at will?
Since it is an involuntary response, it is impossible to recreate it on its own. However, it is possible to create a memory that will result in the feeling that will result in a real smile.
Do you remember the happiest time in your life? What was one of the most pleasurable moments you ever experienced? If you’re thinking of that special moment right now, you're smiling a real smile. Why? That memory of that pleasurable moment is bringing it on.
Remember that feeling.
Now to perfect this technique, practice doing it. Walk into the break room or a group of people you associate with and just moments prior to your meeting, create a flash of that pleasurable moment in your memory. Watch as they read your body language and comment or query you.
The memories can be replayed from this morning or 30 or more years ago.
Learn to do that and you will learn the art of really smiling. Learn to master the skill and you will find other things that will bring it on.
This is really quite a wonderful thing when you think of it. You will start your presentation with a pleasurable thought. You will end up with a smile that will put your audience at ease. You will release endorphins that help emotional stress which will help with performance.
Top reasons to learn how to and always be....
Polish Those Pearly Whites
Nothing will help create a beautiful facial expression like beautiful teeth. There are numerous home whitening products and methods. More importantly, your dental health is closely related to your physical health. So keep them healthy and keep them white.
What about the saying that it takes 37 muscles to frown and 22 to smile. Actually there are numerous variations of this number. There is no scientific study that indicates how many it takes. But it does make for a wonder aphorism and for great jokes to lighten up your speech.
Humorous Example: It takes 47 muscles to frown and 14 to smile. This tells us two things. One, scientist have way too much time on their hands and frowning burns three times the calories as smiling.
More importantly, even if it tool less muscles but more effort, it could likewise throw off the intended purpose of the comment.
Think about it. If it takes more energy to frown, then this could be a effective weight loss tool as it would burn more calories.
If you want to lean more about the science of smiles, go to Snoopes.com to learn about the urban legend.
Check out other aspects of becoming a professional public speaker.
One last thought
There are other facial expressions to consider. Some of the more basic ones include expressions of anger, sadness, fear, surprise, disgust, contempt and happiness.
Research has demonstrated that consciously making facial expressions can induce the corresponding emotion.
It has been said negative emotions precede negative thoughts. The opposite is true as well. If you train your mind and face to have positive expressions, the positive emotions will follow.
Think of the choosing process this way.
Imagine you're given $25,500. Not a lot of money for many of us. It won’t buy a new house. It may buy a car. The question is, if given to you to spend however you like, how would you feel spending each and every one of those dollars?
When asking this, many have lamented they would have to use it to pay bills. Ok, but how would they feel? They indicated they felt it would not be pleasurable since they would not get any enjoyment from it.
That is so sad.
The day you’re born you’re given 25,500 days of life, give or take a few. How you choose to spend them is up to you. You can choose to enjoy or lament having to spend them.
You can spend them all at once or risk spending them all at once by living a dangerous life style. Or you can use them wisely.
Best of all, you can choose how you want to feel when you spend them.
In the hospital I have seen thousands of people, many who did not have a choice as to how many days they got. I occasionally saw those who were only allotted 5-10 thousand days.
When you see how they enjoyed life with their limitations it makes you think what do I have to complain about.
A few of my patients had Duchenne’s Muscular Dystrophy. They set records, living almost to their 20’s. They never got to be running and laughing children. Never had their first date. Never knew the joy of driving a car. They knew they were going to die. They choose to be happy.
On the other hand, a very few even got to have in excess of 36000 and one who got to have over 38000 days. They got there because they enjoyed each and every day.
They choose to enjoy each and every day. You can choose to enjoy each day too.
Start enjoying with positive facial expressions that will result in positive emotions. It can only benefit you.
It will benefit your health, your wealth, and because of its viral effect, even those around you.
And don't forget to smile.