Public Speaking: Face
Delivering a speech has several essential parts, one of which is facial expressions. A face supports the message a speaker is trying to convey to the audience. Do not take it for granted! Following are tips on how to incorporate your face – and all it can do in a speech.
A face can show all kinds of emotions. Therefore, do not maintain the same facial expression during the entire speech. Adjust your expressions to different parts of your speech that evoke different emotions. For instance, show confidence when presenting key points of the speech. Emotions will not only make your message more convincing but also better engage the audience with the told story.
Your face is the clearest representation of who you are. Therefore, make smart use of it in the given speech! It can also support your ethos and even pathos. If you are planning to fully immerse yourself and mimic a representative of your country, include facial expressions that fit with the role you are playing.
If there is any doubt about whether the chosen facial expression fits a certain part of the speech, try giving the speech in front of friends or family and ask for their opinions. Since the main goal of your speech is to persuade the audience, receiving feedback from other can be very helpful.
Before delivering the speech, it is important to know how big your audience is going to be. The main reason to know the audience size is to adapt your facial expressions accordingly. If the audience consists of only a few people, you will not need to smile as brightly as you would in front of a big group. It is essential that the entire audience can see your expressions.
Furthermore, research your audience’s cultural background beforehand. Although seventy per cent of facial expressions are universal, it is essential to not accidentally offend anyone. Therefore, if possible, do search on the nationalities of your audience members.
They say eyes are the window to the soul. Use your eyes to interact with the audience. When people are looked in the eye, a valuable space is created for connection and relatability. To ease the nerves, look for a familiar face in the audience. If eye-gazing feels too uncomfortable or if you do not know anyone in your conference well enough, stare at a stable point at the end of the room. Staring at a point will make sure your posture is stable and show confidence. Try to avoid staring at the floor as this might show insecurity.