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Non-Verbal Communication Element #2 – Facial Expressions

Updated: Apr 14


Facial Expression

We’ve heard expressions like; “I can read his face”, or, “The expression on her face told the whole story.”


Those expressions are correct!  The ways our face expresses emotion are varied, but the interpretations are pretty much universal.


The first, and most important Facial expression is – a Smile!

A Smile definitely is universal. It makes people feel liked and gives the impression you care about them.


A Smile can instantly put people, including your audience, at ease.


It conveys warmth. It’s a powerful expression that communicates friendliness no matter what language people speak or where they come from.


It can also, almost instantly, make you feel better and ease any tension you might have. (Keep this in mind when the butterflies in your stomach start flying.)


I refer to a smile as a Non-Physical Hug. Here’s the analogy: One of the neat things about a hug: When you give one – you get one right back!  The same results often come with smiling.


Smiling translates into happiness, and it’s contagious!


Of course, other expressions can be made with your face. These can involve more than just your mouth and eyes.


Take a few moments, please, and picture the following expressions in your mind’s eye.

Better yet, stand in front of a mirror and make your face express these emotions:

  1. Yech!

  2. Happy

  3. Sad

  4. Embarrassed

  5. Surprised

  6. Nervous

  7. Tastes Good!

  8. Tired

  9. Devious

  10. Sleepy

  11. Sour

  12. Goofy

Interesting, isn’t it, how much we can communicate without saying a word?


Other facial expressions, often involuntary, include:

  1. Yawning – sleepy, bored

  2. Pursing lips – to hold back emotion

  3. Tearing up and crying – Emotion

  4. Sweating – feeling uneasy

  5. Blushing – embarrassed, ill at ease

  6. Raising eyebrows – surprised, shocked


And . . . ‘with a wink and a nod’ we can easily convey a message to those we’re communicating with.

I guarantee it will be absolutely, positively – NO SWEAT!

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Pausing is a key component of presenting.

About the Author Fred E. Miller is a speaker, an international coach, and the author of the books, “NO SWEAT Public Speaking!” and “NO SWEAT Elevator Speech!”


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They do this because they know:"Speaking Opportunities are Business, Career, and Leadership Opportunities."


They also know:We perceive really great speakers to be Experts. We like to work with Experts.

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If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions about this post or other posts please contact me: Fred@NoSweatPublicSpeaking.com.


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