Look at these faces. What do you see? More importantly, what do you feel? Our faces are more expressive than we may realize. You can capitalize on that to increase your impact. It’s also very telling about how others are reacting to or perceiving you.
Last night while watching a comedy special, not only was the comedian hysterical but there was more. It was his use of nonverbal body language, especially his facial expressions. These expressions could be described as: eye widening, eye narrowing, eyes darting, furrowed brow, pursed lips, open mouth, etc. Many of the movements I noted were exaggerated (by design). Bottom line is that the comedian’s use of non-verbal language (especially facial expressions), added significant detail to his use of storytelling. It was that extra ingredient that made me laugh out loud. In my estimation, those same stories may have had a very different effect, if not accompanied by the facial expressions. What do you think?
If we flip that around…same comedian but this time imagine his ability to pay attention to the facial reactions (expressions) of his audience. Great source of valuable information, right? Clearly he factored that in when he did his routine. Think of it as a give and take between the audience and the comedian (or you).
What you may not realize is that your communication style has the potential to improve by varying your facial expressions. Did you know that there are 43 facial muscles, most of which are controlled by the seventh cranial nerve (facial nerve)? Given that we have so many options, it’s certainly possible we’re under utilizing our facial muscles. Good news is that can change that…now.
Here are a few ideas for you to consider:
- Watch facial expressions on the internet or TV, without any audio (sound) cues.
- Experiment by making various faces in the mirror.
- Pay close attention to the facial expressions of those with whom you interact.
- Use a mirror while on the phone to observe your own use or lack of facial expressions.
Our faces say it all…so what does yours say?