If it works when giving a motivational speech- then facial expressions may also give us clues as to how to better influence others.
I did some research on facial expressions and humor and found that certain types of faces are perceived to be much funnier than others.
Dr. Anthony little, a psychologist at the University of Sterling in Scotland, found that humans innately find a certain type of face funny. Years of research comparing facial features found that the winning comedic combo is a round face, small forehead, large eyes, wide nose, high cheekbones and big lips.
These features are all linked to soft feminine features because they put us at ease and encourage us to laugh. Dr. Little’s research determined the funniest male comedian face to be Ricki Gervais because his soft round feminine like face prepares you to laugh.
Sales & Marketing Keynote speaker, Sally Hogshead points to further research on facial characteristics suggests smiling did not originate as a visual cue at all. Instead, it was linked to friendliness and approachability because of how it makes our voice sound. When we smile, our mouth cavity is narrowed and this raises the voice and makes us more approachable. Like when a stranger leans in to talk to my two year old, he will raise his voice and coo and ahh to build rapport.
When we want to appear authoritative or dominant we lower our voice. Simply try talking through a smile- the corners of your mouth expand upward and your voice pitch goes up. Talk through a straight face or frown and your mouth narrows and your voice becomes deeper and more dominant.
The bottom line is if you want to appear more authoritative or domineering; smile less. If you want to be more approachable, friendly and funny, smile more.
Humorous motivational speakers account on Inappropriate Forms of Humor in the Workplace.
Find out more about Sales & marketing keynote speaker, Sally Hogshead here.