Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing. Mother Teresa of Calcutta

One of the most effective and immediate ways to create a positive connection with another human being is to smile.

It is difficult not to smile back and this brief exchange often sets the tone for everything that follows.

Wikipedia: A smile does have great power and great social reward. However, it has been proven that an authentic smile is much more effective than a counterfeit smile. A smile is an outward sign of perceived self-confidence and internal satisfaction. It seems to have a favorable influence upon others and makes one likeable and more approachable.

Even if your audience members do not respond in their entirety you have already sent a clear message, that you are happy, positive, excited, confident and delighted to be sharing your ideas and knowledge with them.

It is a great start and while it certainly makes the audience feel more comfortable and connected – your smile stimulates the brain to release endorphins, which generate a feeling of well being, which calm your nerves and which lower physical and mental stress. Cool – just from a smile!

Wikipedia: Smiling is something that is understood by everyone despite culture, race, or religion; it is internationally known. Cross-cultural studies have shown that smiling is a means of communicating emotions throughout the world

The Danish comedian, Victor Borge, conductor and pianist, famously stated that: ‘a smile is the shortest distance between two people.’

A word of warning! While the average person responds positively to a winning smile they are also experts at detecting a ‘painted on’ smile put in place for effect. Never underestimate the value of a genuine smile, particularly when it encompasses the whole face and the smile in your eyes.

A great smile starts from the ‘inside’ and usually captures our genuine feelings, which seem to spread through our entire body. The first thing you should do when you turn and face your audience for the first time is smile and give them a reason to relax and feel good about their decision to listen to you.

Talk about a great return on investment – a great smile is the most effective tool in the speaker’s arsenal.

Smile, it is the key that fits the lock of everybody’s heart. Anthony J. D’Angelo