Friday, January 13, 2012

The Power of a Smile

I'm meeting a new client in my office on Monday. We've never met, but connected over LinkedIn and spoke on the phone for the first time last week.

It's amazing the connection you can feel with a person without actually meeting them. Especially over the phone - to hear a person's voice tells you a lot about them - little details you wouldn't necessarily pick up in a short email.

This conversation was like that. We seemed to connect, and I felt energized after speaking with him.

I've been thinking about what exactly it was that made this new client so appealing over the phone, and I've narrowed it down to one thing - his smile.

No, this wasn't a videoconference, and I couldn't see him, but I could definitely hear that smile.

From the moment he introduced himself: "Hi Heather! It's Jim!*" (*not his real name, of course) I could hear warmth and friendliness in his voice, and he was immediately engaging.

To speak to a Managing Director of an international company who has such energy and positivity is like breathing a great, big breath of fresh air in a corporate world that's been stripped of emotion.

When you smile, a couple things happen. First, your voice becomes more resonant and warm. If you listen carefully to radio and television commercials, you'll probably notice that the voice-over artist smiles, especially on the company or product name. This makes the product sound more appealing.

Smiling also puts more energy into your voice. You might hear that charming, half-giggle crack in speech which adds personality and fun to the message.

Just because we're grinding away at work, doesn't mean we have to sound run-down and boring. Try smiling more - on the phone, in meetings and when you deliver presentations. Not only will you sound more friendly and approachable, you'll also be a magnet for other positive people!

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