Here’s an interesting piece of research from, psychologist Rachel Jack, at the Univerity of Glasgow, about the different weight that different cultures give to facial characteristics when we speak; and the audience tries to work out what we mean- How Cultures Interpret Facial Expressions Differently [Study].
Before the study began, facial expressions were considered a “hard-wired human behavior trait,” suggesting that various cultures did not interpret facial expressions differently. However, Jack conducted her study to prove that facial expression interpretation is culturally relevant, using statistical documentation and computer-generated facial expressions.
Essentially, the researcher, found that that different facial gestures carry differing ‘weight’ by culture? Now that’s interesting. And the simple lesson for presenters then would be-
express openly and sincerely when talking to international audiences, as narrow, or shielded gesture and expression will tend to ‘hide’ your real meaning.
For presenters who want to move from ‘good’ to great’ it’s another counter-intuitive tip. When your nerves tend to make you narrow your emotional range, your audience needs you to broaden.
For the full research paper- go here
This is a part of my Fit, Focus & Flair model. To be great, a presentation must be a perfect FIT for the situation; the content must have complete FOCUS on it’s purpose and message; and it must have enough FLAIR to stand out on the day, and in our memories. Learn more about developing your Fit, Focus and Flair.