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Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery, 2nd Edition by Garr Reynolds

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Power of the Smile

Smiles are contagious, yet they must be real. You can try to fake a smile, but people can tell when you don’t mean it. In fact, some studies show that if you give an insincere smile, audiences may perceive you as projecting an untrustworthy or hypocritical image. Martin Seligman, author of Authentic Happiness, says there are essentially two types of smiles, the “Duchenne smile” and the “Pan American smile.” The Duchenne smile is the genuine smile, characterized by movement of the muscles around the mouth and also the eyes. You can tell a real smile by how the skin around the eyes wrinkles up a bit. The Pan American smile is the fake smile that involves voluntary movement around the mouth only. This is the polite smile you see ...

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