We let the facts do the talking.

Psychology is in every move you make and every word you type (Vol 4)

Part 2: Understand Your Micro-expressions to enhance your speaking abilities

In the previous part of my blog, I explained that media training can help enhance a spokesperson’s confidence and how micro-expressions factor into speaking opportunities. In this part, I will be sharing some tips to better understand and control your micro-expressions when speaking.

Getting to know your and other’s micro-expressions when verbally communicating can help you control them to a certain extent or even rectify your wordings.

When in verbal communication, a flicker of the eyelids or twitch of the lips can betray the other person’s thoughts. Therefore, I have listed four of the commonly exhibited universal micro-expression to help you better take control of such situations.

  1. Shock: it is one of the most noticeable micro-expressions and is mainly characterised by an illuminated face and widened eyes. If you encounter shock in communication:
    1. Stop doing or saying whatever it is that provoked that reaction
    2. Give yourself or the other person the chance to clarify the situation by addressing the reaction
  2. Happiness: This reaction usually occurs when things are going well and is characterised with the sides of your lips curling upwards and your eyes wrinkling slightly in the corners. If you see such expressions on the other person, simply keep doing or saying what you already are!
  3. Contempt: This usually occurs when you talk about a previous experience or address a problem and is characterised with a corner of the lip tightened and slightly raised on one side of the face. Now, this can be positive or negative, depending on the context. If the expression coincides with what you are doing or saying, keep going. If not, you need to change what you are doing or saying.
  4. Sadness: similar to contempt, it also occurs when speaking about previous experiences or at a troubling dilemma and is characterised with drooping of the eyelids, downward pull of the lips, and loss of focus in the eyes. Just like contempt, it coincides sadness micro-expressions depend on the context of your speech

It is fascinating how psychology can affect your verbal communication, and uncovering the secrets of psychology is not a process that is completed in a day. Stay tuned for my upcoming blogs to uncover the secret communication of the body and mind!


Antoine Boghos is Account Manager at Cicero & Bernay Public Relations, an independent PR agency headquartered in Dubai offering new-age public relations consultancy to the UAE and across the MENA region. |