The best ice breaker that I know of is not “a” smile, but “THE” smile.
Not the cheshire cat grin, but the HAPPY smile born out of the sincere happiness of being able to communicate something of value to your audience
Not the smile constantly deformed by words attempting to make their way through horizontally stretched lips, but the SILENT smile unencumbered by words
Not the smile that doesn’t even bring a sparkle in your eyes, but the GLOWING smile that radiates from your lips and touches your eyes
Not the stressed smile you put on by necessity, but the RELAXED smile from a relaxed face.
Such a smile touches your audience; it moves people’s attitude towards you from neutral to positive.
If you find it hard to smile, if audience pressure depresses your levator and zygomaticus muscles, take heart. Look at that smiling face in the audience and let it warm you and vaporise your anxiety. The great scientist and philosopher Pascal found that out. And never mind the number of muscles required to smile (13**), because what matters is the source of the signal used to trigger your smile: Your heart, a heart who cares about the people in the audience, a heart filled with gladness because the people in the room have accepted your invitation to come and listen to you. They are your guests, you are their host. SMILE
By Jean-luc Lebrun
Imager Flickr; Author Didier-lq