Actions speak louder than words. A huge part of how we communicate with others is not through our speech, but how we present ourselves whilst speaking. Body language is the non-verbal way we do this, and it can be all too easy to mistakenly send the wrong message through body language.
No matter how powerful and persuasive our speech is, if the way we present ourselves doesn’t back up our message, it’s liable to fall flat. This is incredibly important at a trade show when first impressions are everything. Here are some top tips for how to use body language in the most positive way to get your message across.
What Should You Be Doing with Your Face?
Facial cues are critical, as this is where a person’s focus will be whilst speaking with you. Your facial expressions will vary based on what you’re talking about; whilst smiling is friendly and welcoming, it would be inappropriate to be grinning whilst talking about certain topics.
You should smile at people before you begin your pitch to make them feel at ease and reassured that they can come and talk to you; a resting, expressionless face can be incredibly unnerving and make people want to stay away. Maintain eye contact with the person you’re talking to without staring, this sends the message that you are engaged for them and giving the person your attention. If possible, practice your pitch in front of someone you trust and ask for feedback regarding your facial expressions for additional reassurance.
How Should You Stand?
It can be a little unnerving standing at a trade show; it may feel like you’re the one on display. However, standing is the best way to present yourself, and you should resist the temptation to sit down and talk to people from a seat. Even though this may feel more comfortable, it doesn’t give the impression of confidence.
Here are some tips for how to stand at a trade show:
– Avoid crossing your arms – this conveys that you’re closed off, and you want to be open.
– Convey confidence by standing with your feet spread apart a little.
– Clenched fists are a negative sign, avoid this.
– Stand with your weight evenly distributed on each foot, so you don’t look off balance.
– Maintain good posture to show you’re confident and approachable.
– Don’t fidget by biting your nails or playing with your hair, or risk looking unprofessional.
Ultimately, you should try to be as natural as possible whilst speaking to not look like you’re following a predetermined set of instructions for how to stand, this can be difficult if presenting doesn’t come naturally to you. If you struggle with trade shows, some practice runs in front of a mirror or on film could help you identify where your problem areas are. Learning how to stand confidently yet casually at a trade show is a skill that can be practised and perfected; it will have a monumental impact on how well you’re able to engage with people at trade shows.
Should You Move Around?
Standing completely static can be a bit unnerving, however, moving around too much can give the impression that you’re on edge and uncertain, so you’ll need to strike a careful balance. Try mirroring the body language of the person you’re talking to, it shows you’re agreeable and subconsciously tells them that you’re both on the same page.
Given crossing your arms is something you should never do, you’ll need to put your hands to good use. Use your hands whilst you’re speaking to accentuate your points and punctuate what you’re saying. Hands tend to move naturally whilst we speak, and by doing this, you’ll let people know that you’re excited by what you’re saying. Don’t flail them about randomly, but use them to emphasise your words, it’ll help you appear more confident and credible.
Check the Space Between You and Them
Even if you’re stood behind a table, this physical barrier between you and the person you’re talking to is not always an indicator of how close to stand. It’s important to ensure you’re not backing away from people whilst you’re talking to them, as this can indicate that you are trying to run away from them. Similarly, standing too close to them will make them feel uncomfortable and awkward, causing them to want to leave your booth. Note where they are positioned in relation to you and keep that distance accordingly.
We hope that these tips allow you to feel more confident speaking to people at trade shows. Don’t forget those all-important promotional gifts to have ready to hand out to people to help spread brand awareness. At EMC, we can provide you with promotional pens, promotional conference bags and promotional conferences badges, as well as so much more. Take a look at our extensive range of exhibition freebies today.