Average trade show exhibitors present themselves in an average way. You, [if you are reading this article], do not want to be average. You want to be phenomenal. You want people to remember YOU! That means, you consciously participate in the Think–Feel–Do Loop
Know the "Power Posture"
When you open up your body, you not only occupy more space, you confidence level gets a major boost. In a study conducted by Amy Cuddy and her colleagues from Harvard Business School, shows that open postures reflect high power and closed postures reflect low power. Not only do these postures reflect power, it goes a step beyond. It produces it. Spending time in a power pose increases testosterone, risk taking, pain tolerance, and belief in one’s own leadership abilities. Additionally, it opens up your breathing, calms your nerve and gets you prepared. Next time, you are are interacting with the attendees at a trade show or any event that you might host, open up your posture for enhanced cognitive functioning that clearly boost your speech quality and makes you considerably captivating and enthusiastic!
"We found two minutes in a power pose—arms and legs stretched out—spikes a person’s testosterone and drops their cortisol. It works for both genders. It’s the ratio that’s important."
Avoid Handheld Devices
Yes, I know ipads and notebooks are all the raves in the exhibiting industry. But guess what? The size of your presentation device matters. It has unintended consequences on your mood and your level of confidence. Be aware: when using an Ipad or digital tablet, your posture automatically gets contracted. In the same study, Maarten Bos and Amy Cuddy found that people were more likely to be assertive after spending time in a more open posture using a laptop or desktop computer compared with in a constricted posture using a tablet or a phone-sized device. Avoid using, handheld devices as a means of presentation at all cost. It might be cool and trendy but it heightens your anxiety level. Instead, use Ipad as a medium for self entertainment amongst your visitors. Before presentation or meeting, spend some time away from the phone or tablet. The lack of distractions will help you gain focus and organize your thoughts and will arm you with confidence and composure.
“When our body language is confident and open, other people respond in kind, unconsciously reinforcing not only their perception of us but also our perception of ourselves.”
Source: IdeaAcademy 2018
Mind Your Facial Expressions
"The face is like a switch on a railroad track. It affects the trajectory of the social interaction the way the switch would affect the path of the train." Fridlund, A. (1994). Human Facial Expression: An Evolutionary View. San Diego, CA: Academic Press.
If you spend hours frowning and focusing at a computer screen, "it’s likely that prolonged negative facial expression will have an effect on your mood and the perceptions others have of you." Find a mirror and “reset” your expression before you go out there meeting your clients and prospects.
The way we stand, the way we walk, the way we sit and the expression that we wear on our face vastly affects our mood and our behaviour. Spending time deliberately smiling can help you feel more positive. Research shows that lowering the pitch of your voice makes you feel more powerful and think more abstractly. Moral of the story: act as if the world is your oyster.
Feel happy and confident and it’s very likely you will actually start to feel more happy and confident. Richard Wiseman calls this the “as if” principle – behave as if you feel happy and confident
Gesture As You Talk
By externalizing your thought process in the form of hand gestures, you actually take the load off your brain. Susan Goldin-Meadow at the University of Chicago and her colleagues say that "gesturing probably makes the math part of the task less mentally taxing by externalizing and visualizing relevant information, thereby freeing up cognitive resources for the memory challenge." Research shows that presenters are perceived as more competent when they make hand gestures compared with when they keep their hands still.
"Like tone, volume, and pacing of your speech, gestures are another tool to punctuate what you’re saying. Gestures can also help the audience understand and remember what you said. The key thing here is to ensure your gestures are meaningfully related to what you’re saying, and not just random hand flapping."
Here are some gestures that can be read in a positive or a negative fashion depending on culture and context:
1. A clenched fist can indicate anger in some situations or solidarity in others.
2. A thumbs up and thumbs down are often used as gestures of approval and disapproval.
3. The "okay" gesture, made by touching together the thumb and index finger in a circle while extending the other three fingers can be used to mean "okay" or "all right." In some parts of Europe, however, the same signal is used to imply you are nothing and in some South American countries, the symbol is actually a vulgar gesture.
4. The V sign, created by lifting the index and middle finger and separating them to create a V-shape, means peace or victory in some countries. In the United Kingdom and Australia, the symbol takes on an offensive meaning when the back of the hand is facing outward.
Non-verbal tools like posture, facial expression, body movement and geStures play a vital role when YOU are staffing Your booths and, wheN you been tasked to deliver some awesome presentations.
“The speaker who stands and talks at ease is the one who can be heard without weariness. If his posture and gestures are so graceful and unobtrusive that no one notices them, he may be counted truly successful.” Dr. Ralph C. Smedley, the founder of Toastmasters International [pdf]
Next time, you are facing a challenging moment, "open up your posture, stand tall, talk strong, gesticulate – act “as if” you are in control – and your wishful thinking may just become reality."
AND FINALLY, BRING PRESENCE TO YOUr PRESENTATION
Presence materializes when you are not in haste, nothing to prove — you are completely attuned to your own authentic self. BECAUSE,
"As we let our own light shine, we… give other people permission to do the same. As we’re liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."
Signing off by celebrating THE FEARLESS YOU.😀