Does your body speak louder than your mouth?

I wrote this post a few years ago, focused toward other artists that spend time in tents, and booths selling their work. While the content is directed specifically to the artist community, it does have crossover to any area of life. Years ago i took a class on teaching, and Mark Stradiot reminded us constantly that enthusiasm is catchy. if you choose to work with people, be enthusiastic, and try these body language tips to improve communication!!!! By the way, thank you Mark for that sage advice. (I can still hear you saying “to act enthusiastic is to be enthusiastic!”


Catchy title?  or Truth?  Yes, honestly our bodies do speak louder than our mouths.  People from the beginning of time have been careful to study each other.  Is that perky voice bubbling with joy matching that scowl on your face?  Are you subconsciously telling everyone a different message by how you hold yourself, what you do with your hands, or what you do with your eyes?

Body language is one of the loudest forms of communication.  Here are some of the tips for generating interest, and encouraging others to visiting your booth:

1. Smile.  A smile melts even the toughest person because it is a universal sign of friendliness.  A smile tells others that you are friendly, approachable, and trustworthy.  When you smile at someone, they almost always smile in return. And, because facial expressions trigger corresponding feelings, the smile you get back actually changes that person’s emotional state in a positive way.

2. Shake a hand.  Touch is the most primitive and powerful nonverbal cue. Touching someone on the arm, hand, or shoulder for as little as 1/40 of a second creates a human bond. In the workplace, physical touch and warmth are established through the handshaking tradition, and this tactile contact makes a lasting and positive impression. A study on handshakes by the Income Center for Trade Shows showed that people are two times more likely to remember you if you shake hands with them. The trade show researchers also found that people react to those with whom they shake hands by being more open and friendly.

3. Assume a confident pose – Don’t hunker down, or hide behind a barrier, but stand or sit confidently.  Posture is important.  But watch that you are not bulking up and looking imposing.  (like hands on your hips, or shoulders spread wide to make yourself look larger – these are threatening poses)

4. To increase participation, look like you’re listening –If you want people to speak up, don’t multitask while they do. Avoid the temptation to check your text messages, check your watch, or check out how the other participants are reacting. Instead, focus on those who are speaking by turning your head and torso to face them directly and by making eye contact. Leaning forward, nodding, and tilting your head are other nonverbal ways to show you’re engaged and paying attention. It’s important to hear people. It’s just as important to make sure they know you are listening.

5. To show agreement, mirror expressions and postures
When clients or business colleagues unconsciously imitate your body language, it’s their way of nonverbally saying that they like or agree with you. When you mirror other people with intent, it can be an important part of building rapport and nurturing feelings of mutuality. Mirroring starts by observing a person’s facial and body gestures and then subtly letting your body take on similar expressions and postures. Doing so will make the other person feel understood and accepted.

And try to not block your access to people.  Barriers convey to patrons that you are insecure, or unwilling to approach them, and they will react by not coming into your space.