What to Do With Your Hands - Two Tips for Feeling Comfortable at Events

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What to Do With Your Hands - Two Tips for Feeling Comfortable at Events

Maybe you are giving an informal presentation, at a networking event or a trade show, and you see these folks - fidgeting with change in their pockets, standing with hands over crotch in the classic fig-leaf position, leaning on a counter, twirling a pen, or tossing a give-away from hand-to-hand.

Maybe you do the same thing.

What does it say to the folks in your audience or who are walking down the aisle?

I'M BORED and uncomfortable and I don't know what to do with my hands.

What to do with your hands?

Julia O'Connor, president of Trade Show Training, inc, has two simple suggestions.

What to Do With Your Hands - Tip One

"My favourite is to take a survey with paper and clipboard", she said. "because trade shows are an ideal time to gather information from folks who stop by your booth."

Develop a little survey no more than five questions. Make it easy, quick, multiple-choice. You will get better results if you don't require personal information but always ask how participants want you to follow-up.

What to ask? What do you need to know about potential clients and your business for the next six months? What do they know about your company? Your products?

What are their requirements for the sales process, service, financing, repair, technology, innovation, trade-in, etc? Also - in general how do they see industry trends, outside forces affecting the economy, politics at all levels, taxes, immigration, etc.

While it would be easy to put this in some electronic format, use old-fashioned paper and a clipboard.

O'Connor said, "I've used up to 10 clipboards per 10x10 space because people are curious and will gather around your space, discuss the questions and ask questions. The big bonus is you hold a clipboard in your hand and look anticipatory."

Another bonus is that by glancing at the survey, you can take an answer or concern from the individual's survey to start a targeted conversation.

A third bonus is to take the information from the surveys, distill it, and use it as a press release. For example "XYZ Company at the ABC show discovered 75% of attendees surveyed approved of holding prices yet were concerned about inflation in the dump truck industry."

Use the information to develop a short presentation and be sure to send to all clients and everyone who stopped by your booth. Putting the presentation on your web site is a good idea, too.

What to Do With Your Hands - Tip Two

O'Connor also suggests using props to occupy your hands. For example, she asks - Do you have a recognisable logo or mascot?

Like the AFLAC duck or the M&M little people. How about a miniature of your product a baby dump truck or recognisable toy that ties to your exhibit.

If it's a give-away, that's fine. If not, just say Nope, can't give him away he just wanted to come to the show and meet folks.

Hold the presentation prop in one hand. The curious thing is that once one hand is occupied, the other calms down. And, so will you.

Julia O'Connor - Speaker, Author, Consultant - writes about practical aspects of trade shows. As president of Trade Show Training, inc, now celebrating its 11th year, she works with companies in a variety of industries to improve their bottom line and marketing opportunities at trade shows.

Julia is an expert in the psychology of the trade show environment and uses this expertise in sales training and management seminars.

Contact her at 804-355-7800


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