How to avoid bad body language at an exhibition

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It is not just what we say that communicates our messages, our bodies have a language of their own too.

If you are manning the stand at an exhibition, read the advice below to help avoid the most common mistakes people make with their body language.


This portrays that you are bored and uninterested in being where you are. Good posture commands respect. Standing up straight with shoulders back is a power position, it maximises the amount of space you fill. Slouching collapses your body, you take up less space and project less power.

Using exaggerated gestures

Aim for small, controlled gestures. Showing the palms of your hands signals that you have nothing to hide.

Watching the clock

This is a clear indication of disrespect and impatience. If conveys the message that you have better things to do than talk to the person you are with.

Turning yourself away

This communicates that you are unengaged, uninterested, uncomfortable and perhaps even distrustful of the person speaking.

Crossing your arms

This is a physical barrier that insinuates that you are not open to what the other person is saying. Even if you smile and nod, the other person may still get the impression that you are shutting them out.


This suggests that you are anxious, self-conscious and distracted.

Avoiding eye contact

This makes it seem as if you have something to hide and may arouse suspicion. Little eye contact also communicates a lack of confidence and interest. Sustaining eye contact indicates confidence, leadership, strength and intelligence.

Being too intense

Eye contact, for example, that is too intense may be regarded as aggressive.

Rolling your eyes

This shows a lack of respect.


A miserable expression will turn people away. Smiling indicates that you are open, trustworthy, confident and friendly.

Not having a firm handshake

Having a weak handshake suggests that you lack authority and confidence, while a handshake that is too strong could be deemed as aggressive. Make sure your handshake is always firm.

Getting too close

Standing too close to someone indicates that you have no comprehension of personal space. This will make them uncomfortable.

By following the advice in this article, you will know to avoid these nonverbal cues, and therefore not put off traffic to your stand.

Global Displays Ltd are exhibition experts, having been at the forefront of exhibition stand design and construction for over thirty years. We develop enduring relationships with our clients by providing them with excellent customer service and creating value for them every time.

To find out how we can help you, give us a call on +44 (0)1905 797978 or email [email protected]