I’ve shared How to Engage Prospects at a Trade Show and What not to do at a Trade Show. However, I’ve seen little about how to use your voice at a trade how. How we say words, our intonation, and inflection may have more to do with our meaning than the words we say. This is critical, because how you speak with trade show prospects may decide whether they become a lead or walk out of your booth.

How to Talk to Trade Show Prospects 

Smile – It’s hard not to be positive with a smile on your face, try it. Because isn’t that how you want to greet prospects at a show—with enthusiasm?

Make eye contact – People don’t trust people who don’t make eye contact. It sends a signal that something is wrong. That doesn’t seem like a good message to share at a trade show, does it?

Use lowered inflection – Lowered inflection is what we use when we’re confident, our voices begin on a higher note, and descend. The opposite, rising inflection, is when your voice begins low and the notes rise as you speak. Rising inflection puts prospects off because it denotes a lack of confidence or questioning.

Remember names – People like to hear their name. It feels personal. It builds trust. If you want to remember a prospects name repeat it as soon as you can, for example, “Nice to meet you, Bill.” Or, “What do you think of the show Jennifer?”

Be precise – Don’t ramble. Get to the point. Don’t chase prospects away from your booth by being a bore.

Speak clearly – Never talk while chewing gum, eating a sandwich, or drinking a cola and try not to mumble.

Avoid slang – Speak professionally, be a business person, don’t say ain’t.

Never be inappropriate – That includes humor. I was walking a show with a friend one time when a young man in a booth hollered out, “Hi Beautiful!” to my friend. She walked over and said rather curtly, my name is Becky” and walked away.

Never be rude – Don’t be short with people or dismissive, and never react in anger.

Don’t be snarky – A show isn’t the place to use snarkiness even if you’re trying to be funny.

Don’t let negative emotions show in your voice – If you’re upset or angry don’t let it show in your voice. Keep the smile on your face and your voice even toned.

Set the Tone

By sharing a friendly smile, repeating a prospects name, and speaking in confident tones, you can win the ear and the trust of prospects. And isn’t that the goal at a trade show?