Nonverbal Ways to Command A Room

BY Jessica Helinski
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While speaking pretty much guarantees all eyes will be on you, there are also nonverbal ways to command a room. Just because you aren’t on a podium doesn’t mean that you have to fade into the crowd. For salespeople, every impression and connection is important, so it's up to you to make the most of any opportunity. Avery Ford shares ways to ensure others recognize your presence at any event or meeting, even when you aren't running the show.

First, when you enter a room, don’t head straight to your seat. Instead, take a moment and acknowledge others. Smile, give a nod, or even say “hello.” Doing this not only subtly forces others to acknowledge you, but it also shows that you acknowledge them. Something as a simple as a small wave makes an impression, earns respect and shows genuine interest in others (something that salespeople don't always showcase).

Be mindful of where you do sit. No matter how the room is arranged, you have an opportunity to score a spot that will keep you off the sidelines. If there are chairs arranged around a table, step right up and grab one. This will get you right in the middle of the action. If you find rows of seats, sit toward the front so you are seen, and you get a good view of those in the very front. “…just being seen is not what will help you command a room. You also have to be able to see others," Ford explains. To really connect with others, strike a balance between seeing and being seen.

Once the presentation or speaker begins, be mindful of your posture and sit up straight. Keep your arms uncrossed, and if you’re at a table, rest them shoulder-​length apart. Don’t be afraid to take up space; allow yourself to be seen. These actions allow you to showcase your confidence without needing to say word.

These tips, and the others Ford features in her Forbes article, give you the chance to command a room even when you won't have a chance to speak.  You will make an impression and be memorable simply by acknowledging others and being respectful. And, in sales, every impression counts.