The Power of Body Language


Lesson Info

Body Language Quiz and First Impressions

I am so excited to be here at CreativeLive. We are talking about my three favorite things in the world: body language, business, and science. So I find that when you put these three things together you get this amazingly powerful combination, hence my cheesy stock photo of a guy in a business suit ripping off, 'cause really, hopefully we'll all be ripping off our shirts by the end of the course, with our amazing power body language. As the lovely host mentioned, I'm Vanessa Van Edwards and I run the Science of People. We are a human behavior research lab. So our favorite topics to study are power body language, influence and human lie detection, which is the juicy science we're gonna get into in the next few days. So one of the things I wanna talk about is how we're gonna look at this course, what you can expect in the next three days. The way that I've designed it is after the first day, end of today, you will begin to notice a difference in your body language. By the end of the secon...

d day, others will begin to notice a difference in your body language. At the end of the third day, you will have a completely new way of interacting with others. So it's gonna be a lot and we're gonna throw it fast and you can ask as many questions as you want but I promise I'll keep it fun and PG-13. I promised the CreativeLive gods that we are a business course and I was gonna keep it safe. So I wanted to do a very quick section called Talk Nerdy To Me, so I'm a total science geek as you will learn. I love talking about fascinating research studies. And first I wanted to get an idea of the body language abilities in the audience and at home. So if you could just think back for a second. On a scale of one to 10, one being horrible, awful, terrible, and 10 being awesome, rockstar amazing, how would you rate your own body language abilities? If you just wanna hold up on your fingers, I just like to get it quick and I can hear you on Twitter too so (mumbles) you're eight, Sarah we're six, oh really, okay, your violin is awesome. Five (sighs). Meg, okay five. Okay we have an eight and a five. Guys we gotta get those numbers up. We will, I promise we will. Okay, how 'bout this one, so on a scale of one to 10, how would you rate your ability to read body language? Okay so reading, 10, seven, six, okay. Got a six, two, okay, eight, okay. So we will also get those numbers up, but it's so interesting how different they are. Some people are very confident in their own body language but their ability to read is not so much, so don't worry, wherever you fall on the scale, we're gonna have a lot to talk about. So I thought I'd go over some of my favorite facts about body language before we are going to do a body language challenge where I'm gonna ask you all kinds of trivia questions and you'll be able to put those skills to the test, so those of you at home who rated your skills at seven or nine or 10, you'll actually be able to test and see if you actually do that well on the quiz. So some of my favorite facts about body language, just to get us warmed up, is that in 30 minutes, people send an average of 800 different nonverbal signals. That's crazy, right, that's like we're doing a nonverbal dance back and forth constantly, and we don't even realize necessarily what's happening, so a lot of what we're gonna talk about in this course is just understanding what cues are already being sent back and forth. Second, so nonverbal signals are 12 to 13 times more powerful than our spoken word, and what I mean by this is when you say something, we were talking about earlier, being a host, what if you're confused on the inside? What we say is actually not nearly as important as what our body is saying. And this is hard because in business or dates or social situations, we usually go into a meeting and we prepare what we wanna say. We think all about our pitch, we bullet it out, but we rarely think about how we wanna say it, and that's actually more important than sometimes our actual words. This one is very interesting, so a bunch of psychologists looked at children and their body language abilities. When children start school, they show over 400 different body language expressions. By the time they leave school, they show less than 100. So we are born with these abilities. So if you think you don't have it naturally, that is not true, we are born with the ability to show and read body language, but as we get older, we're kind of coached out of it. We learn to focus more on our words, more on the intellectual of course reading and literacy as we get in school but our body language is just important so even though calculus was great in high school, I wish we had body language classes. I'm getting those in the cuticulum so we're gonna be doing all those missing body language skills that we didn't get to learn. So really this is our missing ingredient. It's one of our most important skills yet we never know how to utilize it. So the three things that we're gonna be focusing on in the next three days is first increasing your influence. Body language is all about presence, charisma and increasing your impact. So we're gonna be talking a lot about how can you put your confidence and your power into your nonverbal, so when you go into networking events, meetings, dates, you're with friends, you make sure that you have that impact and influence that you want. Second, spotting lies, so I love human lie detection. I think it is a fascinating, complex science, and in the business world it is like having a superpower. If you're going into meetings, you're going into pitches, you're working with colleagues or partners, you need to know if someone is lying to you, so we're gonna go very deeply into lie detection science, we're gonna be playing some games, doing experiments and watching videos of people lying and spotting the lies. That's something I'm looking forward to, definitely. I love the idea of having a superpower by the end of this course as well, that sounds good to me. Are you wearing a Superman shirt underneath? I'm not actually but I'll think about that. Maybe I'll change at the break-- We'll both have Superman shirts. Actually we didn't have a chance to hear Meg at the beginning of what her myth about body language is, so we didn't mean to cut you off there Meg, but what is the myth that you've learned about body language? I'm not sure I know any myths because I don't know that I know enough intellectually about body language to put words to it. The other things that the other students were saying that those resonate with you, were those things that you've heard over the years? Absolutely. And one thing I have heard is what you're supposed to do which I can never remember to do is model, mirror your body towards someone else's. To whom you're talking. Mirroring is a big one and that actually isn't a myth, that's right, so you're good on that. And we'll talk about that actually at the end of today, so that's good. So we have increase your influence, spotting lies, and the last thing we're gonna be talking about is decoding hidden emotions, so this is not only decoding hidden emotions in those around you, people you're speaking with, but it's also understanding what emotions are coming out when you're speaking to people, so how, are you showing shame? Are you showing pride? Unknowingly we emit all these body language signals that we usually have no idea that we're doing so it's both sides of decoding emotions, our own as well as other people. So I wanna tell you one of my favorite stories about the power of body language, and this all started on the bright and sunny morning of September 26, 1960. And a young man was getting ready for the most important day of his life, but he had no idea that it would all come down to his body language. That man was John F. Kennedy and September 26, was the first U.S. televised presidential debate, so it was the first time in U.S. history where we had our presidential candidates debate on television. Now this is a really interesting time in our history because not everyone had a television yet. So a part of the population watched the debate on television and a part of the population listened to the debate on the radio, so it was this really interesting time to see, would there be a difference? So a little bit of background on this interesting debate. Nixon had injured his knee on the campaign trail, so he had been in the hospital for about two weeks before the debate. He had lost weight, he wasn't feeling well, you can actually see in the debate he's kind of favoring one knee. Kennedy on the other hand was tan, he was young, he had been prepping with his aides all weekend. He was real relaxed for the debate. So the debate comes. Everyone who watched the debate was sure that Kennedy won, and everyone who listened to the debate was sure that Nixon one. It was the first time in U.S. history where a presidential debate caused a huge discrepancy in the votes and what people thought happened. So this is incredible, right, you think that how could everyone listen, they heard something totally different than what the people in the televised audience heard, which is really what they saw. Now that ended up costing Nixon the election. John F. Kennedy won and in Nixon's memoir, he said that he believed it was that debate, his body language in that debate that cost him the election. That body language-- Kennedy did pull quite a sneaky trick. Didn't he say in front of Nixon, "I don't need makeup." So Nixon said, "Oh in that case, I better not "wear makeup either," and Kennedy snuck off and got his face done. That came out later-- You know some good political gossip. It was mean. So Nixon went on as well, I'm not feeling well, exactly as you said but with no makeup, whereas Kennedy snuck off to his makeup lady. And some of the accounts say that even, they had Nixon put on this cakey, very thick, and he was sweating, so he was profusely sweating and he was dabbing at his-- It looked like he was lying. It looked like he was lying the whole time, so yeah, the makeup, he was on some painkillers from his knee, he had the cards stacked against him that day and it affected him and half, at the voter polls, they asked the voters, what influenced this decision? And half of them said it was the first televised presidential debate that influenced their decision. So I think that this means that body language is incredibly important because there wasn't another presidential televised debate for 16 years. That's how powerful this debate was. Nixon refused to do it again and Lyndon B. Johnson was like, uh-uh, no way. I'm not going on television doing that, so it took 16 years for someone to get brave enough for them to get coaches to be able to feel like they could actually go on and show the right body language, so that's how powerful our nonverbal behavior can be. So I wanna talk about our goals for the course, so I actually would love to turn to you guys and ask you what are your goals for being here, before I talk about my teaching goals, what brings you to this room, what do you hope to get out of it? Max, can we start with you? Sure. I would like to become more aware of how I present myself with not only my friends, but also my work colleagues as well and figuring out maybe what they think of me even though I might have a completely different perception of how I'm presenting myself and what I'm thinking is going on and actually how that's showing. Got it. Yeah, absolutely, so that's good and make sure that I hit that, that's actually one of the first sections we're gonna be talking about, so that's good. Sarah? So I'm here for the working ladies. (chuckling) I like that, I like the attitude. No that's, you can decode that body language all you want. No, but I am a millennial woman in the work force and I think that it's important that when I meet with clients who are older, more powerful, considerably more successful than I am that I can hold my own and can exude power and influence. Yeah, age difference is a huge one, being able to be respectful but also confident. Exactly. Yeah that's a hard one. Sashi, tell me. So I work as a consultant. So I wanna get better at selling in client meetings, and I also play poker with friends, so I wanna be able to tell when they're lying. Okay, I was wondering if we were gonna have a poker player today, and a lot of lie detection cues can be used for poker, so we will not be talking specifically poker but it will definitely give you an edge. Your friends are gonna be very jealous, and will start watching, then you're all gonna be on a level playing field. (chuckles) Perfect. Okay. Meg, let's go with you. Well I'm taking the course because I don't know what I don't know. And I wanted to challenge myself. I like to learn how to be different than I am already. I would like to learn to be more comfortable in bigger groups and comfortable in small groups, and when Sarah says that she wants to learn how to hold her own with older people such as myself, I wanna learn how to hold my own with younger people such as you. I love it, I'm gonna partner you guys together later. You know that's gonna happen right. Okay good, that's gonna happen. Shamri, tell me. Well, first of all, I think this is an excellent opportunity for critique. Just to really hone in on maybe some of those habits that I've fallen into, maybe I think I know what I'm doing but there's always room for improvement, and I share a lot of knowledge with other women about how they can step up so this is really about understanding the science more, understand how to communicate those ins and outs and I never really thought about the lie detection part, so I'm excited to get that knowledge going too. Wonderful, (mumbles). I would like to learn about myself first, people who (mumbles) how they read me, if they read what I want to say. And of course I would like to learn how to use that knowledge to be able to convince my ideas. So convincing as well as what people are reading from you. Absolutely, okay, I love it, so luckily, our goals match quite closely so we're good on that. Here are a couple of my goals for the course that I hope you guys can learn, everyone at home can learn as well. So first, increasing your income, so you talked about selling. We have a whole big section on selling and increasing your income, and that's not just selling to clients like one on one, that's also when you walk into a networking event and you meet someone, you want them to want your card, right, you want them to want to work with you, to want to get to know you. So it's also that aspect of, want people who want to be able to connect with you and that increases your income because you have people who actually respect you and respect your time. Goal number two, so interacting with confidence. Making sure that you feel like you're in control of your messages, so when you talk about making sure that other people are reading you correctly, I read that as being in control of your message, your verbal message as well as your nonverbal message. Never be lied to again, so I really, in business especially, small business owners especially, it is so important to make sure that you're protecting yourself, your time and your business. And if you can spot out, and by the way, lie detection does not make you paranoid. A lot of people think, well, it actually makes you less paranoid, because you know that you will spot incongruencies right away, so when you go into a meeting, you don't have to worry, are they negotiating with me for the wrong reason, can I trust this person? Your trust levels actually go up because you know what to look out for. Is anyone excited about that, is that a goal for anyone here? Okay cool. And the last one for me is really important and this is about fostering empathy. So body language is the external showing of our internal emotions. And getting in touch with how we show emotions as well as reading other people, really listening to what they're saying. What they're saying as well as listening to what their body is saying shows an incredible amount of connection and empathy and so for me that's a huge part of this course as well is being able to connect with people on a much deeper level. And by the way, this is not only spotting hidden emotions but it's also in business, romantic situations, social situations, it's with everyone that you're interacting with. So it is time to test your skills. This is the body language trivia. So if you could get out in your hand outs and everyone who is enrolled for free gets his hand out for free as well, it says body language trivia. And we have where you can track all of your answers. So hopefully everyone can find that. While you're looking for that, I just wanna very briefly talk about my science based approach. Everything that we're gonna be talking about in the next three days is science based. We use case studies and we use examples, but everything I talk about comes from either peer reviewed research or out of academic institutions, so none of this is like Vanessa's opinion on body language. No, it is all science based so all this trivia's coming from studies and I have a full list of citations for free when you enroll. It is nine pages of citations, so we're using a lot of science in the next three days. So are you guys ready for trivia? All right. So question number one and I'm gonna ask you to tell me some of your answers. In the average 10 minute conversation, how many lies will you hear? Zero to one, two to three, three to four, or five to six? Think that one through, what do we think? What are our gut, go with your gut, what do you think? C. C, okay. That's what I said. C. Three to four. Three to four. I said two to three. Okay let's see, so two to three lies in the average 10 minute conversation. So we are actually lied to quite often. Now a lot of these, they range from very small to very big, but when we're in conversation, people actually get very comfortable with little tiny lies so we are lied to much more than we think. Number two, how often can we decipher truth from lies? Is it A, 54% of the time, B, 75% of the time, C, 80% of the time or D, 90% of the time. So think about this one real carefully, right, we hear two to three lies in a conversation, so how often are we able to spot those lies? What do you guys think? About half the time. Half the time. It's gonna be D, right, after we learn? (chuckling) It is, you are right, it is 54% of the time, so we can tell a truth from a lie a little better than a coin toss, okay, that's crazy I think that we're not able, actually naturally, to see lies. I also guessed 80%, I guessed quite high, I was like, oh yeah, we know. Actually it's very hard to be able to spot those lies, so hopefully we can increase those detection deception abilities much more, so with the techniques that I'm gonna teach you in this course, we're gonna be learning how to read lies in body language, we're gonna learn how to read facial expressions for deception and we're gonna be learning what's called statement analysis which is lies in a verbal and word usage, that can be used in e-mail and on phone as well. So with those techniques, if you can master those techniques you can increase your ability up to 90%. So that's what we're going for at the end of this course. Hopefully it'll become easier and easier. So I just made a little breakdown for you of how lie detection works, the different parts, 'cause it is a very complicated science but I'm gonna break it into seven steps when we go into it. The first aspect of lie detection is facial expressions or micro expressions. The very brief, involuntary expressions that we make with our face. The second aspect of lie detection is nonverbal as well as you body expressions and the reason why I say nonverbal versus body is because nonverbal could also be our voice tone. That is beyond words, so it's not just our body that we're gonna be able to talk about, we're also gonna be talking about voice tone on the phone, volume, inflection, ums and giggles, those are all nonverbal aspects of lie detection. The last part is statement analysis, which I just talked about, is the words that we use. The cadence that we pick how we use our words, how we string them together, our tenses, our grammar. That actually shows lies especially in e-mails and on the phone, and that's also broken up into two areas, verbal and audio, so the words as well as how we sound when we're speaking. And again, we're gonna deep dive into this, but I wanted to give you a very brief overview while we were going through the trivia. All right, number three. On average, people typically hold eye contact for how much of a conversation? Is it A, 30%, B, 50%, C, 65%, or D, 90%? What do we think? Definitely A. Definitely A. I like that, really strong. Who else, any other guesses? 50%. 50%. It's funny, on this trivia question, I always get a huge range of response. Some people are sure it is 30%, they are sure. And other people are like no, no, no, it's to 100% so I usually get a huge discrepancy. It actually is right in the middle, so 66% of the time, 66% to 70%. Who asked earlier, we were talking about myths, someone asked about eye contact or when they look away, that people think that they're not paying attention, was that Max? Okay so that's a really, really good question, and as long as you're in that 60 to 70% eye contact, looking away to gather a thought is actually not a bad thing, it's the percentage of time total. So if you're looking away the whole time, then it's not good, but you can look away and you'll find this in a natural conversation. People will be talking and they might kinda look up and be gathering their thoughts. That's totally natural, as long as that 60 to 70% is held, so that was really a good question. So I wanna talk very briefly before going to the next trivia question about the three different kinds of gazing. So you would think that when we look at someone, we actually look at them the same way. We look at their eyes back and forth. Actually our eyes make a pattern on people's faces. So let me show you, this is power gazing, so power gazing is when we look between someone's eyes and we go up to their forehead, that is the pattern that our eyes make when we are looking at someone and power gazing is what we do in business situations. It's what alphas do. So alphas are the natural leaders of social groups. Sometimes they can be bosses, especially in a business environment, but not always, and alphas use this pattern more often, so eye, eye, forehead, that's where they go with their eyes and we're gonna be talking about how to use this in your business situations, how to use gazing to your advantage. The second type of gazing is social gazing. So when we're in more casual situations, we're in networking events, definitely out with friends, our eyes make a different pattern. They drop, they drop down to our mouths, so they go eye, eye, mouth, that's where we look when we're looking at someone, we make that little triangle. When we're casual it's literally like we let our guard down or our gaze down. We drop down to be more casual. Lastly, intimate gazing, so this is only with people you're very close with and I make the distinction here, it is eye, eye, chest. It is not breasts, it is chest, okay? Slightly higher up. So it's this lower area right here, that's because it's considered an intimate zone with you're with a partner, you drop down, as if you're having that kinda heart connection. So we drop our eye gaze down much more when we're feeling intimate. This is interesting in business because first of all, to be taken more seriously, we wanna stay in the power gaze. Sometimes women especially, if we're feeling camaraderie and we're trying to build connection, we drop our gaze. But actually that sends off a very different signal, it's a more casual signal, you have to be careful what you want to portray to the people you're speaking with. Also for women, you can tell how someone feels about you, especially a man, if he is dropping his gaze on you. Right, either to mouth or chest, so it's a very interesting way of not only showcasing how you wanna feel but also gaging what they feel about you based on their eye patterns. All right, another little interesting fact here is when we are aroused, our pupils enlarge. Advertisers take advantage of this fact. If you look at most advertisements, perfume ads are the worst offenders. They usually will enlarge those pupils, so for our photographers watching, you can easily do this on Photoshop, a lot of people will do this to look like you are more intimate with the model, because subconsciously our brain knows that when someone's pupils are dilated, they are excited or aroused. So that's a little trick that a lot of advertisers use. I would not recommend using that in your photos, social media profile pictures. Don't do that (chuckles). You might think that it's very intimate producing, but it can be a little creepy and I actually look at ads in magazines and I'll measure how big their pupils are and they even expand beyond the realms of any normal pupil size, so next time you open a magazine, definitely check it out. Number four, is body language learned, genetic, or both? What do we think, this one's a hard one. Both. Both. Everyone thinks both, okay. Ah, you think learned-- I was gonna vote learned as well. Okay I'm sorry, I gave it away before you could do it. So body language is both learned and genetic, and most people guess learned because that is what we were taught. We were taught from a very young age that when you're born, you look at your mom or your dad's body language and you mimic it, you copy it. Actually we're finding it's a much more complicated case how we learn body language and that helps us study it. So I wanna talk about a very brief study that looks at, is body language nature or is it nurture? So scientists wanted to know, do babies learn body language or is it genetically encoded? What they did is they looked at twins who were separated at birth, so they were raised with different families in different cities with totally different parents, they had different body language to mimic. However, they found that those twins, 10, 20, and 30 years later, made the same body language expressions as each other even though they had been raised separately. So these twins were flicking their hair in the same way. They had the same mannerisms with their hands. They use the same amount of expressiveness. So this shows us that there is something encoded, there's something genetic about how we learn body language, how we express, it's not all learned from our parents. I would love to do my first law of body language, so in your free handouts, you should have a handout that says the laws of body language. This is where we're gonna start building our foundation for all these body language skills. So the first law is the law of nurture and nature, so it is both learned and genetic. The reason why this is important is because it shows us that we can study body language if we have more genetic expressions. If it varied across families and across cultures, it'd be much harder to study body language, but because we know that some of it is learned, some of it is genetic, we can study what those expressions are and then learn them across cultures. And by the way, the reason I'm having you write is because science shows that when we write things down, we remember them better, so that's another reason why I'm having you fill in some of the handouts and sheets. Any questions about the first law, are we good? Okay. The second, the follow-up question I always get to the nature versus nurture question is is it universal or cultural? So this is a little bit of a tricky one, so let me go through an experiment that looked at this exact issue. What these researchers did is they examined athletes in the Olympics. So from every culture. And they looked at athletes to see if across cultures, they made the same body language expressions for winning and losing. So most athletes when they win a race, they put their hands above their head and they tilt their face towards the sky and they exclaim. That is the universal body language of pride and every culture does it. Now they added an interesting layer to the experiment. They also looked at congenitally blind athletes. Athletes who have been blind since birth. They've never seen anyone win a race, so if you were in Japan or if you were in Australia, or if you were in America, you've never seen anyone win a race. What do they do when they win a race? They also make the exact same body expressions when they win, they tilt their heads towards the sky and they raise their arms up. So this shows us that a lot of our body language is not only coded but also across cultures, and by the way, the body language of defeat, and I have these two pictures to show you, so the pride is arms up and defeat, we literally try to get into the fetal position. I don't know if anyone watched the Winter Olympics, but it was just devastating to see people lose their race and they typically would just crush down, they'd roll their shoulders in, they bend their knees and they usually have a pained expression on their face, that is the universal defeated expression we literally try to get our body into that fetal position. And by the way, we're gonna be learning the closer you are to the fetal position when you're standing, the weaker and more defeated you feel. So there is an interesting cycle there, and this was done by researchers at the University of British Columbia who did the study and found that a lot of nonverbal behavior that we thought was learned is in fact innate, that's how we're able to study it. Now in this course, most of the body language I talk about is going to be universal. I will note, I will tell you when there are special cultural exceptions for certain things, 'cause of course there are definitely cultural differences, especially with proxemics. That's the space that we have between people. Touching is another area that can be culturally specific, as well as emblems, how we use our hands like the thumbs up gesture, the a-okay gesture, those are different across cultures as well. So I will mention when they're different culturally, otherwise you can assume that we're talking about universal body language. All right back to our trivia. So number five, which sex is statistically better at reading body language? You don't have to get in a fight about this one either, okay? I know probably people don't even wanna yell their guesses out loud but do we have any brave souls who would like to guess? Women. Women. Women. Anyone for men? Equal. Okay. I'm women. Women. You're right, it's women. It's women. Women are slightly naturally better at reading body language, but let me explain some of the reason why that is the case. Oh I thought this fact was just fascinating. So Monika Moore researched courtship and she found that men often miss a woman's first three courtship gazing signals, so women think they're being super obvious when they're flirting. Men miss it on average of three times, so don't worry if you think that you're being overly obvious. And the reason for this is, the way that men and women read body language is different. So women, when they scanned women's brains in an MRI machine while they read body language, while they interpreted body language in photos, they found 14 to 16 different areas of the brain that got all highlighted. Men only had four to six areas that lit up. So this is just a different way that our brains work. A few people are laughing, it's not better or worse, it's just different, so men use different areas of their brain to read body language and that's why they don't necessarily get small, but all the dimensions, also a lot of scientists think that it has to do with nurturing, that women just have to when they're raising children, they have to be able to read their children for many years before they can speak. And so those areas just become activated, so, forget the reason why, don't worry, men, I promise we will raise your brain levels up and we will make sure that everyone is above average after today. All right number six. Which cartoon character demonstrates the correct body language? I couldn't help myself with this question. A, the lost boys sneezing at TInkerbell's fairy dust. B, Pocahontas singing when she is sad. C, Woody Wood Pecker pecking when he's anxious, or D, Pinocchio's nose growing when he lies. This is a hard one, I know. So which cartoon character you think actually has some truth in their character? Any guesses? Actually Pinocchio, your nose does slightly flail. We have a vote for Pinocchio. Anyone else? Anxious pecking. Anxious pecking, is that what you do when you're nervous, Sarah? Like rapid motion. Rapid fire. All right so the answer is Pinocchio's nose growing. So people are always like what are you talking about? So we're going to learn the 28 lying cues. Now, I have to be very, very clear. There is not one cue that definitely means someone is lying. But there are statistical cues to deceit. That means there are things that statistically speaking, when someone does and there's a high percentage that they're lying, we're gonna talk about how to make a fail safe with that, when we talk about the seven steps of lie detection. But a nose growing, we have erectile tissue in our nose, and it actually swells slightly. It's not perceptible to the naked eye, but we can feel it. Our nose itches. We're gonna look at Bill Clinton's testimony when we talk about this cue. Bill Clinton touched his nose, I think it's 200% more times when he was lying at the stand during Monica Lewinsky's trial, because our nose slightly itches when we lie, it swells, that tissue swells. Very interesting little fact about lie detection. All right, seven. A first impression happens in the first, less than a second, seven seconds, 30 seconds, five minutes. B, seven seconds. Seven seconds. Less than a second. Less than a second. Okay so this one is less than a second. Which is crazy, and by the way, before I got on here, yesterday I was talking with the host and I said, "How do I get on stage?" I was asking, what's the process? And they explained it to me and I say, you know, the reason why it's important is because I actually make my first impression walking onto stage. It happens before I even open my mouth, and we're gonna look at these studies that show exactly how this happens. And this is by the way our second law of body language. It is the law of the first. So our first impressions are permanent, accurate, immediate, and very much based on nonverbal. I have three studies that we're gonna look at that talk about the different dimensions of the first impression, how they happen so quickly, why they last so long, and how they are so incredibly accurate. All right, so, the first study was done by Princeton University and what they wanted to know was what can we judge for a person by their first impression, the first second or seven seconds of meeting them? And what they found was, you can judge someone's likability, trustworthiness, competence and aggressiveness, which is crazy, in one-tenth of a second. That's how fast our brain makes that decision. And in our next study, we're gonna talk about why and how long that happens. So David C. Funder saw this study and he was like, this is crazy. How could this be that we do this with our first impression? So what he looked at, he was like, okay let's take a step back. Not just trustworthiness, not just character, what about personality, what about how much we trust a person? He found you can find these three things, and that it's 76% accurate. So what he did was, he had people take personality tests, he had them take personality tests and then he had their friends take personality tests about them. So he had a really accurate view of this person's trust levels, aggressiveness, personality, and their character. Then he had people meet them. I think it was actually watching a video, for less than a second and he had them rate in all those same areas. He found that those correlated with the person's actual personality tests with 76% accuracy. So we are incredibly accurate. Not only does it happen fast but it happens and we are correct and we believe it and it stays. It's very, very hard to get your first impression to change. The last one I wanna talk about is the study by Frank Bernieri and what he did is he had, it's one of my favorite studies. I don't mean to geek out on you on it, but I just think it's so cool. So what he did is he had interviewers interview students for a mock job interview. He had them rated on likability, self-assurance and competence, so those three different areas, and they were trained evaluators, so these were professional interviewers. They had 20 minute interviews. Then he took the video of the interview, he video taped all the interviews, and he shortened the video down to 20 seconds, it was actually to 23 seconds depending. He only showed the video of the person walking in the room, shaking the person's hand and sitting down, and then he stopped the video. No questions were asked. Then he asked untrained evaluators, how would you rate this person's likability, self-assurance and competence? They didn't get to hear any questions. They just watched the video of them walking in the room and he wanted to know, does the interviewer actually make their assessments before the interviewee says anything? And it did fall out, so in 20 seconds, likability, self-assurance and competence matched the trained evaluators' evaluations after a 20 minute interview. So this has tons of implications, right, this means that when you go into a job interview, most likely your interviewer actually makes all of their assessments before you even start speaking. Right, your nonverbal, how you say hello, your handshake, which we're gonna be talking about later, that's how people make their assessment, that's why I asked the host about that walking onstage, 'cause I knew that everyone watching was going to make their assessments of me in that first three to seven seconds, which is really crazy. All right, I have an acronym to remember the pain of going through the first impression. But it is totally worth the pain working on your first impression, and we're gonna be talking about first impression almost all day today, about how to make that perfect. Pain, permanent, accurate, immediate and nonverbal. It is worth going through it, I promise.

How strong is your first impression? In this course, body language expert Vanessa Van Edwards explains how to use non-verbal communication to become the most memorable person in any room.

Vanessa will show you how to:

  • Read people by gauging their visual cues
  • Use body language to your advantage in meetings
  • How to tell if people are lying.
  • Voice modulation so you can impress clients in phone conversations
  • "Statement Analysis" to help you write powerful emails, website copy, and business cards 
This Power of Body Language course will positively affect every part of your professional life.  By the end of the course, you'll be able to identify exactly what impression your verbal and nonverbal language is giving, and how to increase it.



  • <p>I loved this course! I&#39;ve learned so much and Vanessa did a terrific job making it easy and fun. I loved learning that by paying more attention to body language, I&#39;m becoming a better listener (and picking up on stuff I never caught before). ;) I recommend the class highly to anyone and everyone as all can benefit from being more aware of others and yourself!! My hard earned education $$ well spent here. :) Cheers to Vanessa Van Edwards and Creative Live! </p>
  • <p>This was an absolutely fantastic course, it would be a huge understatement to say this course was worth the money. Vanessa provided tremendously accessible, highly actionable training useful for both social and professional environments. I couldn't recommend this course highly enough, and am heading now to purchase her next one! Thanks so much Vanessa and Creative Live, this is the course I've been hoping to find for years. </p>
  • <p>I just found myself applauding in my bedroom as this program was wrapped up, Vanessa is fabulous! This was money well spent, loved every moment of it! I remember feeling a bit overwhelmed with all the information, and soon felt blown away by how many micro expressions I could spot during the clips she showed. I was so impressed with how easy it was to pick this info up due to Vanessa&#39;s enthusiastic delivery. YAY vanessa!</p>