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The Power of Body Language

Lesson 19 of 27

Human Lie Detection Steps 1 - 3

Vanessa Van Edwards

The Power of Body Language

Vanessa Van Edwards

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Lesson Info

19. Human Lie Detection Steps 1 - 3

Lesson Info

Human Lie Detection Steps 1 - 3

Today we are doing lie detection, and I had to start with a little video. We're gonna do a lie detection challenge again. So in this video, we are gonna play two truths and one lie, so the person you're gonna see is gonna tell us two truths and one lie, and I want you to try to guess which one is the lie. And I'll let us watch it more than once if we want to get our guesses to make sure we're really good. Okay, are we ready? Let's watch. I have climbed Machu Picchu. I was in a Justin Timberlake music video. And Steve Largent saved me from drowning. Alright, so what's your gut say, those are some funny ones too. Remember, don't let yourself lens, we talked about yesterday that we create stories in our head to try to rationalize which could be the truth, so what does your gut tell you, which one you think it is, we can watch it one more time if you'd like. Number two. Two votes for number two. Number three, number three, number three. Two, okay sorry, let's watch it one more time and...

see how we can do. I have climbed Machu Picchu. I was in a Justin Timberlake music video. And Steve Largent saved me from drowning. Any changes? Anyone change? Three, we had a change to three. Sarah, you have two. Okay, are you ready to see the answer? Okay, so he's gonna do it and then he's gonna say which one was the lie. I have climbed Machu Picchu. I was in a Justin Timberlake music video. And Steve Largent saved me from drowning. I have never climbed Machu Picchu. No one guessed number one. That is why we're doing lie detection today. So if you notice, there was a couple major differences in that first answer. He was swaying, hugely, during Machu Picchu. The other ones he was totally solid. He had a couple weird little speech pauses, which we're gonna learn in lie detection is very important, so his non-verbal actually gave away what the lie was, so we're gonna learn exactly how to do that, I promise by the end of the day you will be able to spot those lies, okay? It's funny that no one guessed number one, he tricked you, oh man, he's good. Alright, so I thought I would do a section, talk nerdy to me, so these are my sections where I go over some of my favorite science facts about lying, you know I'm a total science geek. So, in the average 10 minute conversation, we are lied to two to three times. Okay these range from white lies to big whoppers, so we hear a lot of lies in a day. 91% of people lie at home and at work. Okay, so they've done many many surveys across all different cultures and races, and they find that no matter what, as humans, we have developed this skill to lie, both in our personal life and in our professional life. Now today we're going to be talking about professional lying, so what happens in the work environment, we're not gonna be talking about lies on dates, we're not gonna be talking about lies with spouses, that is a dangerous topic, we are not gonna talk about that one today. Of course, you can use lie detection for those areas, but don't tell your spouse that I taught you, okay? I don't wanna get in trouble for that. What's interesting is even though we are lied to all the time, we can only spot lies with about 54% accuracy. That's little better than a coin toss. So we are not that good at detecting lies. The interesting thing about lie detection, when they watch people in an MRI machine, they watch their brains as they are trying to detect lies, our brains typically know the lie. But we convince ourselves out of it. We rationalize to go, oh, no, no, no, we can trust that person, or, I'm sure they have an explanation for that. So I'm gonna teach you how to rely on the right parts of your brain so you can hone that intuition correctly, so you know exactly what you're seeing. The good news is that with the lie detection techniques I'm gonna teach you, I'm gonna show you how we're gonna learn those, you can increase your accuracy up to 90%. So you can go from 54 to 90, now that takes a lot of practice, and you have to be real serious about the science, but I'm gonna show you exactly how you can do that if you choose to. The first aspect of lie detection, if you break it down into different areas, is facial expressions. Now, luckily, you guys are already on the way to learning that, we learned the seven universal facial expressions on the first day. That's a huge part of lie detection, because those are involuntary, brief facial expressions when we feel a specific emotion. So when someone's lying, and they feel a specific emotion, that briefly flashes on their face. That's a great way that we can see if the emotion that shows on their face is congruent with the words they're saying. Right, so if they say, I'm angry, they should also show an angry micro expression. Of if they say I'm angry but they then show fear, that would be a little bit of an incongruent sign, so that's a huge way that we are able to advance our accuracy in lie detection. The second area is non-verbal and body cues. So I say non-verbal is a little bit different than body because remember how we talked about non-verbal communication is both your face and your body, and also your voice tone. So how you use your words, how you say them, your volume, your tone, your cadence, that's an aspect of lie detection we're gonna be talking about today. Especially if you do a lot of phone calls. You can do lie detection on the phone. Because we're gonna use the non-verbal cues of voice. It's harder, 'cause you're missing the whole body and the face, but you can definitely do it. That's that non-verbal piece with vocal tone. Oh and one more thing I wanted to mention about the body with lie detection. So all the laws of body language that we've been learning, they are accurate for us here because we're able to gauge someone's internal state by what their body does. Are they contracting, are they expanding, do they go in, are they using a lot of self soothing or pacifying gestures, which we learned yesterday? Those all help us cue in to what the internal state is so we can match it up with the words. So statement analysis is made up, sorry about that, statement analysis is made up of two different parts. Statement analysis is how we use our words to convey our meaning. So I'm certified in statement analysis, it's a very specific thing, it's kind of like, people do handwriting analysis. This is the flip side of how we use our words, not how we write them. So it's broken up into verbal and audio. So the grammar of our words, what tenses we use, the audio or vocal emphasis we put on our words. That's the aspect of statement analysis that makes up lie detection. I know that's like, you're like, what? Don't worry, I will give you examples of how that works in action. Okay. So this is my warning slide. Lie detection is very serious business. When I teach it, I take it very seriously, and it is complex. I know people don't usually say, leave the course if you're uncomfortable, but what we're about to learn is completely different from what we've done the last two days. It is a level up. It is hard, it is complicated, and it is very serious, because if you get it wrong, you get false positives. And that means you're accusing honest people of lying. And that's a problem. So, if anyone wants to leave, you are welcome to, you can come back later in the day, is everyone, verbal affirmation, we're good? Okay. The second warning I wanna give you is that once you learn lie detection, it is very hard to turn it off. So. I say this to people because you might begin to see things in people that you do not like. People who have been in your life that you think have been honest with you, you might start seeing lies, and it can be a little bit of an emotional journey. So that is the other warning that I wanna give you, that once you learn it you cannot unlearn it. Okay? Are we still okay? We're still here, okay. That is my warning for you, with that ominous warning we are going to get started. Okay. The first thing I wanna do is I want you to now guess. McKenzie is a wonderful Creative Live staffer, and we are going to examine and pick her apart all day today with her videos. I love you McKenzie, thank you for being so generous and lying to me on camera. So she's gonna tell us two stories right now. One is a fake embarrassing moment, and one is a real embarrassing moment. I want you to watch the two stories and tell me which you think is the real one, and which you think is the fake one, and why. I want us to get in the habit of starting to watch the non-verbal behind the words, okay? We're gonna watch the stories, and let me know what you think. There was this one time when I was on a first date with someone, and we went out and we were having Thai food and I don't know why, you always pick the worst food for first dates, and I totally was sitting there and eating and eating, and like talking, and then we had been sitting there for like, I don't know, it was probably like an hour or two after the meal was done, and when I went into the restroom before we left, I had just like sauce all on my chin, and he didn't say anything and it was just really embarrassing because I knew it was sitting there for awhile because I hadn't been eating for about an hour. And that was super, definitely a good first impression. It was like back at the beginning of Creative Live, and we had this like mesh of students and instructors coming in, and I just didn't know who was what, and so I was talking to someone who was like a well known instructor for a while, and I was thinking they were a student, so I was just like asking dumb questions, it'd be like, oh, so what are you here for? And then they're like, well, I'm teaching the class. I'm like, oh (laughs) okay, knew that, I'm definitely on my A game. Alright, so what are your first instincts, and do not let your brain rationalize here, okay? So just based on what you see, what was your instinct about what was the fake story? The second one. Second, so we, oh good. I think the first one's fake. Me too. Okay, so I like that, right, we have a couple people saying second, a couple people say first. It is not easy, right? I had like six Creative Live staffers lie to me, and then I chose which one I thought was the hardest, so this is not an easy thing, so I'm gonna let us just watch it once, 'cause we're gonna come back to her story and then we're gonna pick it apart, slow it down. The next time that you watch it, it's gonna become easier and easier to tell, it's gonna become more and more obvious which story is actually the lie. Okay, so there are seven steps of lie detection. And I love this quote from Freud, no mortal can keep a secret. If his lips are silent, he chatters with his fingertips, betrayal oozes out of him at every pore. Right, so that when we lie, sometimes it leaks through our body, our body gives us away. Now let's just very briefly think about what happens to the brain when we're lying. Okay. It's huge amount of cognitive load on our brain to lie. The brain has to do a couple of things, it has to keep the truth straight, so it has to keep the real story straight. Then it has to come up with a plausible fake story. Congruent with what actually happened, that has no guilt. Then they have to say it in a convincing way. Then they have to see if you believe them. So as they're telling the story, they have to try to gauge, are they picking up on my cues, and then they have to be even more convincing. Okay, that's a huge amount of things for the brain to do. So what happens is they forget about the body. All liars do is they typically think about the words they're saying, they're thinking about what the story is. And so they forget about their facial expressions, their hands, their feet. Even if they're trying to control their hands and their feet, it's hard for the brain to be able to add another layer to the lie of being non-verbally convincing. So with the seven steps of lie detection what we're doing is we're trying to suss out what's the non-verbal cues there that the brain is forgetting about. That the brain isn't able to control. That's what we're doing. Okay. Step number one, so each and every step of lie detection is extremely important, so what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna explain the step, we're gonna talk about it, before I move on to the next step, I'm gonna take questions from you guys, I'm gonna take questions from the chat room, to make sure we're all good before I move on. Step one is preparing a baseline. A baseline is how someone acts when they are under normal, non-threatening conditions. It's how someone looks when they are telling the truth. Okay. So this is what our body does, what our voice sounds like, what our face looks like, when we're telling the truth. When we're under normal circumstances. It's very much like a humanized polygraph machine. So if you think about a polygraph machine, most people have seen polygraphs on Law and Order, and court TV shows, what a polygraph does is the polygraph technician hooks your arms up, measures your heart rate, measures your sweat rate, and what it's doing is it's trying to find a difference in your physiology. So you get into it, has anyone ever been with a lie detector, not that you would tell me. Okay, if you've been in a polygraph, you've been under a polygraph, what they do is they first ask you a bunch of easy questions. What's your name, where do you live, where'd you grow up, what are your parent's names? Now they do this under the guise of, I'm just trying to get background information. Right, just filling out the form. Actually what they're doing is they're getting a baseline from you, they're getting a physiological baseline, and they're watching your lines. They're watching your heart rate, they're watching your breathing rate, they're seeing how much you're sweating, and that's your normal baseline. So that they see during these questions, here's how her heart rate is, here's how her sweating is. Then they start to get into the tough questions. Right, so they start to ask you, so where were you? The night of September 21st? And they look for differences in the baseline. They look for spikes, oh, all the sudden her heart rate shot up. So what we're doing is we're trying to get a non-verbal baseline. We wanna see what someone looks like, what they sound like, what their face is like, when they're under normal, un-threatening circumstances. So that is what a baseline is. The reason why base lining is the most important step of lie detection, it is the most important one, is because it helps us not mistake nerves for lies. One of the biggest problems with polygraph machines is that if you're asking someone about the night that their wife was murdered, they're gonna be nervous about it. Even if they had nothing to do with it, it's a very stressful topic. And so when the heart rate shoots up, it's very hard in a polygraph machine to tell the difference. Human lie detection, we're able to suss out, try to suss out, the difference between nervous cues and lying cues, that's the biggest difference between human lie detection and the use of the polygraph. So the question is, how do you baseline someone? Right, so you're meeting with them, usually in a professional environment, it could be a colleague, it could be someone you're hiring, it could be a boss. It could be a client. How do you baseline them without feeling like you're interviewing them or you're on a detective series? Luckily, society is built around base lining. Chit chat. That is perfect for base lining. So you start with those easy questions. These are some of my favorite base lining questions that I've included here for you. These are the easy ones. Things that no one would lie about, the base lining questions you wanna use, and you should have a couple always in your back pocket. Your favorites that you remember. Because these are the things that people would not lie about. How's the weather outside? You know I was thinking about wearing a sweater later, is it cold? Right, genuinely asking someone's opinion on the weather, there's no reason they would lie about the weather to you. What was your weekend like? That's a pretty neutral question, right? You can say, oh, I saw some stuff on Facebook, what was that like? You can ask about that. What's for lunch? What are you having for lunch, that's a real easy one. Did you see the game last night, or the show last night, or that TV show? Those kind of opinion questions are also great because they're just telling you their thoughts about something that's not a tense topic. With clients, you can also talk about the basics of their project or event. So if you're a photographer, so tell me how long have you known your husband, where is the wedding gonna be? If you're working with a client, so how long have you had your website? Who did your first amount of development? Those kinds of questions are great base lining questions, and luckily, it's natural. It's very very easy to do this. The problem is, what most people do, is they baseline, and they're not even looking at their client. They're taking notes like this, and they miss all of the non-verbal that's happening in front of them. So all I'm saying for you to do is to just listen with your eyes and your ears. So if you have to record those first few with a little recorder to get the questions, that's fine or if you bring in someone else so they can take notes while you watch. That's how you can do it. That's a really easy way to baseline. Okay. Step two. So part of getting a baseline, and we have to split it up into two different areas. So once you get into the questions, you're seated, or you're standing talking to them at a networking event, you're asking them those non-threatening questions. Step two is to get a physical baseline. So what they physically look like. So I've developed something called the baseline coding system. Now this is in your paid handouts. And this is a way for you to take notes as you are doing lie detection. It's gonna help you understand what you're seeing, so if you wanna take out that handout please, baseline coding system. Again that's in your paid handouts. And this is an easy way that I've developed for people to implement lie detection into their life so they can practice with it. Here is what you are looking for. Physically, we're looking at the face. Now very briefly, I've talked about facial punctuators. We talked bout the seven universal micro expressions. Contempt, anger, fear, surprise, sadness, happiness, disgust. Essential, those are the basic seven emotions. And they appear across cultures, across races, across sexes, all ages, we show those faces. And they happen involuntarily. There's also something called a facial punctuator. This is what someone does to emphasize their words. Everyone has a slightly different one. I mentioned that mine is surprise. So you'll notice when I wanna emphasize a point, I raise my eyebrows up at you. Have you guys noticed that I do that? Yeah. So that is my facial punctuator. I do that all the time. I don't only do that when I'm surprised, I do that when I'm surprised, but also, it's just how I emphasize my words. I know some people who constantly emphasize with the smirk. That's just how they emphasize their words. That's how they talk. So for them, that is an emphasis, they actually do it while they talk, and that's how you know the difference, is if people hold the expression while they're speaking to you, that is a facial punctuator. Right, as I lift my eyebrows up. I also have people who do the anger expression, they have those furrows, so they're explaining something to you and they're explaining it very seriously. They're talking to you like this. They hold it. That would be a facial punctuator. They're holding that down. So what you're looking for is seeing how they normally hold their face. How they naturally hold their face, so that you know, oh, okay, that's how they explain something. Okay, so you're looking for the face, facial expressions. The head. So interesting head movements. So are they a tilter? Do they often tilt their head? Do they use a lot of nodding? Do they move their head to the side. I don't know if you noticed that McKenzie would sometimes do this with her head when she was talking. That was just how she emphasized. And by the way, there is no right or wrong here. There is no perfect body language. This is just how people hold their body, we're all different, that's what makes us exciting. So it's what they do with their head, you have some people who are incredibly still. They have almost no movement in their head. So that would be how they look under normal, un-threatening circumstances. Oh and you can also look for nodding, as well, how they nod. Either no or yes. And chin jutting, we talked about sometimes people will do this, and it's not out of anger, they just, that's how they emphasize their words. Yeah, tell me about that. Like that's just what they do naturally. You can see it does not look natural on me, right? Because I don't normally do that. Your brain has already baselined me. You've been watching me for two days, you know what I do. So you would have a little red flag if I did something like that, you'd be like, that's weird, she doesn't do that normally. So luckily our brains already do this, I'm just training you to know what to see, okay? So tucks and also forehead, people aim their forehead down, sometimes people do that with their head. Posture. Do they roll their shoulders in? Are they back? Do they always have their arms crossed, no matter what you do, no matter what anti-blocking solutions you do, you cannot get their arms uncrossed. That is their baseline. By the way, I love Jean Marie earlier in the pre-show, how you got them out of that blocking behavior, that was really good, really smooth. So they hold their body in blocking. They roll their torso in. Are they asymmetrical? Do they put all their weight on one leg? Do they rock back and forth? I do that very naturally. Some people are very parallel, they stay very stiff on two feet. So you're just looking at how they hold themselves naturally, without judgment, just noticing. Arms. Are they very expressive, do they go outside their box, do they stay in their box, do they hold their hands, do they wring their hands? Are they clenchers? Do they white knuckle, so they grip their hands very very tightly? Do they touch their face? How much do they self touch? Just getting a general picture, it's sort of like taking a mental video snapshot. A mental Vine, that's kinda fun. Right, like a mental video, briefly, of what they look like, what kind of movements they use. And then the last one is movement and space. So do they come close to you as they talk, are they close talkers, are they backing up, or are they a rocker? Do they rock back? Sometimes people will pick their toes up as they emphasize, what do they do with their movement? Now this is a lot to take in at once. So what I recommend is just watch. The reason I created this system was so you could just watch, and then take notes slowly. You'll start to notice more and more naturally. Again, we already do this naturally, so you'll be surprised how easy it is. Your brain already picks up on all of these things. Okay, before I move on to step three, how does that sound, on a physical baseline? Does that make sense? Are we good, any questions on that so far? Okay. Any questions in the chat room or are we okay? We have some really great questions, I don't know if this is the right time to throw them in. Hit me with 'em, yeah. Okay, I really like this one, we both did. Susan asks a question about her nine year old boy who's recently been lying like crazy. And she says he's very good at it. So do you have any advice for telling lies with a young child as opposed to an adult? Okay, so what's that reader's name? Susan. Susan, Susan, you are in luck my friend, you are in luck, because it is easier to lie detect on children. So they are much more obvious. They have not learned how to hide their cues, they have not learned how to hide their tells. We subconsciously know what our tells are, but kids are much more obvious, and so everything we're talking about here is gonna be much easier for you. What's funny about kids, I'm actually glad that you brought this up because, people often ask me, are we born liars? Do we lie from birth? They have found the first signs of lying happen right from birth about a few weeks old. And the first thing that babies typically do, the first lie they tell, is they fake cry. Right, that is the first lie that they learn to tell. And this makes sense, like they just want mommy's attention. So fake crying is the first lying sign that we learn. We also know how to fake laugh. They've found babies to humor their dads, their goofy dads, will fake laugh. They will fake laugh just to humor them. There are all different kinds of interesting lying things, there's a great, great, I think I have it on my website, if not, I will post it, it's called the marshmallow experiment. And what they did is they brought kids into the lab, and they gave them a marshmallow. And they said, okay, now you can eat this marshmallow now. But if you wait five minutes, we'll bring you another marshmallow and you'll get two marshmallows. And you watch these kids, they have a video on the kid with the marshmallow, and these kids, they like stare at the marshmallow, they lick the marshmallow, they smell it, one kid rolled it along his face and he like petted it. Some kids just eat it. They put it right in their mouth. And it's that lovely age between four and six where they're trying to figure out how they wanna interact with their environment, right? I still see this kind of behavior with adults when they really want something, you know, if you're watching people at a coffee shop, and they're like, oh, should I get the muffin, oh, the muffin looks so, I don't know, should I get that muffin, right they have like, it's the exact same behavior that those kids had with the marshmallow experiment. So at nine years old, you're getting into that tween phase, and so tweens and teens, they begin to lie more for sport. To try it, to test their boundaries, to see if they can do it. So it's very very normal that he's trying that out, so do not worry, there's a whole bunch of studies on what teens lie about most with their parents, I do a lot of work with teens and parents. Teens typically lie about relationships the most, who they're spending time with, how they're spending time with them, and time, so it's a very interesting question, I'm glad you asked that. Any other interesting ones that we wanna ask? Yes, one, green machine wanted to know if there is a difference between, or what the difference is between a baseline and a physical baseline. Okay, so step one is getting a baseline, getting into the process of base lining. So a physical baseline is just how they physically look. I'm glad you asked this question. It's how the body is being held. What we're gonna learn in step three is the audio version, so what I wanted you to do is mentally step one is to get in the base lining space. Get ready to observe. And get them under normal, non-threatening circumstances, and then getting a physical baseline is seeing what the body looks like, and then getting an audio baseline is seeing how they sound under non-threatening circumstances. Yeah, Sarah. How do you, as someone who's called in specifically for lie detection, make it so that the situation is non-threatening? Got it. Okay, so typically I'm called in and I will make them do video depositions for me. So if I'm called into like law firms, I'll have them do a video deposition and they don't even know that I'm watching, so I code the video, I can slow it down, I can rewind it. If I'm doing it in person they usually don't know what I do, typically. Typically I go in and I'm just an HR person. I actually like to train HR people to do it themselves. I'm a big fan of don't give a man a fish, teach a man to fish. So usually I'm actually brought in, I will train the entire HR team so that they can all do it themselves whenever they need. Yeah, so usually they have no idea that I'm interrogating them. I don't look like an interrogator, so they don't think that I am interrogating them, so they stay calm. Yeah? In what situations would an HR professional use lie detection on their employees? Okay, so that's a really great question. So HR professionals use lie detection in a couple different ways. One is on employees and one is on potential employees. So in interview situations. On employees they're doing it mostly to make sure that confrontation doesn't' happen. So they actually use it in a proactive way. Lie detection is not about being negative, I'm gonna spot those lies, you can actually use it very proactively to say, okay, there's a hot spot area here, I wanna make sure that I get all the information I need so I can make you happy in your work environment, I can make sure there's no confrontation later that's going on. So mostly HR are dealing with it in that sense. Teamwork, figuring out who would be good to pair together, which clients would work well together with people, they're doing it in that way to suss out if there's any sticky areas. To avoid confrontation, it's a big one. This is great for avoiding confrontation because if you know, all the sudden you see kind of an emotional area, all of a sudden, you're seeing a couple lying red flags, you can then go, okay, we're gonna just take a step back, I'm not gonna keep pushing, let's slow down a little bit. That actually prevents misunderstandings from happening later 'cause you're able to slow down the interaction. So you can use it very very proactively, that's a really good question. I think we should keep going. Thanks Vanessa. Alright, so step three. So you've gotten in the baseline mentality, step one. You're thinking about some non-threatening questions, you've gotten a physical baseline. You've looked at how they look when they're telling the truth. Now you wanna hear how they sound when they're telling the truth. Now remember, depending on your learning style, one of these is gonna be easier than the other. So for me, I am very visual. Surprise, surprise, for me physical base lining is easier. I have other people who are audio learners, and for them, they listen. They listen to the words, what they hear, that's much easier for them. So one of these is gonna be slightly easier, totally normal, that's totally okay. So here's the audio aspect of the baseline coding system, so here's the four areas that you're listening for. One is tonal. So this is high, or low. Typically, men will go down when they lie. They go down to their voice tone, typically. And women go up in their voice tone. Now I just want you to listen here what they normally do. Okay, so you're listening to the person, and you will hear this, by the way, people on the phone especially, all the sudden they sound like they're using a different voice. It's because their vocal chords have tensed. Or they get dry mouth, when they're really really nervous. So listening for tonal differences. Verbal differences. So this is the actual words they use, we don't talk about words that much in this particular course, but you do wanna do that for statement analysis. For example, in one of the aspects of statement analysis they say, sometimes, let's see if I can explain this really easily. So what they have is they interview criminals about what they've done. And a criminal will be describing the gun. The gun, he used the gun, he dropped the gun, he dropped the gun. And then they'll go into a different part of the story and all the sudden the gun becomes the pistol. Like the word actually changes. So you listen to the words that they're using. If you're an audio learner this is very easy. You can hear the kind of verbs and nouns that they're using to look for differences. Vocal. So volume, the pace of their words, if they use different cadence, all the sudden they start speaking really really slowly with awkward pauses. And weird tonality. That's usually, their brain is trying to catch up with them. They're trying to formulate their story in their head and so it slows down, or sometimes even speeds up their speech. If someone has a memorized story, they just wanna barrel through it. They just wanna get through it as quickly as possible so they'll speed up their story. So you wanna see what do they do normally, how do they sound in a vocal area when they're telling the truth? And the last one is speech tics. Clearing your throat. (clears throat) Likes, ums, you knows, sos. Haha, haha. Nervous giggles. Those are all different kind of speech tics or auditory tics that you wanna listen to. And little coughs, those are all things that you wanna see what they do when they're telling the truth. Any questions on base lining so far that you have? There actually was a baseline question that came from CDMB, he said, are these baselines a way to gauge someone's past? For example, the closed off body language, does that signify that maybe they have past hurts, or maybe they have mistrust or something of that nature? Yeah, so all those cues that we learned yesterday about having low confidence, if they're talking about a past thing, especially if you're in therapy, you're working in therapy, and a client all of a sudden goes into closed body language, that absolutely can indicate an emotional state. How they feel when they talk about those things, absolutely, so all those cues, as I said, the last two days have sort of been a foundation for what we're doing today. That gives you a cue to the emotional aspect that's going on, so yes, low and high confidence, power gazing versus social gazing, that can give you a little cue how they feel about that. Yeah. Now, a lot of people are saying, 'cause we talked about the polygraph, et cetera, and they're saying, as far as they understand it, the polygraph actually is meaningless, 'cause it's not admissible in law. So why do people like the FBI actually use it and rely on it? Yes, great, so the reason-- Sorry, that came from Cassandra. Apologies. Yes, thank you, yeah. So exactly, the polygraph is not reliable because it only tells us when someone is really really nervous. It doesn't necessarily tell us when it's lying, so I'm actually really happy it's not allowed in court. The next version of the polygraph is gonna be vocal analysis, they're gonna be using vocal tone, which we really cannot control, it's extremely hard to relax our vocal chords on command. I think that will be much more accurate, we might have a chance of being able to use it in court. The reason why the FBI I think they use polygraph is because they typically use a polygraph along with human lie detection. So while they're doing a polygraph they're pairing it, having a polygraph when you're doing human lie detection is like just more information. It's great, you get to see their internal state as well as their external state. That's why a lot of them use it, because they're doing two things at once, they video a lot of those polygraph interviews. So they can get the physical, the non-verbal as well. We have a question here, in regards to the facial punctuators, from overactive brows. My overactive brows are my facial punctuators. Is that a sign of weakness, but also how many facial punctuators do people typically have? No, it is not a sign of weakness at all. In fact, it's great to have an expressive face. Now, in the dating course that I do I talk about expressiveness is very attractive in the face area. Expressive faces are more engaging, they're more memorable, people can pay attention to you. So overactive brows, love it. Don't change yourself. That is actually great, it's really good to be expressive. And there was a second really good half of that question. Is there a typical number of facial punctuators that people have? Oh, typically people only use one maybe two, frequently. It's sort of like their resting face. It's how their face goes when they're trying to, there's a resting face where they go in their neutral, but also what they do when they're explaining something, they either go into that furrow brow, one maybe two. Yeah, Sarah. If you have a resting face that is contemptuous or is angry, is that something that you should work to transition out of? Or is it something that you're-- So I suffer from resting bitch face, which means that I look like a bitch when I'm at rest. That's what I'm asking about. (laughter) It's a really horrible affliction. And I'm working on it. I highly recommend that you go on YouTube and you search resting bitch face, there's a PSA for those of us who are suffering together. We have a support group, and someone actually came up to me once at a party and they were like, oh my God, you know what, you are not as bitchy as you look. And I was like, thank you. Thank you so much. That's so nice of you. So, this is a huge problem, and I know it. What I do, so, this is so weird, but let's try it, okay. So I'm probably gonna need a closeup on this. So when I'm at rest, the reason why I have resting bitch face is because my lips rest down. They tend to rest slightly pointed down, do you see that? Right? Most people, they rest either neutral or up. So it makes me look sad and angry. So what I do, so this is my resting face. Is I will slightly engage my lips so they are turned up. Right, so that makes my face a lot more approachable. From this. (laughter) Right, right? You see it. So that is why most people have that resting face, is their lips are turned down, it can also be the shape of their eyes or their eyebrows. So a slight engagement, if you play in the mirror, look around, see what you can do. Try slightly engaging the corners of your lips to be up, it's not a smile, it's just aiming them up. Sometimes it means that people have to go slightly wider with their eyes. If they have droopy eyes it makes them look tired constantly, they have to work on slightly engaging their lies, especially, their lies. Engaging their eyes, especially when they're at networking events. So that is a very good question and it definitely affects me, and those of us suffering from resting bitch face. And it also affects males as well. I don't even know if I'm allowed to say that word, but I did, Brian, I'm sorry. I hope that's okay. I don't have very expressive eyebrows, and I worked with a lady who always knew when I was not necessarily calling her out in a lie, but I was doubting her, and I was feeling, yeah, I'm not buying this, because apparently one of my eyebrows went up all the time. And she could spot, she said, you're not believing this, are you? And I would say, how do you know? 'Cause your eyebrow just went up. So that is your doubt tell. Must be, absolutely. Absolutely. That's another reason why filming yourself as much as possible so you can see your tells, we don't realize a lot of the time what our face is doing. Okay. So I want us to practice this before we get much further, I want us to just get in the habit of how you baseline someone. So what I've done is I've taken a video of McKenzie answering some very simple base lining questions, and what we're gonna do is we're going to pay attention to what she does in her baseline. Okay, and we're gonna start taking notes on her body, on her face, on her audio. We're not at emotional baseline yet, we're on the first three columns, and we're gonna watch it over and over. The first time we're just gonna look at body. Just to get you in the habit of the body. Okay, so I want you to look at physically what she looks like during these little questions. McKenzie Olds. How old are you? I'm 20. Where are you from? Enumclaw, Washington. Tell me about one of your personal passions. Personal passions? I'm in love with singing. Makes me feel good. (laughs) Okay, so. What do we think? What did we see so far in the body? I saw a lean. Leans, absolutely. She's a leaner. She does like a head turn, sort of like a quick. Right, right, she kinda flips her head a little bit. Yes. So I'm gonna call it the head flip, okay? She also did seem to be shifting her weight from left to right. Yes, that lean and shifting, I saw that shifting back and forth, absolutely. She keeps her hands straight and down, like she doesn't really express with her hands. Great, so lack of hands. We have less expressiveness with hands. So I'm gonna put arrow down for hands, okay? Hopefully you're doing the same thing at home, take out your baseline coding sheet and do the same thing at home, right? 'Cause you're gonna catch things that we don't necessarily catch, that's great, I wanna get you in the habit of writing it down. Anything else? Those were actually, let me see my notes. Yeah, those were pretty good, I didn't see anything else that was major. Are we okay on that, okay? So let's watch it again. And now we're gonna watch for the face, okay, different facial expressions, what's her facial punctuator, let's see if we can see it? What's your name? McKenzie Olds. How old are you? I'm 20. Where are you from? Enumclaw, Washington. Tell me about one of your personal passions. Personal passions? I'm in love with singing. Makes me feel good. (laughs) Okay. What do we see, yeah? (student talks indistinctly) Thank you very much, I forgot to mention, in the face section, I want you to also look at eye direction. Thank you for mentioning that. In the face and head, that's what you also are looking for is what the eye behavior is. Very good, so we had eyes looking up. Let's say upper eye gaze. What else? I also felt her smile was very warm, but I could tell it was slightly forced. Okay, so she's a nervous smiler. Yeah, yeah. We had a couple of genuine, you saw the difference. When she was talking about singing it reached her eyes, before that it was a, right? Went up, and then it went down again. That was that, so she's a nervous smiler. So we had a nervous smile as well as a real smile, we had both. What else? I noticed her do something that's related to the smile, but it was, when she wasn't smiling, almost she'd stop herself from smiling by pursing her lips together. Great. Did anyone else see that lip behavior? So she was usually open mouthed. She waited for her questions like this. Uh huh. But a couple of times, she brought them down quite tightly together. They weren't neutral, they were into that lip purse. Very good, okay. Anything else that we saw? Should you also observe lack of movement in certain areas? Yeah, absolutely. So she didn't move her forehead or eyebrows at all, it was very still. Okay, so very little movement in the upper area, I like that, so I'm gonna put it down for upper face. The other thing that I noted in my notes was not only did she do upper gaze, she did left upper gaze, she went to her left. When she looked up, she typically went upper left. We're gonna talk about why that's important in a little bit. So I'm gonna put upper gaze, and then in parentheses, L. I told you I have terrible handwriting, I'm so sorry. Okay. Those were all the cues I got, anything else that someone saw? Okay, so now we're gonna move on to the audio. My audio learners are like, thank God. Okay. So now we're gonna listen, and hear what we hear, hear what she does. What are her voice tics? What kind of volume does she use? Does she have any little speech things? Okay that's what we're gonna go for next. What's your name? McKenzie Olds. How old are you? I'm 20. Where are you from? Enumclaw, Washington. Tell me about one of your personal passions. Personal passions? I'm in love with singing. Makes me feel good. (laughs) Alright, what did we hear? She goes down at the end. Down, so we had an authoritative voice tone except for one time, when did the one time it not happen? The singing. Yeah, when she repeated a question about singing, right? Authoritative. Remember we learned yesterday authoritative is when we go down, down at the end. Neutral is neutral. And question is neutral? (voice goes up) Okay. Those are the different things, so she was a downer, she went down, authoritative at the end of her sentences, what else did we hear? I think when she was saying her name, her voice went up. Okay, so she used the question inflection twice. I didn't hear that but I believe you, which is very common. A lot of women use the question inflection in their voice which we're trying to train everyone out of. So she used a question inflection a little bit. So I'll put that in parentheses. When she repeated the question, which is a kinda obvious time to use a question inflection, and a little bit on her name. There was a nervous giggle at the end. Thank you! Yes, that was her tic, a little bit of a nervous giggle. What else? Anything else that we heard, let me check my notes. Make sure we got everything. Oh I have one more thing, did anyone catch it? Yeah? There was a little bit of heavy breathing at the beginning. Okay, so, I got also like a little bit of pauses, little bit of at the beginning, I also got the same thing, I called it pause. But yes, the (deep breath) that kind of thing. So she (deep breath), now she was also on camera. So her baseline is a little bit higher than normal, she's a little bit more nervous, but that's okay for us to keep in mind. But I got the same thing. So we had slight pause at the beginning only, otherwise she was quite fluid. Okay. Great. Those are all the things I got, anything else that we missed? Alright, perfect. Okay, so why, before I move onto the next step, why is this important? These are important because this is how she is normally. This is how she acts under normal, un-threatening circumstances. It's how she looks, it's how her face acts and how she sounds. That is her baseline.

Class Description

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.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Baseline Coding System Chart

Lying Red Flags

Positive Trait List

The Nonverbal Elevator Pitch

Laws of Body Language Answer Key

The Nonverbal Sales Pitch

Trivia Answer Key

Citation List

Elevator PItch Clinic

Laws of Body Language Worksheet

Self Diagnosis Chart


Body Language - Trivia

The Microexpression Chart

30 Day Action Plan.pdf

Action Steps and Homework


Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

Related Classes


R. P. Getz

I loved this course! I'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'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!


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.

susan kinnel

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's enthusiastic delivery. YAY vanessa!