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The Power of Body Language

Lesson 20 of 27

Human Lie Detection Steps 4 - 5

Vanessa Van Edwards

The Power of Body Language

Vanessa Van Edwards

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Lesson Info

20. Human Lie Detection Steps 4 - 5

Lesson Info

Human Lie Detection Steps 4 - 5

Step four is the hardest step, in my opinion. Step four is to get an emotional baseline. Okay, this is how we distinguish between nerves and lying. So I say emotional, I don't save nervous, because it depends on what you're talking to them about. But you want to see them sort of elevated. Like you ask them a question that either makes them a little bit nervous, or is a tough topic, or is hovering around something more emotional, to see what they look like when they're a little bit more nervous. That's gonna help us spot out their nervous ticks as opposed to their lying ticks, okay? So here are a couple of examples for how you can get that nervous or emotional baseline. So getting a baseline what they're passionate about. So what are you most excited about for your event? If you're a wedding photographer, or you're doing event planning, what are you most nervous about for your event, right? You can see how their body acts when they're talking about a topic that makes them nervous. Talki...

ng about kids actually sometimes, if you have someone who talks about kids. Or spouses, or stressful events in the past. You can bring those up just to gage how they feel. You're gonna start to see how they act when they're nervous, okay? A couple other things you can do, some other ideas for you. So you could ask a high impact question, something very broad, like, what are you most nervous about? So this could be in a job interview or in a client interview. A general just, tell me your nerves. Tell me some of your greatest fears. How can I help? First of all, that's great information, right? Hopefully, you never get to step five and six, right? Hopefully, it stops right here. You stay in the baseline, they always tell you the truth, and you have a really deep great conversation. So a general, just how are you doing question to find out information. You also get to see how they act when they're in this nervousness. What are your biggest challenges? Another high impact question that typically gets people a little bit (coughs) Right? You're putting them a little bit more on the spot. So you have to see how their body acts when they're put on the spot. Now we already did this for ourselves. Remember that self diagnosis chart we did on the first day? When I asked you your most embarrassing moment, that was your nervous baseline. You've already done that for yourself. Those are the things that your body does when you're in low confidence, when you're feeling nervous. That was one of the reasons why we did that, is 'cause you've already done that on yourself. A high anxiety current news event is another way, a very casual way that you can get someone talking about a more tense topic. God, did you see that terrible news? What happened today? Did you see it? That can get them into a more emotional state so you can see, are there any differences in their emotional baseline? Okay, now we are going to practice. Any questions on? How are we in the audience? How are we on the chat rooms? Are we good? There is a question right here in the chat. PT Online wants to know, what happens if she's lying during the baseline? Does that ever happen? You really want to stick to questions that they would have no reason to lie about. And that's why you wanna ask a couple, right? 'Cause it does occasionally happen, where someone would lie about the news event. I don't know why they would, but sometimes people are crazy, they do. So I always ask a couple. Also, it's not like you're pelting them with questions. It's a discussion back and forth. You're saying, did you hear about that horrible news event? Yeah, I can't believe it. I saw yesterday they did this. Right, it's a back and forth. So hopefully, you're assessing out. It's a longer discussion as opposed to yes or no answers, which tend to be more lies. But yeah, that does happen, but hopefully, you're sticking to questions that are honest. Are there questions in the audience? Okay, so now we're gonna go into McKenzie's emotional baseline, okay? So we asked her, what is her most embarrassing moment? And you are now gonna see her real embarrassing moment, okay? I also asked her, I asked her two different emotional baseline questions, 'cause I always like to ask at least two or three, right? So you make sure if there's a lie there. I also asked her what she had for breakfast. I don't know why, but this always tends to make women a little bit nervous. I don't know why. They always get like, like it's very personal. What'd you have for breakfast? (laughing) Sometimes they get, so we ask her that, and then we ask her about her real embarrassing story. So you'll see what the real answer was, okay? What we're gonna look for are any differences. Okay, so let's review actually, very quickly, her body, face, and audio, 'cause we're just looking for differences for her nervous. So, someone wanna walk me through the body, how her body looked? Not to put you on the spot. DaShet, I'm gonna make you do it. Okay. (laughing) She leans. Yep. And shifts. Yep. She does the head flip, and doesn't use her hands. Very good, thank you. Anyone wanna walk me through her face? What's her face and what we saw on her face? Urina, you spotted the eyes, so I'd love you to do it for me. Yes, she was moving her eyes to the left side. Yeah. And she had a little bit of a nervous smile. Right. And sometimes she was making her lips tight. Yeah, lips pursed and tight. Exactly. Audio, what did we hear? She was authoritative, which means her tone went down at the end of a few of her sentences. Although, during some of her sentences, she had a question inflection, which means it went up. Right. And then at the end of her statement, she had a nervous giggle. Very good. And then there was some slight pauses in between some of her words and sentences. Right, perfect. Okay, yeah? There's something I'd like to clarify for myself, 'cause I'm just curious here. When I hear somebody's voice tail off, it sounds to me like they're actually uncertain. It's almost like they've run out of gas. But you're saying that authoritative. Oh, oh, oh, good difference. Okay, authoritative is not like they're trailing off. It's just when the tone goes down. So here's the difference. Yesterday I ate sushi for dinner. That's authoritative. Ending like kind of lightly is, yesterday I had sushi for dinner, right? Or yesterday I had sushi for dinner, right? You kinda lose it. Cause that's what I heard in McKenzie. I didn't hear that authoritative. So you heard her lose it. I just heard her just kind of fade. Fading away. It almost, even with her name, it was like, my name's Celeste. Sorry, McKenzie. (laughing) That's her sister. Right. She went, my name's McKenzie Olds. Okay, so you know what? Oh, someone said they heard the question flection. Right. So there was an uncertainty. That's what we heard. It was some kind of uncertainty at the end of her name. So I'm actually gonna take away authoritative, and we're gonna change it. Because it's not quite authoritative. It's just that she tends to just trail off a little, right? Trail off a little, okay? So we're gonna say uncertain. And that was one thing that I picked up with Meg, yesterday. And then Meg, you did your one-on-one, you improved that enormously. That suddenly became stronger. Yeah. But when you first did it I felt there was just that trailing off, almost as if you didn't believe what you were saying yourself. And then you turned it around instantly. Yeah, I totally agree. You've definitely gotten more authoritative in your voice tone, and that is so powerful. When we were talking about how credibility is really important for your elevator pitch, that authoritative finishing your sentences, and finishing them down. That's gonna really help with that. And I'm really glad that you mentioned that you sort of picked up, JKO, on I felt like I didn't know if I could believe her, 'cause she kind of trailed off. That is the problem, that when you don't take control of what you're saying or what you're saying with your body, people just don't believe you, right? 'Cause you don't really believe you, so then they don't believe you. That's why it's so, so important. Great catch. Okay, let's now watch the emotional baseline video. So again, with two questions, and we're just looking for differences, things that are not the same. I found two things that I thought were different in this emotional baseline, okay? Maybe not. Here we go. We're good, okay. Ate for breakfast this morning? I don't even remember this morning. Fruit, I think. (laughing) It was like back at the beginning of Creative Live. And we had this 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 a well-known instructor for a while, and I was thinking that they were a student. So I was just like asking dumb questions. I'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, what do we see that was different? Her eyebrow flicked. Okay, we had eyebrow movement. I think Max, you said there was no upper eyebrow movement. In the nervousness we get upper eyebrow movement, right? So this is a great example, by the way, of how you see some of the differences, what people do when they're nervous. They really do look different. So, yeah, upper face movement increased. What else? We can watch it one more time if you want. What else? There was still a lot of nervous laughter. Okay, more giggling. Much more so. A lot more giggling that we had this time. Okay, so there was a couple other things that I caught. Let's watch it one more time. She always went to the right. Okay, I agree with you. We saw a lot more upper movement, not just the left, she also went to the right. So way more upper eye movement. I wanna watch it one more time, and see if you catch. There's two things I really want you to catch. Yeah? She also starts explaining things with her hands. There we go. Okay, that's the big one. We start seeing her hands. We didn't really see that at all before. So when she's nervous, she gets a little bit more expressive. Okay, we had a much higher increase in hands. Okay, let's watch it one more time, just to be sure that we got all of it. I think this is the right one. Tell me what you ate for breakfast. Ate for breakfast this morning? I don't even remember this morning. Fruit, I think. (laughs) It was like back at the beginning of Creative Live. And we had this 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 that they were a student. So I was just like asking dumb questions. I'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. Yeah? I found that her facial tick, rather than being, if she wasn't smiling, she had this like disgust face. She always has her teeth exposed, and it tends to creep up into her nose. Yeah. And that's a very common thing. That's a secondary emotion. So she's embarrassed. She was sort of disgusted with the way that she acted with that embarrassing moment. That's very good. So when she was normal this was relaxed, and then it kinda creeped up. Why did she do that? Why did I do that, right? We do that with ourselves when we're disgusted. So, yeah, so we had a little bit of disgust. Specifically, with the hands, she did something very specific. She did this motion, right? Wringing the hands. And we're gonna talk about that in a second, but she definitely did this. She didn't do that during the regular baseline, but during the emotional baseline she did that. Did you notice that? She clasped her hands together. That's called hand ringing, which is important. Anything else? Those are the big ones that I got. So I think we got all of them. Let me as a question. Yeah. And I don't wanna give the game away, so shoot me down if I've given it. Was that actually true? Yeah. 'Cause I just thought that was a completely made up story. Oh, yeah, these are not scripted. No, no, I don't mean that. Oh. Did you ask her to lie and make up a story. No, that is her. 'Cause I didn't believe a word of that. That is her real embarrassing moment. I'm sorry if you're watching, McKenzie. Yeah, that is her real embarrassing moment. Okay. The next story, I asked her to make up a fake embarrassing moment. So the next one is made up. That is her real embarrassing story. Sorry if I've giving the game away. No, no. I just didn't buy it. No, that was absolutely real. That is, and we didn't tell her what to say. That was what she actually said. Yeah? Well, actually, in a way, that brings up an interesting point, because when you are trying to tell a story, there is always a little bit of embellishment. Yeah. That one will add. So in a way is that a lie, to embellish it? Yes, embellishment is an aspect of lying, right? Exaggeration is a form of lying. Now, luckily, I picked this story. There was a couple stories where I felt like there was a lot of embellishment that happened. This one, she said like, she was asking all these embarrassing questions. It wasn't a huge amount. Also, I think that one of the reasons why JKO picked up on the fact that she could have been lying is 'cause what he was seeing was nerves. And that is the biggest mistake that amateur liars, before they know the science make, is they mistake nerves for lies. So it's totally, totally legitimate that JKO would think, I saw these nerves, she has to be lying. So that's the biggest mistake that we make, that we're gonna try to not do. Yeah? Building on that question, if someone's story telling style is to embellish, how can you tell what part of the story is embellishment versus what really happened? Right, so when I'm talking about lie detection, I'm usually not asking you to go and have people tell stories. Usually, you're asking them direct questions about different aspects of the story. So luckily, you're able to sort of break it down, so they don't go into story telling mode, right? It's a little bit different than having someone get on stage and say, once upon a time. Right, so it's a little different. So we're doing a back and fourth, as opposed to just one long story. It's just easier to do it this way, 'cause McKenzie isn't in front of us. We can't slow her down in person, yeah. Any other questions before I move on to the next step? Are we okay? Okay, so step five, spot lying cues. So now, you have a baseline, a nice baseline of how they look when they're telling the truth. You have a nervous baseline, or an emotional baseline, of how they look when their nerves increase or their emotions increase. Now you are going to look for lying cues. And in this area you want to prepare and ask open-ended questions. So that's exactly speaking to what you just asked Meg, is making sure that you're the one who's asking the questions, so they're not just launching into a long story, okay? And you do wanna prepare these ahead of time, especially if it's a business situation where you really wanna make sure you're getting to the heart of things. You wanna have prepared baseline questions and prepared open-ended questions. You can do this naturally on the spot if you want. But if you're going into an area where you really need to make sure you're getting the truth, you can prepare. So a lying cue is a statistical cue to deceit. There is no one thing that means someone is lying. This is really important. There is no Pinocchio's nose in this. One thing, if someone does one thing, there's not like a magic bullet that means someone is lying. These are statistical cues to deceit. So this is what the research has found that a high percentage of the time, when liars are lying they do these things. These are the top cues. So they're most frequently appear in liars only if they differentiate from the baseline. So it's only a lying red flag if they didn't do it while they were telling the truth. That's how you can make sure that you know what's actually a lying red flag and what's just a nervous tick. Does that make sense? Okay, it's really important. So I will keep, sort of, rephrasing that in different ways as we keep going. There are 28 different lying cues that research has found, and we are gonna go through all 28 of them. So this is gonna take a little bit. We're gonna practice as we go. I wanna make sure in your paid handouts, you have a full list of each of the 28 lying red flags for you to practice with, and I have spaces where you can take notes next to them if you want. Okay, number one is physical baseline changes. Now, this is kind of a broad one, but it's the easiest place to start. Are there major changes all of a sudden in their gesture, in their posture, in their movement, right? So, we've been watching McKenzie. She's been leaning. She's been shifting. All of a sudden she gets really stiff. She rolls her shoulders back. She stops moving her head, right? Now, we're gonna watch her actual lying, but those are some differences that we could possibly see in her physical baseline. Posture changes, movement changes, so difference in expression, okay? Any kind of major physical baseline change. Number two, mismatching facial expressions. There's a couple different ways that facial expressions cue us into lying. First, they are incongruent. Someone says they are one emotion, and their face shows a different universal micro-expression. Incongruence, when it does not match. Okay? Second, squelched. We actually saw a squelched facial expression on day one, remember that? This is what someone does when they're trying to hide their facial expression. A squelched expression is when they kind of move their face in all kinds of weird ways. And we saw that with the video where she was like, uh, and she like weirdly moved her eyebrows all around. It's cause she was trying to stop herself from showing sadness. So squelched expressions are a lying red flag. That means they're trying to hold back a true emotion. Asymmetrical expressions, except contempt. Contempt is the only facial expression that has asymmetry. Okay? Any other asymmetry means that someone is either trying to force it or trying to squelch it. So that can be a little bit of a lying flag, and we're gonna look at how that looks in a video. And then lastly is faked punctuators. So this is when you have a different punctuator than they've been showing before. Okay, something different than their face shows. Number three, lip pursing. So, what did we see on McKenzie? We saw lip pursing. So for her, that would not be a lying red flag, because she does that during her baseline. So if we see lip pursing when she lies, we know that that is not, that's part of her normal cues. Does that make sense? That's why we did that so carefully beforehand. So a lip purse, by the way, is when we press our lips together, we mash our lips together. It's like this. It is the universal sign of withholding. So we do this when we don't want to say something. If you ask a woman her weight, she will almost always go, mm. (laughing) 'Cause she doesn't wanna tell you. Or she'll say her weight, and. 'Cause she's angry at you for asking. So we lip purse when we don't like, we don't want to say something. It's a cue you see a lot. You see it outside of lie detection just when someone doesn't like what they have to say. I actually have a video of someone lip pursing. We were doing these baselining videos at Creative Live, and we asked in the baselining questions, your name, your age, and where you're from. And poor Arlene, we asked her her age, and she lip pursed. And I was like, I feel really bad, but can we pull that video out 'cause it's a really perfect example of lip pursing. So of course, she doesn't want us telling her age, but now we're gonna know it. So I wanna show you an example of the video of her lip pursing. (Interviewer in video mumbles) Arlene Evans. How old are you? 62. (laughing) There we go, right? There's that lip purse. I'm sorry, Arlene, I love you. Okay. (laughing) Creative Live will never have me back again, okay. So that lip purse is what we do. That's how it looks in action when we don't like something that we say. Also, statistically speaking, liars often do this. But again, you have to baseline. That's why it was, for Arlene, that would not be a lying red flag, because that's what she does when she's just feeling nervous and doesn't wanna talk about it, okay? Number four, a one-sided shoulder shrug. So this is kind of a weird one, but our brains, remember how we talked about the cognitive load on our brain is extremely high when we're lying. The other thing that happens in our brain is, our brain hates it when we lie, because we know it gets us into trouble. We know subconsciously that lying is bad for us. It makes people not trust us. It usually gets us into trouble, and typically, people find out the truth. So as we're lying, our brain is also going, stop it! Don't do it! Don't lie! That is one of the reasons why people lip purse when they lie, is cause they're like, don't do it! Their brain is telling them to keep it back. So what happens when our brain does that is, the body shows that, I don't want it, that tension in other ways. And one of those is a one-sided shoulder shrug, a very slight asymmetrical one-sided shoulder shrug when someone lies. It's like their body is like, oh, why did I just say that? You know who does one-sided shoulder shrugs all the time is Anthony Weiner. When he lies on television constantly I pick him apart. And by the way, I'm equal in terms of all the political parties that I critique. I critique all parties. And so, don't worry, I'm non partisan in that sense. But Anthony Weiner, whenever he was lying about his Twitter picture scandal, he would like, I didn't post that picture. No, of course not. No, what are you talking about. (laughing) It wasn't my underwear. Anyone could have, I mean, it was like. On my website, I slow down on those videos, and it was like, shoulder shrug, shoulder shrug, shoulder shrug. So he is a big shoulder shrugger when he lies. Number five. Max had a question. Oh, yeah, sorry. I did. Yeah, is it the same thing with lip pursing though? Is if they do this shoulder shrug during their baseline, and they don't do their lying, that means they're lying? So, I think I understood your question. Okay. So if they did a one-sided shoulder shrug during their baseline, for them, that would not be a lying red flag. Okay. Correct. Everything we're talking about here, it's only if they do not do it in the first three columns. Right, exactly, great. Keep asking me that because that is very, very important. They do not stand alone. Number five, incongruent nodding. So, kids do this all the time. Where they will say yes, but they shake their head no. Okay, so do you like her? Oh, yeah. (laughing) She's great. And they'll actually be shaking their head no. That happens all the time. It's cause our body is giving us away. We really think no. And people also do this when they're thinking about how to say politely they don't like someone. So, they'll be like. 'Cause all they're thinking is no, no. But they're trying to think of a nice way to say yes. My grandmother isn't watching, so thank goodness I can say this. She is lovely, but her casseroles are horrible. And so, whenever she has her casserole, she brings it to the family buffets, and my mom knows to put it under the counter to get rid of half of it, and she puts it back up. And then she'll come around and she'll look on our plates, and say, do you like my casserole? And people are always like, it's great, Grandma. It's just great. (laughing) So you see that all the time. Just a little side note here on the nodding, is you can also use it to be quite persuasive, not that I've ever done this. Husband, I would never do this. But one thing that you can do is if you have two choices that you're giving someone, but you really prefer them to make one choice. Like, when I babysit my niece, I'm always like, do you wanna go to the movies, or do you wanna go to the park? Right? (laughing) She almost always, she will pick the one where I'm like, yeah! No, the park, no. And she's like, no, I don't wanna go to the park. Right? So that's another little persuasive thing you can do. I never, never use that, never. Okay, so incongruent nodding is a big lying red flag that you see where people's nodding will give them away. Distancing. So distancing behavior is what we do when we do not like something. It is a sister law to the law of blocking. We talked about the law of blocking yesterday. How when we don't like something we like to block it out, block it away from us. Distancing is sort of the sister, the core layer to that. It's that when we don't like it we step back. When I am interrogating someone, and I put them in rolling chairs, because typically, when they say a lie they scoot back from the table. It's our brains way of trying to get away from the incriminating evidence. Not mine. I didn't do it. I didn't say it, right? I love that picture. That's exactly what I'm doing. So, yeah, that distancing behavior is what we do. So this could happen in a couple different ways. Leaning. So we saw that McKenzie leans side to side. For her, especially, I'd watch out for if she suddenly leaned back, right? Leaning away from the lie, that happens a lot with liars. The head turn. So we can also distance ourselves like we don't even wanna smell it. You'll notice that liars, I watch a lot of videos of liars. On my website, if you wanna lie to me, send me videos. I love it. I watch these videos of people, and they will, they say the lie, and they kind of like lean back as they say it, 'cause it's like it smells bad. That's a distancing behavior. Sliding the chair back, or taking a step back, or rocking back, distancing behavior. Oh, okay, I wanna show you a picture. I mean, a picture. A video of a couple of these things that we've just learned in action. But first, I wanna teach you number seven. So number seven is duping delight. I think a lot of, a couple people emailed me, and they said that they've been watching Live Amy every night in between the class, and I'm so happy because they talk about duping delight and lie to me. Duping delight is what occasionally liars will do. They smile like a giddy kid after they lied, like they got away with something. So they say a lie, and they're like. They're saying they got away with it. So what's funny is we were filming these two truths and a lie videos. This is actually up in the Seattle office of Creative Live. And he had lied, Eric had lied during a baselining question, and didn't tell us until later. And he showed this amazing duping delight that he had gotten away with this lie. What's funny is, he also shows a lip purse right when he says the lie, and a one-sided shoulder shrug. So I want you to see right in a row, you see all three of these lying red flags, okay? You ready? Here we go. [Woman Interviewer] Tell me about one of your personal passions. I absolutely love baking. [Woman Interviewer] I didn't know that. You're just warming hearts. (laughing) Right? So later, I was ruining the interview. I was lying earlier though, about baking. (interviewer gasps) [Woman Interviewer] You're a liar! You can't lie. I thought I was supposed to lie. [Woman Interviewer] No! We told you no lying until we tell you. I mean, I look like I enjoy baking. [Woman Interviewer] You don't really enjoy baking? I do like baking. Watch this. I do like baking. Right? (laughing) [Woman Interviewer] Tell me about one of your personal passions. I absolutely love baking. [Woman Interviewer] I didn't know that. You're just warming hearts. (laughing) You're just warming hearts. Right? He's so proud of himself with that duping delight, okay? So really easily there you see how, that, right? He immediately pursed his lips right after he said it, and he goes right into duping delight. He tricked you, right? And then he does the one-sided shoulder shrug, and he said, I do like baking. No, he doesn't, not really. He does that one-sided shoulder shrug. So that's how it looks in action, and we're gonna look at it a little bit longer later. Okay, I wanna do a very, very quick experiment. Sure, Meg, yeah. So if you were trying to confuse somebody about whether you were telling the truth or lying, would it makes sense to throw in unnecessary lies so that you were just doing a lot of lying to mask the important lie? So I ethically will not teach you guys how to lie better. (laughing) But maybe that would work. Yeah. Okay, a quick experiment. I would love to send Urine and Max out of the room. I would like to tell everyone else a secret while you guys go. Do you mind? Thank you. Okay, shh. And make sure they can't see the monitors out there. Okay. Okay, so we are going to do a very, very quick experiment. I try not to make people lie on camera unless I've gotten their written permission ahead of time. So we're not gonna make them lie. That's not what we're gonna do. What we are gonna do is, I wanna teach you something very quick. It's about deceitful eye behavior. It's what our eyes do when we lie. So how many of you've seen that study that was like, when you look up to the left they're lying, or look up to the right they're lying. That study made me so angry because it was not repeated. Okay, and it's often switched for lefties. It switched for many people. So that is not a reliable way to do lie detection. Well, one thing you can do is baseline them to see where they look when they're telling the truth, and then see if that's different when they lie, 'cause everyone is slightly different. Some people look down, some to the left, the right, but you can look and see where they normally go. So what we're gonna look for is where they access their memory. So when they come back in, I'm gonna bring them up on stage. I'm gonna ask them two different questions. I'm gonna ask them a remembering question, and I want you and you guys at home to look where their eyes access that memory. Do they access down? Do they go up to the left, up to the right? Where do they access memories? That's a truthful story. So when we were to ask them something later that's how they access the truth. They should go to the same place. We're then gonna ask them two imagination questions. I'm gonna ask them to imagine something. And that should be a different area. That uses a different part of their brain. And that would be what they wold do when they lie, right? 'Cause they access the imaginary parts. Okay, I'm not gonna go too far without them. So I'm gonna let them come back in. I want everyone to take notes about where they go, okay? I don't know where they all went. We can, yeah. That's a good question. Oh, there we go, right outside the door. Okay, come up on stage please. Don't be nervous. It's fine, I'm not gonna make you lie. No, I'm not nervous because once I hit that-- Oh, okay, perfect. Okay, so what I'm gonna do is, I want you to look forward right towards that camera right there. And I'm just gonna ask you two different questions, one at a time, and I just want you to answer honestly, okay? No lying. We're just gonna look at how you answer the question, okay? Okay. So, Urina, I wanna start with you. First, will you tell me what you had for breakfast yesterday? For breakfast yesterday? I can't remember. Oh, sorry, let me go over here. Alright, so-- Yeah, it'll be easier. Okay, so how about what did you, I'll ask you a different memory question since you already sort of thought about it. What did you do for your 18th birthday party? Oh, my goodness, I don't remember that. (laughs) Try. Actually, we saw it. We got it, right? Had friends over. We got where she looked, perfect. Okay. Max, tell me what did you do for your 21st birthday? Me and my dad went to go play poker at the Ponds Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. And what did you have for breakfast two days ago? I forget. Okay, we got it, right? Okay, perfect. Okay, Urina, would you please tell me what your ideal birthday party would be? Ideal birthday party would be have a day when I do whatever I want to do with the friends, with the people who I like. Okay, we got it, right? Okay. Max, will you please tell me about what your favorite breakfast in the world would be, if you could have anything, you last breakfast in the world? It would be a really big omelet with sausage and hashbrowns, and lots of toast. Okay, did we get it? Ask him one more. Yeah, I'm gonna ask you one more. I didn't get it either. Could you tell me, please, your perfect first date? My perfect first date, probably diner, and then a walk, and then ice cream. Okay, did we get it? You're okay with that? Yeah, okay, you guys can sit down. So what we did was, thank you, thank you, thank you. Okay, so remember, now, they were on stage, right? So that's really hard to do, but you got an idea of how they access differently. So what we were talking about was deceitful eye behavior, that myth about the study that where you look is where you're lying. That when you look up to the left you're lying, when you're look up to the right you're lying. So what I wanted to show is that, we actually all access our memories looking up in different places. So, some people look up to the left when they're accessing memories. Some people look up to the right. Some people look down. So what did they do when they were accessing memories? What did Urina do, did you see? She's up to the- Right, she looks up to the left. And what did Max do when he accessed memories? He was a little harder. He's just like straight ahead. He went straight and up, right? Which is very, very natural. Some people do go up, or even like up a little bit. So he went up. Okay, and then I asked you how an imaginary story. People usually go to a different place when they're accessing imagination. So where did Urina go when she was trying to imaging something? She went down to her left. And she went down a couple different times, okay? So that's how she access. Totally different, totally opposite places. Max was a little harder. Did we see where he went? He went to two different places. Down and two different places. Where did you see him go? Oh, I saw him go down and to the right, but then he kinda went to the middle and then up. Right, so I think that when he imagines he goes everywhere. So for him we would not be able to use that as a reliable cue. Yeah. That's what that shows us. 'Cause during those little baseline questions that would not be a reliable cue, okay? So this is a very, very quick example of how you can use eye gaze. And I'd like to bust that myth right away. See, both of them access memories from completely different places. That's why you cannot rely on that study that was not backed up in science. Okay, so here, memory accessing. Pupil dilation. So our pupils dilate when we are aroused. There's also been studies that have found they dilate when we are lying, because it is like we are like so excited, and so, all of our physiology starts to turn on. They get aroused. That's very hard to see, by the way. So I never actually use that, unless I'm like watching a very close up video of someone's face. It's almost impossible to see those pupil dilations. Gazing baseline changes, right? So, they're power gazing with you. They're power gazing with you during the baseline, on these three columns, and all of a sudden they start using shifty eyes. Now, typically, liars look you in the face more, not less, because they want to see if you believe them. So shifty eyes is just a sign of nerves. That's why it's really important to baseline someone to see what they normally do when telling the truth, and then what they normally do when they're nervous, okay? Blink rate. So I find it very hard to see blink rate, but other people have a very easy time spotting it. Typically, our eyes blink much faster when we're lying, because our brain is trying to process everything that's going on, typically. But again, you want a baseline someone to see all of a sudden they go deer in the headlights on you. Right, that would be a major, major baseline change. That is what I personally see most often in my work, is that I see all of a sudden, deer in the headlights when they lie. It's 'cause their brain is like hyper turned on. They're a little bit afraid, and they're trying to take in as much as they can as they're lying. Interesting fact, during Bill Clinton's testimony, his blink rate went from 43 per minute to 117 per minute when he was asked about teenage drug use. So it instantly went up when he was asked if he used drugs as a teenager. That topic that he said he didn't ever use drugs as a teenager. Not so sure. Blocking behavior. So we talked about blocking behavior yesterday in terms of when we're nervous. We block or cover our torso. Eye blocking is another thing that happens during lying. Eye blocking is when we literally are trying to cover what we are seeing. We're trying to block it out. Children, when they lie, they do two things, typically. They cover their mouth after they lie, or they cover their eyes after they lie. They actually cover their eyes up, because they know that that was a bad thing that they just did. So you see this in adults, the remnant of this behavior from children, is they'll pinch the bridge of their nose, they rub their eye a long time. And again, this is not just one thing. We're gonna talk about how you can't just see, if someone rubs their eye, their eye might be itching. But if all of a sudden you're seeing they're rubbing their eyes, they're pinching the bridge of their nose, they're doing other torso blocking behavior, that's very different from the baseline, that would be a big lying red flag. Deceitful foot behavior. So this is changes in the baseline for feet. So people will typically stand one way, with their feet pointed out, or they stand parallel. All of a sudden they have dancing feet. Their nerves are coming out their feet. Remember how we talked about that yesterday? So changes in the baseline. Kicking feet. One of the, Joe Navarro, he talks about how when he was in the FBI, and people were talking about a topic they didn't like, and they started lying, they would kick their foot up as if to kick it away. That's something that he found, and his work was a really useful thing to look out for. And the last thing is ankle locks. So some interesting studies about ankle locks, they found, Nierenberg and Calero did a study, and they found that people lock their ankles during negotiation when they were holding back a valuable concession. So they were sitting completely normally, and then as soon as they said, oh, I don't know if we can give you that extra money, they would lock their ankles. So this is ankle locked while we're standing. Seated ankle locks looks like this. Sorry, no, that was crossed. This is ankle locks. So they would be talking during the negotiation, talking, talking, talking, and then they would cross their ankles as soon as they brought up the valuable concession they were holding back. Alright, there was a direct correlation there in negotiation. So that's an important thing to watch out for if you're able to, if you have a clear table. Yeah? So suppose you say that, what do you do after? Okay, so that's step seven. Yes, we're gonna talk about what you do next. What do you do when you see those happening. Another interesting little study on the ankle lock is they found that 67% of people who go in the dentist office ankle lock during a check-up, during regular check-up. That shoots up to 88% while they're having their work done, and then it goes up to even higher 98% when they get an injection. It's our body's physical way of being like, I don't like this, self-comfort, self-comfort, self-comfort. And that's why we typically do it when we lie. It's a way of trying to brace ourselves for the worst. That's the physical way that we do that. Nose touching. So as I mentioned on the first day, we have erectile tissue in our noses, both men and women. It swells inperseptively. We cannot see it but we can feel it. It starts to make our nose itch. You'll notice that people will touch and scratch their nose when they lie because it swells slightly. Now, remember, you wanna baseline them, 'cause if they have really bad allergies that day, for them, nose touching would not be a lying red flag. But if all of a sudden they start touching their nose. Lance Armstrong did this a lot during his interview with Opera. I critiqued that interview, and during certain questions about the kind of hormones that he was using, he would touch his nose and rub his nose all the time. It was very interesting, and I was like, he is lying about this one area because he shows all kinds of lying red flags in that set of questions. Another interesting fact, poor Bill Clinton, we pick on him a lot. Alan Hirsch and Charles Wolf studied the Bill Clinton trial with Monica Lewinsky, and they found that during truthful answers he touched his nose two times. When he lied he touched his nose a total of 26 times. Okay, that is because his nose was literally, it's a physiological response we have when we're really, really nervous when we're being deceitful. Mouth touching, I mentioned earlier that children typically cover their mouth when they lie. This is cause we're literally trying to hold back. We're like, don't say that. There's two reasons we do it. One, we're trying to hold back what we're saying. And second, we do it as a self-soothing gesture. When we were younger, the best place to be, when we were babies, the best place to be was at our mother's breast 'cause it meant that we were getting food. We still have this. That having something in our mouth makes us feel more calm. So when we're nervous, when we're lying, sometimes we'll touch our mouth, suck on our pens, chew on our fingers, or go back to even sucking thumbs, because it calms us down. It gets our body to calm down. The brain's trying to calm us down to get through that lie. So that comes out as mouth cover, finger sucking, or nail biting. Automatic nervous system changes. So these are things that the polygraph machine reads. They're a little bit harder for us to read with the naked eye, but we can do it. And so I point them out just so that we can keep an eye on them. Intense breathing, now, we saw that McKenzie kinda had heavy breathing at the beginning of her interview. So for her, that is not something that we would look out for. Intense swallowing, or sudden dry mouth, those are physiological changes. (makes breathing noises) All of a sudden they're doing that. That's also a little bit of an audio difference, which we're gonna learn in a little bit. Sweating, and blushing, or blanching. And again, you wanna watch and make sure that they don't blush or blanch during that emotional baseline, 'cause that's what they would do normally. Interesting fact here is people are more likely to lie in poorly lit rooms. It's as if their brain knows that they're less likely to get caught. Remember how we talked about people lie most often on the phone, and then it's face-to-face, and then it's emails, and then it's IMs. Emails and IMs leave a paper trail. Person to person you never like to lie to someone's face. So in a poorly lit room it feels a little bit more like the phone, but there's no paper trail and they don't actually have to see you lying. Pacifying gestures. A pacifying gesture, we learned about these yesterday. They are self-soothing gestures. They make us feel calm. A couple different ways that we self-sooth. So we stroke our arms. It reminds us of when we were babies, calm us down, get out heart rate low. Lip biting, so this is a nervous flag, right? When we are biting our lip, it's how we try to self-sooth. We're telling us, calm down, it's okay. And sometimes people will rub their tongue along the outside of their teeth, or rub their tongue on the outside of their lips. It helps them calm down. It reminds them of when they were a baby, and everything's fine, everything will be okay. Jewelry or tie touching. He will all of a sudden get very fidgety. And then fidgeting, right? All of a sudden they're self, they don't know what to do with their hands. I don't want to put Meg on the spot there, but Meg, did you realize what you just did there. Oh, yeah, no. Did you do it deliberately? I'm doing it deliberately so I'll get it. The camera wasn't on that, but as soon as you said that, Meg went to her necklace, and she was adjusting it. Oh, I was doing everything she was telling us. Yeah, that was very sweet. I saw you do that. And it's great actually. I love, Meg, that you're doing it. At home, if you can do some of these, it helps you remember them, right? If you can write them down and do them, it helps you remember, there's like a physical action to remembering it. So it's a great way to remember it. Also, you can see how you feel when you do it. You actually begin to feel a little bit more nervous. If you go like this, you will begin to feel slightly more anxious. It's 'cause that is what we do when we're nervous to calm ourselves down. A couple things that deceitful hand behavior. As we talked about the hands are our trust indicators. When our hands are hidden, it's harder for other people to trust us for a reason. Our brain is like, put away as much incriminating evidence as possible, right? And that could potentially be what your hands give away. So you'll notice, statistically speaking, people will hide their hands. They could have a real heightened increase of illustrators. Illustrators are how we express. Or a decreased, significantly decreased. Any kind of baseline change, right? That's what we're looking for here. A baseline change in how they use their hands. Clinched fists is another thing that people do when they're trying to get through the lie, right? They're in that space where they're like, just get through it, be determined, as they'll clinch their fist really tightly to get through it as quickly as they possibly can. Again, you only wanna notice that if it's different from the baseline. I know I keep repeating that, but it's really important. The last one that I wanna do before we go on break for the next segment is yawning. Now this is from a different set of research. This is not from the lie detection research. This is from the psychological research. But I had noticed that when I was doing lie detection, people would yawn right before a lie. And so I went digging. I was like, what? Is this real? I couldn't find anything in the lie detection signs, but I did find that psychologist believe that yawning may be an escape mechanism used to avoid difficult or stressful situations. So this comes from a different side of the research. So use it if you're comfortable with it. But I have noticed that when people, I love going to networking events where people have to all introduce themselves. You'll notice, I love to watch the person who's next. You get to see all of their nervous cues as they wait for their turn. So many people yawn while they're waiting for their turn. Its as if they're trying to take in oxygen to calm themselves down. So that's an interesting little thing that you can watch out for. A little ninja tip here is to use a glass table, right? So make your office have a glass table, or a conference room has a glass table, and a swivel chair, 'cause it accentuates all their movements. They also can scoot back into the table. It highlights all the things that they're doing. So, do we have time for questions? Or we wanna wait until next the segment? Yeah, we could definitely take a few questions. If you're good with that. Alright, so audience questions first. Any, wow, are we good? Well, while they're thinking about it, we do have quite a few in the chat room. And there's a few that have come in on very specific subjects. So I'll group them all together because. Beauty at the Lake is saying, how do you get a baseline for celebrities or politicians? Yeah. And Beaux Gotsfollum is saying, well, how do you know when the politician is lying if you haven't done a baseline interview to start with. So it's kind of tied in there. But Loraine is following up in there saying, well, politicians, actors, etc., they're kind of trained their voices, they've trained their body expressions. Yes. Does that become harder for you to read? So much so. So politicians are often scripted and extremely coached. So they're very, very hard to do. I try to get off the cuff interviews with them as much as possible. Like for example, during the State of the Union, that is a scripted practiced pitch. Even if he's saying a blatant lie, he's so practiced on it. There's very little chance you'd be able to spot it, 'cause they have repeated it so many times. So it's much harder when it's scripted. When you're doing celebrities and politicians, what I do is I will typically try to find, and usually there is rapport building that happens at the beginning of an interview. So I will baseline them at the beginning of the interview when they're, hi, how are you, how's it been going? The first few minutes of the segment. Or I will try to find an interview with that same politician on a non anxious topic, or in a nervous topic where he's not lying about because there are facts. Now, there's actually a website. It's called Truth Teller. We're gonna talk about it later today, where they have politicians on camera, and they have the fact checker going on the video. So what I will do is I will watch them on the fact checker. So the fact checker is checking the numbers, and that's how I find their cues, right? Because they'll say, 68% of the population, and the fact checker will say, ding, yes. And then they'll be like, but 72% of the population, and it will be like, no, doesn't line up. And I'll watch for his non-verbal ticks. So there's also ways that you can. Actually, politician and celebrities, there's so many videos out there on them that it's not too hard to do. I have a lot of those on my website, so I can try to do the heavy lifting for you if you want. And I love when people submit stuff to me. So you can always send me what you want me to look at. So let's just take one more question. Sure. Helium Eyes wants to know, can somebody's baseline change over the course of five to ten years, or any amount of time? Baselines do not typically change once someone is an adult. So a child baseline, a teen baseline, 'cause they're growing, their body is changing so much, their hormones are changing so much. Baselines can change quickly for children. But once someone is an adult they do not typically change, but I always baseline every time I see them, right? 'Cause if someone is having a terrible day, and you baselined them last week when they were having an awesome day, you're gonna see some slight differences. So I re-baseline, and usually it's about the same, but I re-baseline for mood changes. Right, that's the only differences that you might see. So a little sneak peek. In the next segment we're gonna do lying cues in emails, and lying cues on the phone. Your homework to do is to go watch that Lance Armstrong interview I talked about, and go watch my critique of Amanda Knox. I did a nice critique of Amanda Knox on that Diane Sawyer interview. So do you wanna practice, see some of these in action, those are on my website for free. Well, we're looking forward to that as we continue our learning journey here at Creative Live. And in fact, Positive Catitude has just come into the chat room. They say they study cats. And apparently cats also yawn when they get stressed. So they kinda- I love it. They are. I wrote a post on dog body language, but that's a different course. Okay, absolutely. (laughing) I think dogs yawn as well when they're stressed as well. Yeah, they also do distancing. Dogs use distancing behavior when they don't like something. So I love animal body language as well. My dog thinks he's invisible when he's doing something he doesn't want. He goes to the vet, he thinks if he doesn't look at the vet, the vet can't see him. That's distancing behavior. It's ridiculous. Right, our brains do the exact same thing. We love our animal friends. Yeah. We love them. It's hilarious to watch I'm do. I think, he's still in the room. You still gotta get injections. (laughing) But anyway, thanks for- Does he do an ankle lock when he gets that injection? Oh, I'll have to look for that. You have to look, yeah. I'll have to do it, absolutely. Well, thank you for all your comments and all your questions online. Roger Roby is saying, want to say, what an awesome job to all of the audience members here at Creative Live, on the body language workshop. They're actually watching the re-broadcast right now. And PT Online is saying, it's 3 AM here in Austria. They've already bought the course, but they're actually still preferring to watch it online live. So they have a feeling this is a life changing class, and it certainly is.

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!