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The Power of Body Language

Lesson 14 of 27

Networking Body Language Tips

Vanessa Van Edwards

The Power of Body Language

Vanessa Van Edwards

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Lesson Info

14. Networking Body Language Tips

Lesson Info

Networking Body Language Tips

It is time to go into our next section, which is all about networking, how to make a killer first impression. So, very briefly, what is networking like for you? Do you love it? Do you hate it? Some people like, they just thrive on networking. What is it like for you? Horrible. You love it, okay, so I love this. So Sarah's like, I love it, and Meg's like no, it's horrible. In the back. Um, how do you guys feel about networking? Jean-Marie? I really like it, but the challenge is following up and having the action happen after the meeting. And wanting them to follow up with you? If they want to have that extended connection beyond the event. Um, yeah, uh-huh? What I just learned, when you were coaching me, is I think of networking is finding things in common with other people so the result I was getting was, I would tell people what I do, and they'd say, "Oh yeah, I do that too." Rather than, how can I help, it's just a brand new concept. Right, in thinking in terms of the other, ...

it's hugely important so you don't get that kind of response. I love that. So good, that was an aha moment. Yeah. In networking, I'm usually focused on what can I get out of the other person? But I've never thought of it from the perspective of what can I provide for them? And you kinda just helped me out with that. All right, so I know this is a nonverbal course, but when I talk about influence, the number one part of being influential, being memorable, having great first impressions is tapping into how you can help them. Making it all about them. Dale Carnegie is an amazing writer. He wrote a book early 1900s, How to Win Friends and Influence People, and he says to be interesting, you have to be interested, right? People find you interesting when you are interested in them. And that is, we're gonna, I'm gonna non-verbally show you how to be interested. That's exactly what we're gonna talk about. Luckily, verbally, we were able to do that a little bit with the nonverbal side in the pitching, but it continues on with the networking. So MIT Media Lab does these amazing studies with people, and they found that people don't remember what you look like. They don't even remember what you said. They remember what it felt like to be with you. That's why I put very little emphasis on that verbal, 'cause people don't remember that. They remember the feeling of being with you. That's why showing warmth, showing credibility, they get that feeling from you and that's what they remember. That's what makes you memorable. So first, before we go into the steps of how to make a killer first impression, I wanna talk about how emotions are contagious. Um, there's something called emotional contagion and this is fascinating research that looks at when someone is depressed, they can walk into a room and literally emotionally infect everyone with their depression. Right, have you ever had this? Like the sour apple. You're having a great team meeting and someone walks in that's having a bad day 'cause they're late and it's like the energy just dies? Science has found this is an emotional contagion. Now, the followup to this study is okay, so emotions are contagious. Who infects who? Is it always negative to positive or positive to negative? Who does the infecting? So that study was followed up by Howard Friedman studied charisma. He wanted to know what do charismatic people do? How are they infectious? So what he did was he interviewed people and he gave them a charisma test. He measured their charisma factor. And he found people who were highly charismatic, people who were lowly charismatic. And he split them up into two groups. And then he did the most interesting thing. He put everyone, all the highly charismatic people in rooms alone. He had them do personality, mood tests. What is your mood right now? Whatever they were feeling in the moment. Angry, sad, happy, irritated. And then he had low charismatic people wait outside and he had them do a mood test. What do you feel like right now? Happy, angry, sad. And then he had a low charismatic person walk in the room with the high charismatic person and they had to stand there and look at each other for two minutes. No talking. They just stood there and looked at each other and then they left the room. And he gave them both mood tests again. He wanted to see did one infect the other with their emotion? No words at all spoken. He found, in every single trial, the highly charismatic person infected the low charismatic person with their mood. It never went the other way. The person who ranked low on the charisma scale were not able to infect others with their emotions. So being highly charismatic is about having those positive emotions, positive ones to make people feel good when they're with you. And that's what we're gonna be talking about. How to do that today. So our goals with this section. I want you to feel more confident. That is my number one goal because if you feel confident, you're gonna make other people feel confident. I want that to be the emotion that is contagious when you walk in the room. My second goal is to inspire other people to feel more confident. How can you do that non-verbally? Step one: prepare. So non-verbally, you can prepare, you can verbally prepare and you can emotionally prepare for networking events. When you're going into group, or big group or small group events. Here is how, and I call it a success routine. This is one of my favorite things to teach. I want everyone watching to come up with your success routine. This is what you do while you're getting ready for, on the way to, or standing outside a networking event, to mentally, emotionally, and physically prepare yourself to be successful. And there's a couple of ideas. Everyone has a little bit different way they do it. Here are my ideas for things that you can do for your success routine. I always encourage you to power pose. So if everyone wants to stand up, I wanna give you a little power posing time. Hopefully, at home, you can stand up at your computer. Power posing looks like this. Pick any position you like. We're gonna go law of space, expansion, get that testosterone going. I love it, I love your pose. Right, we're expanding our body, we're getting our testosterone flowing, and our cortisol levels are dropping. This is the first thing that you can do to power pose. You can power pose in the car by dancing. I'm not gonna dance for you guys today. That would be a punishment. You can power pose at home by standing in this position. You can bring a newspaper into the waiting room with you. Those are all ways you can adopt these power poses. All right. I'm gonna let you guys. Yeah, yeah, you can sit. Yep. Um, all right, next. The other thing that you can do, let's say that power posing you tried, or you wanna do it instead of, you can also do what's called a success log. So method acting, actually, Max, do you know anything about method acting? Have you experienced this at all, or I know as an actor, perhaps you've thought about it. Well, you can remember previous emotions that you've had and you can use them in whatever situation that you're about to have. Perfect. That is the exact definition of method acting. By the way, did everyone just catch my nervous giggle? Did anyone catch that? Right? So I did not know how to ask that question, and so what I did is I nervously giggled because I didn't know what to do with myself. So that is an example of what we do non-verbally. Usually I can catch myself, but I was like how do I phrase this question? And that's what I did. So that's perfect. Method acting is when you tap into existing experiences to really feel the emotion that you need to portray. So a success log, and by the way, this is just a great thing to do personally. I do them once a year. Look back on my successes for the year. Keep a list of the times, the things, the people that have made you feel successful. Because when you read those, when you think about those, that emotionally reminds your body and your mind, I can do this. That's another thing you can do. I have a list on my phone of things that I'm really proud of that I've done that have worked really well that I put a lot of effort into. So you can keep them on your phone. You can keep them on your computer. I also have a friend who has an email, an inbox, a folder in her inbox, that has emails from clients and people who are friends and family that make her feel good and when she's having a bad day or alone or she needs to kinda revive a little bit, that's part of her success routine is she goes back and reads through those emails, so that's another thing that you can do as well. YouTube treasures. So I have a YouTube treasure list. These are videos that just get me laughing. They are the videos that, most of them are puppy videos, okay? If you wanna get, you can always tweet me a puppy video, always. I love them, and my husband sends me little gifs of every kind of puppy every morning when he gets to work. It's like my, my, it just makes me so happy. So I want you to create a YouTube channel of just those treasure videos. They can be funny, they can be inspiring. They can be music that you love, music videos just get you going. A lot of people told me that they have Lady Gaga on their channel. They just get you going. So make a list of those YouTube treasures that you can play in the background or on your phone when you're getting ready or you're about to go out. Music playlist. This is a really easy one. Especially if you are walking, you don't have a lot of time, you're walking from event to event, or you could listen to your earbuds a lot when you're driving. Create a music playlist. On mine, the Rocky music, right? There's nothing that gets you, you can't be low-confident when you hear that music. Um, so movie theme songs are great for this. Music that gets you dancing. Things that get your heart pumping, that gets you into that right mindset, and by the way, these are different if you're a visual learner, YouTube treasures are gonna work really well for you. For an audio learner, a music playlist is gonna be better for you. So you can also see what works better for you. That's why I like to give lots of different options. Happy making emails. So um, and you can do this, you can actually say you know, I was watching this course, the power of body language, and they asked me about my recent successes, and I couldn't think of any, can you, like tell me, what worked this year? And you can ask your friends and family for that if you wanna get those happy making emails and create a folder in your inbox. Lastly, phone a friend. So, if you, these don't really resonate with you, I have a couple of friends that whenever I call them, we just laugh, they make me feel good. They're your sort of support system, so maybe you can call them. You have a list of people who are always really supportive that you can call. Especially for big stuff. You have a speaking event, a really big networking event, a really big pitch, sometimes that phone a friend option is a really great idea, 'cause it's really, they give you feedback on things, you can run things by them, so that can be a backup for you. All right. Step number two is master the handshake. Handshakes are so important. I cannot emphasize them enough. And in fact, I'm going to give you so many studies right now that you're not gonna be able to ignore the science and the art of the perfect handshake. Studies have found that one single handshake is worth three hours of face to face time. So if you were to walk up to someone and not put out your hand, you would not have the amount of report until you have three hours of face to face time with them. That power of touch is so important. And that is our body language law number 12. So if you wanna pull out your handout, The Laws of Body Language, this is in your free resources, with the bonus materials. The law of the handshake. The handshake will make or break you. A bad handshake can really hurt your report. A good handshake can speed up your connection incredibly, right? That is what the law of the handshake is all about. I'm gonna show you exactly what you need to do to make that handshake perfect. All right, let's do a couple of talk nerdy to me segments. Talk nerdy to me is when I talk about my favorite science experiments from the law of the handshake we just learned. So a good handshake shows that you are agreeable, conscientious, and you have a high emotional stability. So what this research did is they looked at what do people get from a good handshake? Is it intellectual curiosity? Is it personality? Is it charisma? These are the top three things people judge from you when you put out your hand. Yeah. I have a question for when you're sitting down at a dinner or at a table in a restaurant, and people come in, and especially, as a woman, what's, what's the best practice in terms of standing up or holding out your hand? Yes, so I always, and this is a great question men or women, it's a huge nonverbal sign of respect to partially stand up. So I always will get out of my seat, either completely or partially, and I will lean over the table to take someone's hand. I will take that step. And other people watching will also see you as more charismatic. So we judge a handshake, not only how it feels but how it looks. Right, presidential handshakes. There's a whole science behind the how a president shakes another president's hand. I mean, there are studies that have been done on the videos of presidential handshakes. So it's very important for also other people to see that handshake, that you are non-verbally saying I wanna respect you. Like, you're my partner, so it is worth standing up a little bit, leaning over the table and taking that handshake. That's a great question. It's worth it. So agreeableness, conscientiousness, and emotional stability. Those are the three things that people get from you from your handshake. People with a good handshake are seen as more extroverted, more open-minded, and less neurotic. Isn't that funny that those are the three things that people get from a really good handshake? The three top things? I find it so interesting that those are the three things that you get, but that's how specific we get with our handshake. People judge your level of neuroticism based on how you shake their hand, which I think is just crazy. All right, so how do you do the perfect handshake? Number one: vertical. We don't think about this when we do a handshake but it's very, very important that there's the up and down motion, right? It's not a handshake, it's not a wiggle, right? It's a vertical up and down motion. That is because it is a power play. So if you watch YouTube videos of presidents, former presidents shaking hands with enemies, other presidents in other countries, or the prime ministers in other countries, you will see that they will sometimes jockey for the power position. If you take someone's hand and you turn it down, you are saying I am more important than you, I am the dominant one in this relationship. So if you've ever shaken someone's hand and they turned your hand up, take very, very careful note. Don't ever do that to anyone. Even though it's a dominant move, it rankles them, unless you really wanna make an enemy. That's what you can do to make an enemy very, very quickly. So it's important that you keep it vertical, and if someone tries to push your hand, you go ahead and push it right back, right? You wanna stay in that vertical motion, 'cause it shows we are equal. We are equal. I've also had people give me their hand like this. They actually tell me, I'm being submissive to you. I've had people do that, and I will turn their hand and say no, we're equal. Right, that's actually a way to say, I want to be on the same page as you. So vertical is very important. It's often overlooked. You can also judge how someone feels about you if they move your hand one way or the other. Interesting tip. Dry. So, if possible, it's very important, it's very courteous to try to keep your hand as dry as possible. I know that some of you will have very sweaty hands, um, if you're holding a wet drink, try to keep it in the hand that you don't shake with, your dominant hand. So you can keep it very dry. It subconsciously rings a, it's kinda gross and it rings a red flags in people's head if your hand is a little bit damp. Yeah. That actually happened to me today, I just met a new person in the office and I had just washed my hands, and I'm shaking his hand and I'm going oh my god, my hand is wet. I bet he's thinking what is on her hand. So if that happens, or you're holding a wet glass, or even if it's sweaty, you can apologize for it. You can say, oh, sorry, my hands are wet, I just washed them, or sorry my hands are wet. You can actually say that. Again, vulnerability is okay, as long as it's honest, right? So that's totally okay. Firm. So, everyone has had the dead fish handshake. Ugh. This is the dead fish handshake. When you like, give out your hand and it's totally limp. This happened to me a few weeks ago. I was getting a massage. The masseuse was like oh, it's nice to meet you. My name is, I don't remember her name, my name is Michelle, and she gave me her hand and she gave me a dead fish handshake. And I went, the massage is gonna be terrible. Right? Just that, I was like, there's no way. If she doesn't give me a firm handshake, there's no way the massage is going to be good. So we judge a lot about a person based on their handshake, so firmness is really important. You also wanna hit the sweet spot. Remember how we talked about the law of the spectrum. Too firm is the death grip, and I have been death gripped by people where they try to crush your hand and they don't even realize it, but it hurts and it instantly makes you go I don't want anything to do with this person. So you want a nice level of firmness. Unfortunately, the only way to know good firmness is to practice. So you wanna try to get as many friends possible. We're gonna have a little handshake round table in a second, so we can help each other here in the audience. So later today, if you wanna practice with a couple of honest friends, that would be really good. Not too firm, and a little bit of motion. So, another mistake I see is people will do like a really big handshake, and they like take your whole arm and you're like hello, it's nice to meet you and your hand is like ow, my shoulder. So you wanna make sure you're having a little bit of motion but you don't wanna have no motion at all. Again, that sweet spot. So a tiny bit of motion. A good way to measure that is you wanna go the distance of your hand. Right, so, right, that's about the distance of your hand. Anything more than that is a little bit too much and a little bit less is guarded, seen as guarded. Does that make sense? So I think it's time to, is it time to try it? Yes, it's time to try it. So um, in the audience, if you wanna just turn to the person next to you and uh, try those handshakes. Tell me what you think. Oh, here, I am. Perfect, here, let me try it. Oh, that was good, that was good. That's nice and firm. You can squeeze even harder if you want. All right. All right, that was good. Oh, perfect. All right. I don't wanna miss you guys. That was good. You can squeeze me harder if you want. Yeah, perfect. Okay. That was good. I think I squeezed too hard. I said, oh, you gave me a little shocker at the end. Oh really, so that's perfect. Those are your ends. You just found your ends. What was too hard and was too light. That was your perfect ends. Yeah. I've always heard it's web to web and you meet the webs is that, is that something that you wanna consider? Yes, that's a good point, so sometimes, it happens by accident, where they grab your hand before you can get web to web, but you do wanna meet that lock. I wanna, I gotta thank the host hands. I gotta come over, I mean, come on guys. Oh yeah, that was good. Oh yeah, I love it. That was good. Okay, so, web to web if you can. That's perfect. I didn't want you guys to feel left out. I find this fascinating 'cause there are two people I remember very clearly in my life who I don't know at all, but I remember them for their handshake, because one of them was the wettest thing, it was like he stroked my hand and I was like ooh, but the other was a lady with the firmest grip I've ever come across and I remember her clearly and I only met her once. It was 15 years ago. I can tell you her name. I can tell you what she did. It's amazing. Isn't that amazing? That you can actually remember. We do remember the really bad and the really good handshakes. That's amazing to me. So uh, step three. So we talked about the handshake. And this goes right after the handshake is the power of touch. The reason why a handshake is so important is because we are talking about the power of touch, what that does for us. So when we touch someone, oxytocin is released in our brain. So very, very briefly, oxytocin helps us bond with people, it helps us connect with people. So it's really important to have that coursing in our brain 'cause it helps us build connections. That's exactly what it helps us do. By the way, the scientific word for touch is haptics, so if I use the word haptics, that's what I'm talking about. It's how we interact with people, how we touch them, either from hand to shoulder to arm, to hugging, we're gonna talk about the touch map in a second, so that power of touch is so important. And this is my body language law number 13. So pull out your Laws of Body Language, and the Law of Touch is what's next. And this is that touch increases connection if done right. This is one of my only laws that has an if because the law of touch can be taken out of context sometimes so it's only if it's done right and I'm gonna tell you about how to do that right. Again, those laws of body language are for free for you in the bonus materials. Just pull them out and keep up with us on number 13. Okay, so the touch map. This famous touch map. The touch map is where is it safe to touch someone on their body, right? So here's how it works. From the tip of your fingers, all the way up to your shoulders, is it gets more intimate the farther up your arm you go, right? That's how the touch goes. So hand is the least intimate, then forearm, then upper arm, then we get into back and pat, that's a little bit more intimate, when we get into back and pats. Anything on the front or the head, that is the no-go zone, okay? Unless you're in an intimate relationship with someone. In any kind of business relationship, and luckily this is a business course. We don't have to get into dating touch, 'cause that's a whole 'nother level of touch map. That's a different touch map. Torso, upper legs, frontal area, that's a no-go. You don't ever wanna touch someone there. And I want you to be really careful also in business, if you're gonna touch on the leg, I was actually, when I was in the car with Chase Jarvis, for Uber, he would touch sometimes people on the outer leg. That is okay if you have high, high levels of charisma. In business, I want you to play it safe. Stick with the arm and the hand. Leg can be a very intimate thing unless you already have a connection with them. That makes sense. And the face we also wanna avoid as much as possible in non-intimate relationships, 'cause that's a no-go zone. Vanessa, so here's what I see a lot of, particularly, unfortunately, when you're perhaps working with an older person, you sort of have this natural instinct to sort of put your hand towards their back, and I know people hate that, but why is that a natural thing to do? Is it a protective thing? Absolutely, it's a protective thing, and you know what's funny is men find it, they want to do that. Women don't have that impulse. Never, I've never had the impulse to guide someone's back. But it is a protective gesture. It's not a bad thing. Men who want to protect the person they're with, it's a congeniality, I've got you. It's literally like saying, I've got you. So it's not a bad thing, but in business environments, you wanna be really careful. In social and romantic, the back touch can be actually a great way to build report and increase connection quickly, but in business environments, you wanna be careful. Keep it to the arm and the further up you go is the more intimate. So how do we use haptics? How do we use them to our benefit? So I wanna give you the hierarchy of touching. One is a fist bump, and I put this in parentheses because if you can ever give a handshake, don't settle for a fist bump. It's like, you're robbing your brain of all that oxytocin it could get, right? That palm to palm, that connection is ingrained in us that we wanna build that report. If you give someone a fist bump, you're saying like, I'll kinda bond with you. Right? So I really encourage you, if you can, please use the full handshake. Next is the handshake. Number three, we have the double handshake. So would someone mind coming up with me? Who wants to take my hand? Sarah, okay. Come on up. So let's fist bump. We're never gonna do this, but this is level number one. We have to really bro it up though. Oh gosh. Okay, ready? Yeah. Okay. Thanks Sarah, that was good. Okay, so fist bump. Try not to do that, but if you have to, it's okay. All right, next, we've got the good handshake, right? Perfect. All right, see that nice little motion? That was perfect. Double handshake, so this is a double handshake. Yeah, you wanna do that. Do both people do it, or one person? So it's so interesting. When someone does a double handshake, it is in our instinct to double handshake them back if we like them. So, um, the double handshake is also called the politician handshake. That's the uh, right, you always see politicians do this. It's double, double bang for your buck, right? If you get double money, you're getting two kinds of hand touching, so it's more oxytocin, it's more control. You gotta be really careful with the double handshake, though. It can come off as inauthentic. I almost never use it. What I will do is I will sometimes, if I really am excited to see someone I 'll be like oh it's so good to see you. I will sometimes do that as almost like a half hug. That is okay as well. But be very careful with that double handshake. It's double bang for your buck. You can stay, you can stay. Okay. You can stay, don't go. So, number four is the pat, okay? So this is a little bit more intimate 'cause it's higher up, so um, patting can happen like this. Oh my god, it's so good to see you, right? It can also happen lower down. Men usually do that, and women almost never do that to each other. No. Never do that to each other. This is okay but it is more intimate, right? It's closer to the heart zone. It's closer to the torso. So if you're gonna do that with someone, I've also seen people take the hand and do this. That is also almost like a half hug, right? So anywhere up the arm, you're getting more and more intimate as you go. Hug, the most intimate. Yay! Okay, did you see what happened there? Watch this. So Sarah went like this, and I went up too, right? So what's interesting is, typically, we're almost the same height. How tall are you? 5'10". Actually 5'9 1/2" but 5'10". Okay, and I'm 5'8" and I'm in heels so we're almost the same height. People of the same height they have this sort of hug war. Have you ever seen this? So what you can do if you're the same height is you can actually go for the under. So if you wanna hug me again. Yeah. You can go for the under right, so that's always the easy way to do if you wanna avoid that back and forth awkwardness. How did you do that? Can I try that? Yeah, yeah, ready? So come at me. Okay. All right, and so you can easily do that. It takes the awkwardness out. I had someone ask me, what do I do when I get in that awkward. Just go for the under. That's how you get it, that's how you avoid it. Yeah, thanks Sarah. What do you suggest doing with hands during hugs? Ah, okay, so um, I do like, the full back pat. So the full grasp. It's a little weird when someone keeps their fists clenched. Have you seen that before? Or they leave their hands loose. It looks a little weird to other people. So take the, if you're gonna go in for the hug, right? You're gonna do it, do it right. Get the full oxytocin handshake and get the, use your hands open and relaxed. How do you feel about patting in the hug? So actually, that's interesting, so when you add a pat, a one two three motion, it's a little bit like a dominance display. We pat people who are less than us. I usually try to hold. So studies have shown that when we, when a superior will often pat his subordinates on the back more often. It's a dominance display. It's what the alpha does to say good job. So um, if you can keep them solid and nice and loose on the back, that's a much better first impression to not subordinate, to put someone in submission without meaning to. Yeah. What do you do if someone pats you? Um, okay, so because most people don't know that, sometimes they do it because they've seen it or they think it's good. It's okay, but I always keep it as a little thing in the back of my head. Look for any other dominance displays. We're gonna learn some more later. To see was that just a one-off? Or if they then, you know, take your hand later and then push it over, or they try to come into your physical space, we're gonna talk about proxemics in a little bit. That would be like, hm, okay, I'm feeling that they wanna dominate a little bit here. They wanna show that they're the alpha. So I would just keep that in the back of your head. Yeah. How about when you're ready to handshake and they're coming in for the hug. The most awkward moment in the world, basically, is what that is. Um, so, so I, you always get in that position when it's like a colleague that you're kinda friendly with, especially with women, you're not sure, so what I usually do is I approach people like this. And the reason I do this is because I can easily go into the hug if you want me to, if I see the hug coming, but I can also easily do a handshake and an upper arm grab. That is how I approach most people so that I am ready either way. I usually go in for the hug if I've met them before, typically. I always handshake someone the first time and then I hug them later. So that's how I approach them, that's what you can do if you wanna protect yourself against that horrible awkward moment of the oh, yeah, I'm a hugger, too, yes. Right, that's, what usually happens. Yeah. And how do you avoid the hug when it's a cultural difference? Okay, so give me a more specific example. Well, for example, when I came to the states, I was horrified that people were coming, people, guys, women, I don't know, who I didn't know who they were coming and grabbing me. Yes, okay, so that's a good note. So, that touch map that we talked about earlier, that is, it's more broader now, but there are some cultures where obviously from the difference in sexes, that is different. So in some cultures, Western cultures, it's the same for both sexes, but in different cultures, the sexes are different. Women to women can touch each other more than women to men. So how can you prevent a hug? That is very easy, right? This is how you prevent a hug. As soon as you meet someone, as soon as they're starting to approach you, you make sure that they see you are a hand shaker, you are not a hugger. They know, non-verbally, also it is a blocker. Right, you're putting your hand in front of your torso. You're saying, it's very close to that, right? It's like very close to that. That is the blocker. Especially if it's in a business environment and it's someone you've felt has gotten overly touchy in the past, so good to see you, right? That's how you do it to make sure that you're not gonna be hugged in a way that you do not like. Ah, arm shoulder touch, which we talked about. That's what you can add if you want. Um, so a couple different interesting things about touch and how it increases our likeability and our sales and our income. So, study after study shows how important touch is, so in this first thing, there are two different studies. And the first one, they had librarians touch people's hands as they checked out books. They would slide the books over and they would touch the hand as they picked them up and say thanks so much. In that, they, everyone, every single person, even people who didn't like to be touched, rated the librarian as more likable when they were touched, compared to people who didn't get that hand touch. In the second study was waitresses. Waitresses, they did an experiment where half of the tables got a arm, hand, or upper arm touch from the waitress as they checked out. Thank you so much for dining with us, or thank you so much for dining with us. They had a 17% increase in tips just from that. I mean, that is significant, right? So um, and that's both men and women had that. So um again, that arm is where the safe zone is. That's where that's the safe area of touch. Increased approval in check out ratings, in approval ratings and check out ratings. Oh, I'm sorry, it was a 41% increase. Oh you know what, 17% it was when they did the back touch. So a back touch actually had less increase in tips because it was too intimate. So what increases, 41% increase in tips when you do the hand, forearm, or upper arm touch, which is huge. Yeah. Is it for the waitress touching the paying person, or? Um, I don't, I have to go back and look, I'm assuming that it'd be the person who took the bill. 'Cause what they did is they had it when they handed them the bill, they touched, so it has to be the person that paid, but I'd have to go look in the study for you for that one. So step four with making a good first impression is gazing. So studies show that people who maintain eye contact while they speak are seen as more persuasive. So we talked about, in a normal conversation, 60-70% of the time, that is good eye contact. What's really important is that you make eye contact while you are speaking. So it's actually okay, it's socially acceptable, to process someone's thoughts. Of course, you wanna look them in the eye, but if you need to process someone's thoughts, oh that's interesting, how interesting, you can look away. That is socially acceptable. What's really important is that when you are speaking to someone, you don't look away. That is very, very persuasive. So eye contact builds connection faster. Can you guess? When we hold eye contact with people, we also get a nice dose of oxytocin. It's the same as that handshake. It's a mutual sign of respect and it builds connection and report much much faster. So this brings me to body language law number 14. The Law of Gazing, so purposeful gazing increases your power. So, again, if you uh, wanna look in the bonus materials, you can get out the Laws of Body Language, this is our law number 14. The right kind of gazing can increase your influence, your power, and your impact. And purposeful gazing is what's important here. As I talked about, it's when you are speaking and then using the right kind of gazing. Remember, yesterday we talked about the three different kinds of gazing. Remember, um, oh, before I get into those three different kinds of gazing, I also want to mention the spectrum here. So, oh you have a question. Okay, so the spectrum was that we want to sit in that 60-70% sweet spot. Sometimes people over-gaze. Have you ever had that? Where someone is like boring into your eyes while they're talking to you? Like they won't drop their eye gaze? That is too much. That's on the high end. Low gaze, obviously, overhead looking or shifty gaze. I want you right in the middle. I don't want 100% eye contact. We wanna stay in that 60-70%. Okay, so here are our three different kinds of gazing. First, power gazing. So this is the pattern that your eyes make when you look at someone. When you look someone in the face, you go eye, eye, forehead, in power gazing. That's the map that your eyes make on someone else's face. In business situations, this is exactly what you wanna be doing. You're keeping it professional, you're keeping it powerful, and you're using that pattern. When you're more intimate with someone, but still like in social situations, friends or close colleagues, you can use social gazing. This is when our eyes drop down. Eye, eye, mouth. That's the pattern our eyes make. It's literally like you're dropping your barriers down, that's literally what it's like. So in more social situations you can use that. The last one is intimate gazing. Eye, eye, sternum or chest. So upper chest, bless you. So it's, what's really important here about intimate gazing is to know when it's being used on you, right? If you're in a professional environment and someone is intimate gazing with you, that can send a oh wow, this person feels like maybe they're crossing a boundary. Or maybe they dropped to social gazing. You see that they're looking at your mouth or dropping their, that means they wanna have a closer relationship with yoU. That might be okay, say hey, let's go get drinks. You know, or you could say, I definitely wanna reach out on LinkedIn. So that can actually be a nice indicator for you that maybe there's further you can go with that interaction. Step five: proxemics. So this, proxemics, is the space that we interact with people. So how we interact with people in our physical environment. The space between us. Now what I'm gonna teach you is for Western cultures. Every culture, specifically, has different rules on space, so this is for Western cultures only. So the most important thing with space is to respect people's need for space. And I'm gonna show you exactly how to do this. So, I would love someone to, actually, I'm gonna have a couple of you come up and we're gonna demonstrate the law of space right on stage, so Jean-Marie, would you wanna come up first? Sure. Okay, okay. So I'm gonna have you stand right here. So Jean-Marie is gonna be our bullseye, right? Right there, she's our bullseye. And so this is I'm gonna demonstrate the law of space for you. So, when you're talking about space, the first area is the intimate zone. That is zero to 18 inches from the person you're speaking with. So that is very close, right? That is right here. I'm gonna have someone come up and stand in the intimate zone with you. Sashid, come on up. All right, such bonding we're gonna get with this intimacy. So you're gonna get zero to 18 inches away a little bit closer. Okay, and then we'll just let them be awkward, that's good. Okay, so um, personal, I'm gonna have you come a little bit this way so I can have more people come. Yeah, um, so personal, a little closer. Is uh 1.5 to five feet, so Sarah, come on up. Right, so this is the intimate zone, right? This should make them really uncomfortable. We're gonna check in with them in a second and see how uncomfortable they get. All right, Sarah, you're 1.5 feet, 1.5 away from Jean-Marie, so you're gonna be about right come over here. A little bit further back. All right, so this is the personal zone. So this is where, and you can step out for just a second. So in a business situation, this is where you'd want them to stand, about this distance apart. You can go right back to the intimate zone. Okay, Erita, come on up. You're gonna be in the social zone, okay? So this is five to seven feet from Jean-Marie, so I would say right at the edge of the stage. Don't fall back yet, perfect. Okay, so, um, this, the distance from Erita, see they're already, they're bonding, can you hear? Erita and Jean-Marie, this is the social zone, right? So that's in a party situation, it's okay to stand that far apart. And lastly, Meg, if you just wanna stand in your chair. That's public, right? So that's as far as you are if public is beyond. So I'm gonna have you sit down, just to remind people. So again, we have, you can sit on down. Thank you. So this, we have the personal zone. Sarah, you can sit down. This distance is social zone, so if you're in a group, you can be chatting with people, oh yeah, so good to see you. You can sit down. And from Meg to Jean-Marie is the public zone. That is public space. That's about how much space we want when we're standing at a bus station from the people who are near us. Right, that's what we like. Thank you. Thank you. Did that feel awkward when you were in the intimate zone together? Absolutely. I know. It really invades our personal space. And the reason I make people do that is because that bubble was crossed, right? I forced him into your bubble. The reason why this is so important for people watching, for those people in the audience, is if you cross into someone's zone, their brain stops thinking about what you're saying. All they're thinking about is this person is in my zone, right? You couldn't even hear what I was saying, right, 'cause you were just like, this person is so close to me, right? 'Cause that they're crossing into your zone so it's very, very important to maintain that proper distance, that proper space in between people. I have a ninja tip for you. We're gonna have a couple ninja tips the next few days. My ninja tip is to plant yourself and see how close people come to you. So here's something that I occasionally do at networking events when I wanna gauge how they feel with me. I will stand at a bar table, or a table that's nearby, and I will plant. Planting means that you claim the table. You hold on. When you put your touch onto something, it means you're claiming it. So I will claim the bar table, I usually put my purse down, my phone down, I put my drink on the table and I claim. And then I wait and see how close people come to me. That actually helps me gauge how they feel about me, right? If I see that they come very close? Oh, okay, they wanna have a close connection. I've had people stand very, very far back and talk to me from there and I go okay, they're not comfortable yet. I need to do more report building. So you can actually plant and see how close people come to you. Um, if you think you're a close talker. Have you ever met any close talkers? People who come right here. Anyone think that they might be a close talker? No? It's very hard to tell. So close talkers are people who get very into your zone and they slowly go in so what I want you to pay attention to is when you're talking to people, see where they put their torso. If they lean towards you, you are too far away from them. You can come in. If you see them leaning back, it means you are too close to their zone. Everyone has a little bit of wiggle room with those bullets, so you can see, okay, they're leaning back? I'm close talking and you can slowly take a step back and give them a little space. They non-verbally pick up on the fact that you adjusted for them. Subconsciously, we're like ah. Got out of my space, or you can take a step closer. Oh my god, it's so great talking to you, 'cause you noticed they were leaning toward you, they were leaning in. Right, so that's how you can use the law of proxemics in networking events when you're talking to people. All right, questions before we go into our homework and some of the top pitch mistakes? We have a little bit of time for questions. Yeah, a little bit of time, we do have quite a lot of questions in the chatroom, but I think we will save those for later in the day. Any burning questions in the audience, okay? I just have so much fun with this section. I can't help myself. Yeah, it's been a great session, absolutely, and we've got great questions, but I think we'll come back to them a little later on. Okay, I promise, chatroom, we will get to you, um, so. Step five is just avoiding the classic nonverbal networking mistakes. So these are the biggest networking mistakes that I see, they're very easy to avoid. First, forgetting the law of engagement. So we learned the law of engagement yesterday. Does anyone remember what it is? The law of engagement is about um, torso and toes, oh I think we actually learned today. It's making sure that your torso and toes are aligned with them. Remember, we talked about that during the pitch section? That when you walk up to someone, you make sure your torso and toes are aligned. That's mistake number one is people forget to line up their torso toes and they forget the law of engagement. Interestedly, our toes subconsciously point towards what we want. We talked about this a little bit yesterday during body language trivia. That our toes, when we're attracted to someone, typically orient towards the person that we are most attracted to. That is because our brain wants us to move forward, towards that person, so our toes align with them. What's interesting is this happens in a couple different areas. It can happen in attraction, so during, I love watching speed networking events. They're like my favorite. I can always tell who's gonna get the highest ratings, which couples are gonna pair up, 'cause typically their toes align no matter where they're standing in the room. They'll move around the room and their toes will align with each other 'cause that's the person that they're most attracted to in the room. Also office crushes. You can always tell who has the office crushes when you watch where those toes point. Also social alphas, people who are leaders of a group, like the organizer of the group. We typically point our toes towards them 'cause we wanna orient towards them. They're the planner of the group. Especially if it's someone's birthday, we also typically point our feet towards the birthday person 'cause we know that for that night, they're the social alpha. We're there for them. You can also do this towards the leader or boss. Here's a little challenge, a little game you can play with yourself. So when you go to networking events, try to guess, in clumps or groups, who is the boss, who is the leader of the company? You will see that most people will point their feet towards their boss, and you can test yourself with that by seeing who the boss is in the group. And the other thing that we point our toes towards is the exit. So when you're at networking events, and you see someone point their toes towards the exit, it usually means they just have to go. So I am very attuned to someone's toes 'cause I don't wanna keep them longer than they're there and I'll say, if you have to go, don't worry about it. And sometimes they're like oh, thanks so much, my parking is almost up. That actually happened to me just the other day. So watching those toes to see those subconscious thoughts. Mistake number two: ignoring the map. So you can map out networking events. You can figure out what the natural flow of a room is. So most people, when they first get to a networking event, they check in. They have a little check in table, maybe they drop off their coats, wherever they first get into and this is the worst place to meet people. But it is a classic mistake. Often people stand, they kinda hover by the entrance and they meet people right as they're walking in. The problem with that psychologically is when people first get into networking events, they need to take in their surroundings. You have to give them a second to settle. So you want to avoid standing right at the entrance. You wanna go into the room. Let people get their bearings. The next place that people typically like to go is they stand out near the bathroom. This is also not a good place because usually as people are walking into the bathroom, and then you stop them to meet them, that's all they're thinking about, right? So that's another mistake place to stand. The bar. So most people will say oh I go hang out at the bar. Here is the problem with the bar. If you have someone who's just getting their drink, their mind is on one thing. Getting their liquid courage. That's all they want, is they want that drink. So if you meet them while they're getting their drink, they're half with you. They're half distracted, so that's also not the best place to stand. Don't worry, there's yellow places. Those are the good places to stand. The other mistake that I see is people stand by the food and think, oh, I'll go stand by the buffet, and I'll chat with people oh, what do you think about the food? The problem with that is, again, people have one goal in mind. All they want is to feed themselves and if they have low blood sugar, they need to eat. The other problem with food is, you get your big plate of food and you're like, oh yeah, hi, it's so nice to meet you, and you have this kind of awkward, and you often have to skip the handshake because they have food in their hand or they're trying to eat and listen to you at the same time. Yeah. So, the best place to stand, the sweet spot for networking events, and this is where I always stand in crowded rooms is as people exit the bar. So when you get into a room, look at the flow of people. They often approach the bar in one direction, they get their drink, and they usually exit in the same place and that is exactly where you wanna stand. Where people get where they've just gotten their drink, and you'll notice. Watch people approach a bar, 'cause they're always like, I'm goal-oriented. And they leave and they'll be like, and they're ready to meet people. That is the sweet spot to stand right where they exit, where that flow happens. And the other place you can go is seats. If there are seats for food, so people can come and sit down and put their plate down, that is a great place to also situate yourself. Especially if you're an introvert, that can be a little bit easier. So you sit there, they put their plate down, you give them a handshake and then you can start talking. So that's another really little sweet spot to do. Mistake number three: not knowing what to say. So I have for you in the free bonuses my favorite conversation starters. I have for you how to turn people on emotionally, of course, and I also have an article about how to be socially successful. So those are all for you in the free bonus section since we're talking a lot about nonverbal, I wanted to make sure I added a little bit of verbal in there as well. A couple of very quick tips for introverts and I have a whole article on this on my website and a video for you. Is start small, go for an hour. For introverts, sometimes you don't have all that energy to waste. Just plan on going for half an hour, 45 minutes, an hour, right? Next, avoid groups. So if you're gonna approach people, or you're gonna sit at a table in that sweet spot, go for small groups. One to two, at the most, three people. It's much easier to manage non-verbally with one or two people. Three is too many. And get a body language partner. So if you need someone to sort of be there with you, um, watch this course with a friend and say okay, we're gonna hold each other accountable on this. That's one of the, I see the greatest leaps when people can watch the courses together 'cause then they can call each other and say, hey like, open up your torso a little bit or, you know, like smile, you know, like talk about something you're excited about. You get someone who helps you with those things that you've both learned. They know what you're working on. Don't forget our laws of space, vocal power, hands, and growth. So I want you to review your laws of body language 'cause all of them are the foundations to good networking and they all apply here. After the next, during the next segment, we're gonna be talking about how to increase your income. So now that we've done your elevator pitch, we've done networking, you finally got the client, how you close them. That's what we're gonna be talking about next.

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!