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The Power of Body Language

Lesson 9 of 27

Power Body Language

Vanessa Van Edwards

The Power of Body Language

Vanessa Van Edwards

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Lesson Info

9. Power Body Language

Lesson Info

Power Body Language

Step one, self diagnosis. What happens for you naturally. Step two, use expressive hands and keep them visible. Step three is to use power body language which is my favorite part of the course, because it is I think the most important part of non verbal communication. There's a really interesting cycle that happens between emotions and non verbal, and this is the basis of where power body language comes from. Bear with me while I explain this experiment and how it works. First, we need to know the law of body language. This is law of body language number eight. I know we're doing a lot right here in a row. Law of body language is number eight. Is the law of emotion. This is the emotions and body language are interconnected. The myth about body language. Most people think that body language is just for the benefit of others. You read body language, and they interpret your body language. Actually there's a whole 'nother dimension to body language that now we're going to be adding to this...

course. We've learned about reading other people. We've talked a little bit about your own, and now we're gonna talk about how it affects your internal emotions and your internal hormones. This amazing study was done, that looked at how we feel emotions in the body. They asked people who were in different emotional states, to figure out where their emotions showed in the body, and what they found was each emotion expresses itself differently within our bodies. Not even our outer self, our inner self. For depression for example, look at the depression one. The blue indicates a lack of activity, whereas the red and orange indicates a heightened activity. Depression, you feel less activity on all of your limbs. All you want to do is go to sleep, sit down. You literally feel less in your body. Whereas happiness is the exact opposite. You feel heightened senses in all of your body. That is one of the reasons why for defeat you want to crumple to the floor. When you're so depressed, your body actually feels like it has less activity. We feel different emotions differently in our body and I could spend hours talking about this stuyd, but I wanted to show it to you so tyou can see how different each emotion is, and you can also, I highly encourage you to look at this and think about each emotion and how you feel it. Does it correspond for you? Do you feel that heightened action? For example, fear, typically makes your hands cold, because our blood rushes in to our vital organs. That's why in the fear expression you see a ton of activity in the chest area. Our heart rate starts going. We start breathing faster, and we have very little activity in our limbs. Typically our feet and our hands get very cold when we're in fear. It's an interesting emotional physiological response. Yeah? Given these body maps, what would be the ideal expression for pitching a start up idea for a group of like 100 people? The ideal body language is really hard. For me, it is neutral, because I want my brain thinking on all gears. If you can make your body confident, you don't have heightened or decrease in any of the areas. This is for me, by the way. This is not according to the science. According to the science there is no ideal. It depends on whatever emotion you feel. For me, I try to get myself into calm equilibrium. That is for me, but I think it's different for everyone. Some people really like to feel like their adrenaline is pumping. They like to feel like they have heightened activity in all of their limbs. Maybe it's happiness. Some people love to feel fear before they walk on stage. They feel like it gets their adrenaline pumping and they want that. I think it depends on for you. Place to ask, but this question is coming, and I'm really curious because this happens to me a lot. ShadyK again from Spain is saying, is blushing a body language? Is that what we're talking about here, because everybody blushes, but some people do it more easier than others. I do it very easily. Is this part of what we're talking about? I actually just blushed there, because I caught myself with my hands like this. I did this real fast. I actually started blushing. Oh no, I made you guys paranoid. Don't worry, don't worry. It's okay. Yes, blushing is definitely a body language cue. It is a physiological response to an internal emotion. Blushing is one of the things we're gonna be talking about when we talk about lie detection, because blanching or blushing is something that our body naturally does when we feel a heightened emotion and blushing happens during a couple of different emotions. Not just one. It could happen, it depends on the person. Where they have that blood rush to their cheeks. It's not just one emotion that happens. I'd have to look up specifically in the study, which of these 12, which of these, I think we're at 14, which of these 14 have blushing specifically? But I know that it's a couple of them, because there's heightened activity in the face for a couple of them. Okay, so let's talk about how this works for us. This study is very interesting, but how do we apply it in our own life? Amy Cuddy at Harvard Business School is an amazing researcher, and she wanted to know how does body language affect our internal emotions? What she did is she brought participants into the lab, and she split them up into two different groups. In one group, she had them do power body language. In the other group, she had them do low power body language which we're gonna learn in a second. First she tested their saliva. She wanted to see what their hormone levels were when they came into the lab. Then she had them stand in these two different body language expressions for five minutes. Just five minutes. In some of her experience, it was only two minutes. Then she had them gamble. To do a couple gambling activities. Then she tested their saliva again. She wanted to see, does low power and high power posing, A, affect how much you gamble, and B, does it change your hormone levels? All internal, which we don't usually think body language affects, but we're gonna learn, it does. Very briefly, I just want to talk about the hormones testosterone and cortisol. I promise I will not do this for too long. Very very briefly. Cortisol, the nickname for it is the stress hormone. It is exactly the opposite of we want coursing through our bodies during a pitch. We do not like cortisol. It makes us feel stress. It causes us to have weight gain. It slows down our thinking. It causes us to have dry mouth. It is not what we want coursing through our bloodstream. Testosterone is the opposite. Testosterone is the strength hormone or the power hormone. It makes us think faster. It makes us run faster. It makes our cognitive abilities sharper. It increases our muscle mass. It's exactly what we want coursing through our body. Interestingly, when I talked about the gorilla study earlier, about how gorillas who are naturally leaders of their pack, the alphas of the group always have extremely low cortisol levels and extremely high testosterone levels. That is how they are able to lead, is they have very little stress, and a lot of strength. The second that gorilla is replaced either by sickness or overthrown, their cortisol levels increase and their testosterone levels drop within three days. Their body knows you're not a leader anymore, and the person who took over, their cortisol levels increase. Their cortisol levels decrease, and their testosterone levels increase. That's just the basis of these two hormones. Here's what happened after this experiment. They were just standing in this for five minutes. First, the high power group took 86% more risks. They gambled more just by standing in power body language. They felt more invincible. Second the high power group had an increase in testosterone and the low power group had a decrease in testosterone. They actually lost the exact hormone they needed to make them feel better. Cortisol, the high power group, had a decrease in cortisol, and the low power group had an increase in cortisol. This is like crazy crazy powerful stuff. That just standing and your body language can make you feel more powerful or less powerful and I give this a moment of science because I think it is an amazing way that we change the way we think about body language. This also has an implication in our, what I call positive feedback loop with body language. If you feel bad, you start to go into low power body language, which we're gonna learn in a second, and then that makes you feel even worse, because it gets your cortisol pumping. As you feel bad, your body makes you feel even worse and worse and worse. The opposite happens when you're feeling happy. When you're feeling proud and happy, you begin to produce the exact hormones that make you feel proud and happy and powerful and it makes you feel even more proud and happy and powerful, so we can control. Fake it till you make it. That came up a little bit earlier. You actually can fake it until you make it. Get higher levels of testosterone, and decrease your levels of cortisol. Let's talk about body language law number nine. This is the law of space. At home, pull out your handout, laws of body language, and the law of space is that, the more expansion, the more confident. The more expansion, the more confident. The more contraction, the less confident. This is how we're gonna learn about power body language. Low power versus high power. The more expanded, the more space you take up, the more powerful you feel, and the less space you take up, the less powerful you feel. It is the law of space with body language. Let's talk about how that works in action. Low power. I would actually love you to just try this, in your seats at home. Get into low power body language for me for a second. I'm gonna do it with you. Cross your legs. Cross your arms across your chest. Thank you. You can hang your head low. Roll on your shoulders. I just want you to sit like that for a second while I talk about this, and you'll begin to feel tired, weak and irritable. The reason for this is, because we take up less space. Our body is saying, we don't belong here. We are low confident, and our cortisol levels begin to pump. How's it feel so far? You don't like it, right? No, it feels horrible, right? When I started doing it, I'm like oh God stop. We can sit up. I'll show you the high power version. Remember that was defeat. That was closer to defeat. Now we're going to go into the pride. The high power. High power. Now I would love everyone to stand up. We're gonna power pose for a second. You are welcome to take any of these poses. Take space, hands on hips. That is the best one. This gets your testosterone flowing and your cortisol levels low. I love it. We claim territory. The more space we take up, the more we feel like we're dominating the room. We're dominating what we're doing. At home, I hope you're standing up. I hope you're putting your hands on your hips. Get that testosterone going. Arms loose, head high, and chest up. That's the most important thing, is we keep our shoulders back and our head up. It's actually very similar to what Jean-Marie did when she was talking about her pride body language. She was up, she was expressive. Her head was back. All right, you can sit down, please. Thank you. Hope you got a little jolt of testosterone, and by the way, whenever I come in the room, right before I come back in for a segment, I always try to power pose a little bit to get my testosterone going. Again, we are gonna talk about the spectrum. Remember the law of the spectrum. Where, on the high end, this is high body language. Oh, it's great. It gets your testosterone flowing. However, it is very socially aggressive. I don't want you going into meetings with your clients like this. This is not the way that I want you to stomp into meetings with your clients. Although it is very confidence producing, it is on the high end of the spectrum. On the low end of the spectrum, we have that defeated. On the high we have that one. I want you in the sweet spot. I want you right in the middle. This is because it's not socially aggressive. What you use power posing for, is before you go to events. Pre power posing is what you do while you're getting ready. Getting ready to go out. Power pose, I encourage everyone who is every doing interviews, show up early, go in the bathroom, Amy Cuddy who did this study always says she stands in the bathroom stall with her chest up and she does the Wonder Woman before she goes in. It is pre power posing. That is what these are for. One other thing you can do to pre power pose is dance. Dancing is a fabulous and easy and less awkward way to power pose. I actually have a playlist that I play when I'm getting ready, that gets me moving and that power makes me want to use my arms and my legs and I won't dance for you now. I'll spare you all that wonderful afternoon experience, but you can also dance if that feels a little bit less awkward for you. It's claiming space, shoulders back, chest up, head up. What I want you to do and this is our step five, is to find your launch stance. Your launch stance is that ideal sweet spot area that I want you to stand in. We're gonna work on this one on one, because I want to have each person come up on stage and you're gonna find the stance that works best for you, and what you're gonna do to find this, is look at your self diagnosis chart. Flip back to your self diagnosis chart, and who wants to start? You want to start with me, up here? All right, come on up. What we're gonna do is, when you think about your proudest moment, what kind of things did your body naturally do? I was open. My hands were out, kind of like similar to this, or this. In the rock star. When you're standing, and your launch stance should be what you launch into when you're at a networking event, a pitch meeting, or a client meeting. Does this feel comfortable to you? Is this how you like to stand? The feet wide, yeah. Feet wide, perfect. What's comfortable for you for your hands? Yeah, but you can't do that. Since you already like to be up, you can either leave them loose, or you can have a gesture out. That's an easier way. A much less socially aggressive way that having them up. Does that feel good to you? Does that feel like a good launch stance for you? Yeah. That feels natural? And notice his shoulders are back which is great. His chest is up and he's looking straight forward, as opposed to having chin tucked, and this is a great wide stance and it's very socially acceptable. This is your launch stance which is fantastic. Okay, thank you. Whose next? Who wants to come up next? Sarah. Thank you. All right, so tell me about your proudest moment, and what you did. I took a very difficult classical Chinese class, and the teacher unfairly ended up not passing me, and so I thought that this was just incredulous. I was so angry, and so I went and actually appealed, and through a long arduous painful depression inducing process, I finally came out and was like, and so I did a lot of like, I'm definitely a confident dancer. You're a dancer. Yeah. For Sarah, movement is a natural part of her launch stance. This already came to you naturally. You are totally fine and this is called the pivot. In your launch stance you are totally okay. When you're talking to people, gesturing, and having a lot of fluid and moving your upper body. The more movement we have, also the more confident we feel and we're gonna learn that in the next, another law. For you, you're welcome to pivot. That's totally natural for your launch stance. Hands, so what feels comfortable for you? Open hands, maybe hands. Is this okay? Totally okay. If that feels more natural for you. She was up. He was already up. For you, you like to have more movement in the shoulders, so for you, your launch stance is loose hands and they can be down. Visible but down. You just want to make sure that they stay out of your pocket and they stay unclenched. Great. That's gonna be your biggest challenge, and how does the spacing feel for you? My friends tease me. It's usually the hips forward, with the legs open. They call it the power stance. Yeah, it is, he power stance. That's good. It's a very cowboy pose. Totally, yeah that with a dance. That is claiming territory. You're actually claiming territory with your pelvis. That's good. This is a great launch stance for you. Fists, watch out for the fists, and avoid those pockets since they're closed, but I love it. Thank you. Perfect. Okay. Max, join my circle. Absolutely. Join my circle. So tell me about your proudest moment. I didn't get to hear your proudest moment, but you'll tell me later. Tell me about your proudest moment. My proudest moment happened exactly a year ago and I got an email that I just got offered a role in a professional show in Portland and it was the first time that I got offered an acting part that's actually paying me money. Paying you money, amazing! I was really excited. You said musicals made you happy earlier, right. Theater made you happier, earlier. This is perfect. What did you feel in that moment? An immense amount of pride, and I definitely felt like my chest open and my arms tend to get really relaxed and free because I'm really excited. That's perfect. You said chest. Earlier I think you said you caved in on your chest for low confidence, so for you it's very much about bringing open and back. When you go into networking events or pitch meetings, your tendency is gonna be to roll forward. That's what happens to you when you're nervous. Hitting that power, keeping your chest open and back is exactly where you want to try to remind yourself to do. Your hands look good. Are they comfortable like that for you? What do you want to do with them? Normally they go straight for the pockets. I'm consciously not putting them there right now. One thing you can do is you can put things in your pockets, like from a paper, so that if you feel yourself do it, you can make sure that you don't feel it. You can also try to raise your hands up if you want. You can bend at the elbows if that helps. My launch stance is this. This is my launch stance. This is how I interact. This doesn't look as natural for you, so you can't do it. Okay. You see how different that looks? Do it again. Who looks like they're not natural? For you, that was not a natural behavior. If you're comfortable leaving your hands down, I trust you that you'll leave them out of your pockets and that can be your launch stance, and I'm okay with them being asymmetrical. Does that feel natural to you? Normally I'm pretty parallel I would say. That's how I feel confident. Perfect, and that is true. The only thing you don't wanna do in your launch stance is pigeon toe. That is a very low confidence behavior. As long as you're parallel or out, you can also have one out if you want. A lot of women have that as their launch stance. Where they lea forward on one hip. That's also totally okay. I love it. Parallel. For you, your biggest trick is gonna be keeping your shoulders back so your chest is open because your tendency is to roll in. Sure, thank you. All right, thank you. No, what was the show and what was the part? Cats. That's cool. What was the part? Alonzo. Well done, congratulations. Cool. I just want to briefly say before we bring up the last three that when you do your self diagnosis chart at home, I want you to actually stand up and figure out, move your hands around. Do you like parallel? Do you like them out? Your launch stance is incredibly important because I want it to feel natural for you. I want to be based on that high confidence behavior we already found, and that is where you go, when you walk into a networking event. When you walk into a pitch. When you walk into a date. I used to stand like this. I was a big crosser, and I would typically do this with my hands where I would grab one in the other hand. That's called the King Charles, by the way. He typically walks with his hands like that. This was my original stance. This is how I would stand at networking events, which is very very low confidence. For me, when my proud moment, I was a big gesturer. This is how I showed my pride. I just brought that in very slightly, and now this is my launch stance. Okay, Irena, come on up. Tell me about your proudest moment, and then we'll talk about the body language that feels natural for you. I don't know about the proudest moment but the proud moment, one of the services which I offer is, I'm teaching moms with cameras how to use their cameras. I love that. Because they have this wonderful equipment they have no idea how to use, and they're usually afraid of it. I had a class recently, and after the class a woman came to me and was recent camera in the line and I know how much it cost and she said that she took several photography classes and she started understanding how to use her camera only after my class. That's so nice. Yes. That was your proudest moment. That was my very proud moment recently. You under express. You're not a big. Are you, do you gesture out a lot, or? It depends. It depends. So what feels natural to you and high confidence? Where do you think your launch stance is? I'm leaning. You're a leaner. That's totally okay. As long as it's not back. We talked about safe leaning. Forward. You can do the forward lean. I have some people who their launch stance is slightly stepping forward. Totally fine as long as your weight's in the front foot and they gesture like this. That's totally fine. You can also do the side lean, either one. As long as you're not going back. As long as you're not rocking back. Keep your toe down and even. You're a side lean, that's great. What else? My hands over here. That's exactly what we're doing earlier. I usually try to hold something. Perfect. Not to clench. I remember that it's not really the good thing. I don't know that this is not a good thing, so I'm trying to hold something in my hand. Perfect. Remember Irena brought up the pen earlier. This one is. This one is not terrible. It's not low confidence. It's very high confidence, it just can be a little socially aggressive. For you, knowing that you like to have an object, a glass of wine, a glass of water, coffee, a pen, a business card, a cell phone. But something that's going to keep your hands from not clenching. For you to watch out for that clench, that's gonna make sure that you stay in this launch stance. This is your launch stance, yeah? That's my launch stance. Perfect, I Like it. Awesome, thank you. All right. Jean-Marie, I already got to hear your proud moment, but what feels natural to you? You had a lot of movement in yours. I have big expressions. Yes. That's my thing is like you, to bring it in, get a little more centered. I'm trying to get away from doing the pageant thing, which. Is that why you stepped back? I don't know what this is, but I feel that this is. This is pageant. Hi, welcome to our pageant on body language. That is not what you want at networking events. No, but I have. You stepped back, if you noticed, when you got on stage. I did step back, so I should really step forward is what you're saying. You don't wanna go over forward, because that's not gonna be natural for you, but to know that when you get into a room, your tendency is to do this. That's okay. If you hit that, you're just gonna rock right back. That's what you're watching out for. Do you like leaning? Do you like parallel? What feels comfortable to you? I think that I'm gonna do the thing that the girls do, which is gonna lean on one hip or the other. That's a little bit more pageanty, so if you've been training on that. That's okay. No, I haven't. I'm just saying, I fall into that I think a little bit. Leaning is good. Leaning. I think that's mine. That can also help you. If you shift the movement from side to side, that will keep you from not leaning back. That's your movement. That's good, and hands I think you're very naturally, you keep your hands up already. We just have to reign you in a little. I'm the same, I'm the same. Make sure that you don't hunch your shoulders and if you're reigning yourself in. It's not your shoulders. I love your shoulders. Keep them back, but keep it tight. Right, exactly. I like it. Thank you. All right Meg, last but not least. This is hard. I know, this is a hard one, but once you find it, you're done. That's always always your stance wherever you go and you can do this same thing seated, by the way. Wherever you kept your hands, that's the same thing you do seated. But this may be more of a challenge for you, because professionally I can go into a room and if it's people I'm supposed to be talking to I feel comfortable and at ease. I can even, I've been a docent at the museum. I can round up 25 people who don't even wanna be there and entertain them and make them feel. That's the definition of a docent at the museum. All that. The place I have trouble, is when it's about me. When you ask for times when I feel proud, it's usually, everything I thought of, was watching somebody I'm proud of. That's actually okay, especially if you feel like you supported them through their proud moment. Tell me about that proud moment. I was showing Irena pictures of watching my children get married. Wonderful. Or an achievement, that sort of thing. What do we notice about body language so far? What do we notice about Meg's body language? Any helpful tips? What do you feel like you do, when you're feeling that proud moment? I don't know. All right, we can help her. That's okay. That's why we do this exercise, because it's very hard to self diagnose. What did you notice, as she was talking about that moment? I think she tended to drift back a little bit into the background. Even though you're really happy, you could do the leaning it in a little more. Anything else that we noticed? One foot forward. You actually naturally do this. You actually naturally had your foot towards me, so that actually could be part of your launch stance is standing so that you're like this. So you're into it, because I didn't see you go side to side, so that's a very good point. I saw another hand up too. She's open. She has the cheeks thing down too. Totally. The happiness definitely reaches your upper cheeks. Here's what's hard for me. I'm giving a talk and someone says, do you want me to introduce you, or do you wanna introduce yourself? I always say, I'll introduce myself, because I don't know what to do when somebody's introducing me. This is my angry stance. Can I go like that? I go back, or I do something. The problem is, I bet you're too humble when you introduce yourself. I bet you never say. I go right through it. I give them my name. We want to find her a launch stance, that she can go into and feel comfortable when someone else is introducing you. That's what I want, and that's you're being humble. You're just being confident. That's not over the top. I actually, I do like, if this feels comfortable to you, does it feel more comfortable like this, or does it feel less slightly stepped forward? What feels better for you? Like that. Yeah, so slightly forward. For Meg. Turning towards somebody. Right, so slightly forward. Either stepping towards them, or stepping towards the room. I saw you do that naturally and that is actually nice for you, because it helps keep you engaged and forward as opposed to leaning back. I also noticed that she kept her hands very close to her heart area. When you were talking, notice she gestured up here. I tend to gesture down here. You actually gestured up here. I actually think that if you stand like this, with some of your hands up. Does that feel natural to you? No, but I can work on it. No, no, I want something that feels natural to you. You were staying with your hands down. Does that feel natural? Where are they most comfortable? You wanna put your hands in your pockets. It's so hard, I know. No, I think. I think up. I would recommend that when you get in your launch stance you bend at the elbow. This is how you listen, and this is how when someone's talking about you, this is very confident way of standing because you're open, but you're also not putting your hands behind your back which a lot of people do, when they're feeling embarrassed. If someone's talking about them, they're like, so bending at the elbows, and keeping your hands out, with that slight foot forward. How does this work, if I'm at a networking event and I don't want to network? It's not my event, but I have to be there. I've got my glass, and I don't want to. You don't want to network. You really want me to show you? I can show you. It's not that I don't want to, it's that it feels so awkward so I just tend to step back. Okay, we're gonna talk about. But I do not wanna take over either. We're gonna talk about networking tomorrow, so that's good but this is your launch stance for both. If you have a cup in your hand, this is how you can do it with a slight step forward. That's how we're gonna stand, and we're gonna talk about closing your body off or open to whoever you do or don't wanna talk to. I promise I'll do that tomorrow. Okay, cool. Yes, give yourselves a round of applause. (audience applause) Never easy to come up here, so we really appreciate you doing that. Thank you. Oh, it's so hard. Do you guys wanna come up? We can do it. Yeah, Peter. For those of you at home, I worked obviously with the audience on their launch stance. This is a very easy thing for you to do. Here's a couple of inspirational poses that are great for launch stance. I mentioned bending at the elbows. That's a really easy thing to do if you tend to put your hands in your pockets. That's my trick for keeping my hands out and expressive, but still in the box, right, because I want them along my torso. This is a very natural one. Here's what you wanna make sure that you're doing. You want to have loose arms. That's the first thing you want to have in your launch stance. You wanna have an open torso. Not crossing, not blocking. I see a lot of women will stand like this. This is partially blocking. We also do this with our purse. I don't actually have a purse to show you, but sometimes women will hold their purse and they'll bring it in front of their body, and they kind of clutch it. It's like a security blanket. It's a blocking behavior. If you're standing with your purse at a networking event, you wanna also practice your launch stance with your purse on, keeping your torso open. That's part of that. Shoulders down and back, and this is gonna be different for each of you. For Max we had your shoulders were very back and broad. It looked very natural on you. For me, I look a little weird when I do that, so I have to keep them just neutral, so shoulders as long as they're not rolled in, I want them neutral or back and down. Yeah? If you were to be holding a purse, would it be okay to? I just noticed I use that as a comfort when I hold my purse and I hang onto it with one arm? Totally fine as long as your hand is visible. As long as you're not hiding it behind your purse, I actually find it's actually a nice gesture, because you can walk around and be gesturing with one hand. Poor men, you guys don't have a purse to depend on. Yes, you can hold your hand there, because it's keeping you open and visible. It actually helps you not put them in your pockets. Which is kind of a nice thing. A clutch also can work. If you're a female and you tend to put your hands in your pockets, cross things over, you could hold your wallet or a clutch, as a way of keeping them open, and you can hold it down here, so your hands are still visible, or under your arm. That also works too. Last one is head up. We do two things when we're anxious that are both low confident in that law of space that we talked about. We sometimes will turtle down. People will actually turtle down, where their head is up, or they tilt down and they tuck their chin. Both of those are low confidence gestures. I see people listen like this. I see people, uh huh. It's actually taking up less space. As long as your head is up, doesn't matter to me if it's tilted, or if it's looking side to side, as long as it's up, that's in good launch stance. It's not socially aggressive. It's in that sweet spot. It's not socially aggressive, and it's not low confidence, so that's where I want you to be. Especially if you guys wanna go home and change it, or adapt it a little bit. These are the things that I want you to follow for your launch stance. Why does this matter? We talked a lot about the power body language, but I want to show you one very very relevant study for what we just learned. Professor Stephen Sessi, did an amazing study where he wanted to see if body language could change his student's perceptions of his teaching. What he did was, is he scripted one of his classes, so he was doing exactly the same content. Scripted the content, same exact slide deck, and he even videotaped them to make sure they were exactly the same, and what he did was, is he in one of the lectures, the only thing that he changed were his hand gestures. He used more hand gestures. He had them visible. He was more expressive with his hands, and he used vocal variety, which we're gonna learn about. He used those three things, because those are the typical powerful body language. Hand gesture we talked about and expansiveness, was two of the laws we already learned. He was like this body language of influence stuff, does it really work if I put this into practice? Here's what happened. He asked his students at the end of the class to rate him in these areas. Instructor knowledge, organization, accessibility, textbook quality, and fairness in grading. Now he guessed that adding in these influential power body language moves, would maybe, maybe, help him with his ratings on instructor knowledge. Maybe people would find him more credible and maybe they would help with his ratings on accessibility, and that he was more charismatic, more influential. That's what he was hoping to improve. Here's what actually happened. It ranked higher in every area, including textbook quality, which doesn't even make sense. That his power body language, actually even made the textbooks for the class, look better. Which is crazy. If you want I can read the numbers off later, but he had an overall higher rating, and then higher ratings in each of these areas. The reason I explain this is because this influential body language, adding expressiveness, hand gestures and being expansive, not only makes you more credible and more accessible, but anything that you touch, or anything you're related to, it also makes that more credible. It has huge huge influence in what we do. How you say something matters more than what you say. The content of his course did not change. Only how he said it, how he delivered it, was what was different and changed his ratings in every area. When to use this. When to use your launch stance. Let's just quickly review the tips. We talked about self diagnosis. Noticing what we do when we're nervous. Noticing what we do when we're feeling confident. Using hand gestures. Keeping them visible. Being expressive. Then using the law of space. Being expansive but staying in the box with our gestures and then we talked about finding a launch stance. Using this to pre power pose to get our testosterone levels up, and then we're actually in person going into that natural launch space that's in the sweet spot or the ideal. Here's all the different areas you can use it. You can use it in dating. Parties, networking events. Photographers. You can also do this to inspire your students to feel more confident, and to have them have confidence in your abilities. Parties, networking events, and that last awesome picture is of people negotiating. Whether you're negotiating for a house, you're buying a new car, you're haggling at a garage sale, having that kind of influential body language helps people take you seriously, take your offer seriously, and not want to negotiate with you, because they believe you. That you're a strong and credible influence. You can use this in all areas. You can also use this on the phone. People often think that these cues are just for person to person. That is not true at all. You can use these while you're on the phone and here is how. Before I go into here is how, I will take any questions. Before I talk about how to use them in phone calls. Any questions on influence. Whether online or in the audience. Online but if any students want to jump in. Maybe have time. Yes, Meg. Quick question. I've had the experience of having to do a talk when the format was not one that I could choose. It was in a medical meeting, where I had to submit an outline and they wanted PowerPoints of the entire talk submitted two months before I did the talk. By the time I was ready to do the talk, it was sort of, it was all scripted, which isn't my style, and I had to stand in a certain place and I had to have a podium, and it was. Do you have any suggestions for when the stage is not under your control? That also applies to people who are in other people's offices. If people come in your office, you know your landscape. When you go into other people's offices, you have no idea where you're gonna sit. What their boardroom looks like. I've been in places, there's certain law firms. I consult for law firms, and one law firm I went to, they had actually on one side of the table, raised the seat height for their people. On the other side of the table, they had lowered the seat height, because expansiveness and height is a power body language. They were actually making, forcing people into low power body language, on the other side of the negotiating table. You never know what kind of situations you're gonna be put into. The key here is pre power posing, because if you can get your testosterone levels pumping you think faster, you're faster on your feet, and that's gonna help you with whatever situation they give you. Whether that's unfamiliar PowerPoint slides, whether that's low seat height. For those in particular, what you want to make sure you're doing, before you walk in anywhere, is you're going in the bathroom, you're power posing. A very, by the way, natural way to power pose while you're waiting, is to bring a newspaper. Most people, what do they do when they're waiting to go into a meeting or go on stage? They're checking their phone, and this looks exactly like low power body language. As they're checking their phone, they're literally getting their cortisol levels pumping which is making them feel worse, and their testosterone levels are dropping. Exactly what they need. Please, before meetings stay off your phone. If you have to check it like this. This is a little bit better, but I bring the New York Times everywhere I go. It's even an old issue. I don't care, because if I'm feeling nervous for a pitch or a meeting, I'll bring it out and I'll read it, because this is one of the most powerful body language poses you can stand in, and it's a very natural way to do it. Whether you're in the green room, or you're before a meeting, that's one way that you can get in that expansive pre power posing, to make sure you have the right hormones for whatever situation they're gonna put you in. Yes. A couple questions came in regarding the hands talk. ShadeK from Spain said, we talked about necklaces before. Now with the hands, what about rings and bracelets? Does that have an impact on our body language, and along with that Katrinaishungry asked, with hands as a trust indicator, how do fingernail length, polish, for men just being well groomed, how does that play in? There is very little science on that topic. I can give my personal opinion, which I'm happy to do, but there is very little science that looks at how nails, bracelets, how rings affect other people's perception of us. From a personal anecdote, I do know that men will comment on being distracted by the movement and the sounds. If you're gesturing, and you're wearing bracelets that clink up and down, that can just be hard on the other person's brain because they have another input. They're trying to listen to you. They're trying to watch you. Maybe there's things going around. You're adding one more input. The clanking and the moving of their bracelets. Especially people who are drawn to objects like that. Certain people's brains, they love shiny things, and so that can be really distracting. That is a different area of the science. Unfortunately I don't know what the science is, no one's done any funded research projects on nails. I'm sorry. Maybe we can do that. Submit that to me, and I'll see if we can do a little human behavior experiment on that. I love those kinds of things. We're sending a blonde, a brunette, and a red head into a bar in a few weeks, to see which color hair gets the most approaches by men. That would be right up our ally on nails and hair. Somebody else asked earlier about something like that. What body language do you use to stop being hit on? I apologize, I don't remember your name, but. Yes. This actually is very similar to Meg's question, of how do I do it if I don't want to network with people? Readmylips. Readmylips asked that question. The easiest thing you can do, if you're being hit on and you don't like it, or if you're with someone that you don't like. Like if you wanna go. That happens at networking events. Maybe you're talking to someone and you're like I've gotta go. I have a meeting or my parking's up. Here's how you do it. It is very easy. You stop aiming your toes and your torso at them. This is the non verbal sign for disengagement. When you're talking to someone, typically you're aimed at them That's how you're aimed. When you wanna go, you can actually move your toes and your torso and talk to them like this. Your toes and your torso are aimed towards the door or the bathroom or wherever you wanna go. Non verbally that tells them, they're out. They've checked out, and it usually, and I've done this before, in networking events, they will speak more quickly and wrap up what they're saying, just by shifting my body away. I'm still listening. I'm still talking to them. That can also work really well, if you're being hit on and they're not getting it. Both men and women. They're into you. You can literally show non verbal disengagement by aiming your torso and your toes away from them. That non verbally tells their brain, it does tell their brain. Doesn't mean they're going to listen, but their brain does hear, this person is not into it. That is a non verbal cue of disengagement. We've got a series of questions here that all relate so I'll just run them all into each other. ValerieISS is saying with the launch stance can you have one hip and a lean, and readmylips is saying, if height is part of that body language, and you are adjusting your height, maybe even subconsciously, should women wear heels to counteract that, and then Anna is saying, ladies are always told specifically to stand with their legs together, so should we take the stance of having it open. Yes. Three different questions. Make me get to all of them because I have answers for all of them. We can certainly separate them, but I just thought we'd run them all together. Yeah, they do fit. First, the lean, being asymmetrical. That is okay. It does take away from your height very very slightly, but it also makes you more expansive. This is actually taking up more space. Height does make you more powerful. Study after study shows that people perceive tall people as leaders and with higher levels of competence, and intelligence and power. Heels do that for women. Mostly the positive benefit for women is it makes their legs look thin. That is actually the real reason why it helps women and it's more of an attraction factor as opposed to a power factor. It's more of an attraction thing that it makes your legs look longer and thinner. However, if you are very short, especially as a woman, that can put you on a level playing field, because otherwise you're so far from their eye level, that it makes it hard to have real connection. I have a client whose 4'11, and she says that when she talks to tall men, she literally, it's so far from her to the tall man, that it's like she has to talk louder and they're so different in eye gaze, so for her, just getting on the same eye level so that she can be a little bit closer is really important. I also remembered another study that I want to share, because we were talking about nails and jewelry. There is a study, and I'm gonna talk about this on day three, that looks at when people take women seriously, and it looked at when women wear makeup, when women don't wear makeup, and when women wear glasses. They found that the most potent combination is when women wear both makeup and glasses. Women who just wear makeup are not taken as seriously as women who just wear glasses. It's together. That's a little interesting study, is when they're together they're taken the most seriously. I do not want you to go back out and buy fake glasses, but if you have glasses, rock them sister. Like rock them! That's totally good. People love that. It's a very confidence producing thing. What were the other questions? I think you answered them all. Wow. We're all done. Actually it's a very interesting thing what you said about perception of height and power and leadership, because I remember certainly, and this happened in the U.S. as well, but certainly in the U.K. Getting back to Margaret Thatcher mentioned earlier. She was a very small woman. She was only about 5', but everybody thought she was very tall and they were shocked when they met her and her success with John Major was the opposite. Because they had disregard for him. They thought he was 5'5, and they were shocked to discover he was 6'2. Yes. I noticed that happened in the states, when Bush and Blair, when their ratings began to go down, people thought they were short men. They thought they were 5'7. They were 5'8. In fact they were both 6'3 or something like that. They were actually very tall men. As you perceived. Yeah, people were shocked to discover Bush was 6' or 6'3 or something. What, wow. Everybody, when he had a negative impact on the public, they all thought he must be 5'8 or something. It's incredible. There is a followup study, and it's not off the top of my head so I don't know the exact numbers, but they looked at teachers, and they had students rate how tall they thought their teacher was. It was a virtual course. They found that they correlated positively with the ratings of the course. If they thought the course was really good, and the teacher was really smart, they thought he was really tall, but if they thought the course was really bad, they thought he was really short, so we absolutely judge height on that. Heels for women is not exactly the same as I talked about but it can help. It definitely doesn't hurt, unless you're teetering. That hurts, because that makes you look wobbly. There's another question that was about, women are taught to put their legs like this. They stand like this, like a good obedient little girl. This is part of that appeasement body language that I talked about earlier. That women are taught that, it's important to be pleasing and appeasing. This is okay, but it's not great. This is not good. I would much rather have you firmly planted with your feet spread, so that you can do it, and whatever feels natural to you. As a woman, practice different ways to stand. This is obviously too wide, and we're talking about the sweet spot, but anywhere from hip width, to slightly more than shoulder width, is totally socially acceptable. Anywhere in there is comfortable. Yeah. Is there a scenario where you would use appeasement to balance the situation, perhaps in a moment of empathy, or in trying to dissolve anger, and take yourself down a notch. When you make a mistake. If you make a mistake, you did a little mess up, that is when you want to be like, I messed up, so sorry. Humble body language is typically cow towing. You're bowing your head. If you make a mistake, that's when you wanna say, I'm not trying to claim space here. I made a mistake. I'm gonna make it up to you. That's when you want to take it in. Otherwise I think it's used inauthentically. If you do it any other time, because I've seen people when they answer questions they'll be like I'm so humble. That's a little bit inauthentic. That's the only time, when you make a mistake, that you can bring it in purposefully. Saw someone else raise their hand. Yes. I would like yo hear your comment speaking of this appeasement pose, and mentioning people. The royal family, the women in the royal family, whenever they are on the public function, they all stand like this. How that should be read? She's saying that all women stand like this, and a lot of by the way, the UK royals, the men, they stand with their hands back. That is why this is called the King Charles pose. What's interesting about this pose, is even though I'm a little bit contracted and my hands aren't showing, it's actually slightly high power, because I'm doing what's called ventral fronting. It means I'm exposing my torso, and I'm so confident, that I don't even need to protect myself. I'm that alpha. That is why some political leaders. They actually stand like this, to be like I have nothing to worry about and I don't care if you trust me. I don't care. That's actually in a weird way a kind of confident pose, and this is obedience. When Paris Hilton left jail for the third time she was coached to walk out of the courtroom like this, and that is exactly how she walked out of the courtroom because it is appeasement, submissive, little girl. I'm in line. I'm following the rules. For a royal family it's a way of saying, it's a coached way of being like wer'e humble. We're not trying to cross any lines, and it's also very feminine. The problem is feminine appeasement body language, low power body language tend to cross over, but we're talking about that tomorrow. It's a really hard topic. In the chat asked about power poses in the car. I know so many of us are busy and rushing from one thing to another. Is there things that we can do while seated? Yes, power posing while seated is super easy. Music in the car. Great. Have your playlist that gets you pumping. Getting those arms going. That's a great way to have power posing. Getting your head really loose. Your shoulders back. Music. If you're on the way somewhere. You're running late, whatever. Pump that music up, and don't be afraid to rock out and give it a little fist pump. That is all quite powerful. You can also sit like this in the car if you want. It's a little bit harder, but I would definitely recommend the dancing. That gets you really expansive. That's a good question. Red head. I'm sorry about this red head, because red head is asking about short guys, and he wants to know we can't wear heels, so what's the solution there? I'm with you red head. I do know men who wear lifts actually. Slight lifts in their shoes, and that is not a bad thing. It does actually increase your power perception but what's more important than that is people will perceive you as taller when you have your shoulders back and down and when you have your head up. Not only does it physically add inches if you have your head up, but you're also testosterone producing, and again we talked about how natural alphas, the natural leaders of our group, have high levels of testosterone. When you do this, and you increase your levels of testosterone, you're saying to people I am confident and they will perceive you as taller. Keeping your head back and your shoulders down is super important for you. You also don't wanna lean asymmetrical. That will take height away from you. You want that extra little bit of height, by being perfectly parallel. Yes. Other questions from the chat room? We have time I think. We do indeed. We have one question about the opposite. Very very tall people. TR is saying he's super tall. He's 6'6. Now should he be trying to minimize himself perhaps? Never. I never say try to minimize yourself. Being that tall is great. The only thing you have to be careful of, is you have to make sure that you're not subconsciously diminishing others with your height. When you're talking to other people, you wanna make sure that you actually tilt your head fully down towards them and the reason for this is because there is a nonverbal cue of looking down your nose at someone. This is when you keep your head level or you tilt it back, and you peer down your nose at someone. That's called the Judge Judy. She'll, at people. It's a non verbal judgment behavior. If you're tall you can keep your head level and look down at people as they're talking to you. You're much better off actually tilting your head down so you're giving them the full on correct eye gaze and you're not looking down your nose at them. That also helps you power gaze effectively and social gaze effectively, because you're able to look at them straight on. Tilting your head down. Don't roll your shoulders down. Don't try to hunch. Don't try to lean over towards them. That's diminishing your height, and we want you as confident as possible. Respect is good. I don't want you to lower your confidence for anyone. Matt is saying, can you elaborate more perhaps, on the pigeon toe stance? She's saying, or maybe he I'm sorry, I was born with this tendency and my feet naturally point inward. Would this hinder my high confidence stance? It does, but the good news. A lot of people have this. They're slightly pigeon toed, just naturally that's how they stand, and that is okay. The good news is is that if you've always stood that way it is not cortisol producing for you, because that is a natural way to stand. The good thing is is that won't make you feel less confident. What you want to make sure of, is you extra widen your stance. You commentate for others, by showing you're confident, that pigeon toe is nothing to do with your low confidence. It helps you stake your claim better. If you're slightly pigeon toed, just widen your stance a little bit more than normal, to be able to show, I'm confident, but don't worry about it affecting your hormone levels because it won't, because you were born that way. That was a good question. Readmylips has an interesting question. They're saying willpower wanes as the day progresses because of decision fatigue. Does that impact our body language during the course of the day, as the day progresses? Yeah, decision fatigue is a big one. That's a study that looks at, after you've made a ton of decisions, especially with willpower, especially if you're dieting, that's a big one that you've made so many choices by the end of the day your brain is done. The muscle is over flexed. The goods news is, the bad news is yes it can affect you trying to keep yourself in that launch stance. Not falling into low body language. The good news is is that you can do two to five minutes of power posing to get the testosterone up. Even though willpower wise, you might be a little bit exhausted, the testosterone is like adrenaline, and it can get you that surge that you need. If you have a meeting late in the day or a networking event or a date late in the day, just two to five minutes of power posing could help reset. It's a little bit like caffeine for your body language. A little. It's a little jolt. Fantastic. Cool, so I promised that I would talk a little bit about the phone. If you're doing phone calls, and we're gonna talk a lot about the phone in the next few days with local power, but very briefly always power posing before you get on the phone, and luckily when you're on the phone, you can power pose as much as you want on the phone. I am a huge fan of a standing desk. That actually really helps you keep your confidence levels up while you're working. Because you're literally standing and it helps you power pose while you're standing. That's a really easy thing you can do. When you're on the phone, walk, movement. We're gonna learn the law of movement tomorrow. Movement also is very confidence producing. Making sure that you're using the power posing and the pre power posing when you're on the phone. I also recommend to be expressive. If you're sitting on the phone, use hand gestures, even though no one can see you, because it actually adds expressiveness to your voice. We can hear when someone is vocally expressive and it keeps our brain awake. Don't be afraid to use those hand gestures, when you're on the phone, because it comes through in your voice, and they're able to be like, I'm with them. I'm awake with them. I'm more easily able to stay attentive.

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!