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The Power of Body Language

Lesson 7 of 27

Questions & Self-Diagnosis

Vanessa Van Edwards

The Power of Body Language

Vanessa Van Edwards

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Lesson Info

7. Questions & Self-Diagnosis

Lesson Info

Questions & Self-Diagnosis

Before we go on to the next section, I do want to take questions. Any of the students, before we jump online? Any questions from students? Fabulous, I mean we got a lot of questions, just quickly a clarification one though, Vanessa. "Read my lips" is saying, could you just define the emotion that you're calling contempt. What is the actual person feeling, rather than their micro-expression. Okay, sure. So, contempt is hatred, disdain, or a strong dislike or disrespect. So when someone is feeling contempt, they are feeling like they really don't like something. They're scornful of that thing. That is the definition of contempt, or the feeling that goes along with that one-sided mouth raise. Yeah. "Florida visit photo" says, what should you do when you detect people have lost interest in what you're saying and they start to tune out? Ah, attention engagement. So, that actually is during our body language section. So, the brain is an interesting thing. The brain is like, I cal...

l it a hungry toddler, we have to constantly feed it nuggets of information, or else it goes to sleep on us or goes crazy, so engagement is very different. So if you have someone who's disengaged, you have to hook them in non-verbally, so we're gonna talk about that more during the body language section I promise. An interesting question from Elise and then we'll come to Sashid. Elise is saying, her question very specifically for you Vanessa, do you now find it hard to listen to what people are saying because you're very focused on their micro-expressions. Actually, I find that when I don't read someone's micro-expressions, so let's say that I'm distracted or I'm on my phone, I actually listen less. So, when I'm watching someone's face, I'm very, very closely listening to the words they say, 'cause I'm trying to match it with their facial expressions. So, for me, and for most people, paying attention to micro-expressions makes you listen more closely as well. So, the reason why I do this work, is to encourage people to listen with their whole selves. I'm encouraging people to be extremely present. So, paying attention to facial expressions makes you be present, because you are looking and listening with every part of your body. So I actually think it makes it more and not less. I've never had anyone say to me that reading micro-expressions is distracting for them. It usually is an add-on. It's adding clarity to the words that are being said. Sashid you had a question. Oh yeah. Just a clarification, what would the emotion of betrayal fall under? Would that be contempt? Ooh, betrayal. Well, let's see. Betrayal is a primary emotion, right, if someone betrays you, so I guess it would be the reaction to betrayal. It has to be contempt, or anger, or possibly fear, if you're afraid of the consequences of that betrayal. So I would think it is whatever reaction comes from that. Okay. Yeah. Probably anger-causing if I had to guess. Yeah. Beth asked how pain affects people's micro-expressions. Pain. So I'm gonna share a little bit of an interesting study, hopefully it's PG-13, creative live gods! So, one interesting thing about pain, is that, the micro-expression that we have for pain and pleasure, is actually very very similar. It is either sadness or anger, or a combination of both, which is very interesting. So there was a study that was done, so at the Science of People, we do quirky and weird human behavior experiments. And one of the ones that we're working on right now, is we're looking at people's orgasm face. Because typically, in a moment of high pleasure, people actually make anger and sadness micro-expressions. Not happiness. And not surprise. Which is kind of funny. So pain actually looks like anger and sadness, but it's very similar to high moments of pleasure. Those experimental results will be coming out in the next few months. If we have people in the chat room who are wanting us to talk about that. Fantastic, we'll just ask one more and then we'll go on, if we have another from the audience, yes, Meg, sorry. I wanted to ask about, when you're having a skype conversation with more than one person. Because, one thing that I find somewhat difficult, is that, if it's one on one, then you're just looking at someone, the way you would similarly to face to face, but if it's two people, then I'm missing their interaction, because they're both looking at the computer. And I find it kind of disconcerting to do that. Yes, it's true, that video skyping or google hangouts are not exactly the same as person to person. A, because they're looking at themselves as well as the camera, you know, they're bouncing between themselves and the camera, you also don't know where they are on the screen, depending on where your face is or their face is. So, first, I wanna say, is when you're on camera, you do wanna look right at the camera. When you are talking. When they are talking, you can leave the camera and look at their faces, which is usually right below. That is okay. If you're gonna keep eye contact, you wanna do it while you're talking. That is better than looking around while you're talking. The other thing is, I actually find it a little bit easier to read micro-expressions when you have those two or three people face to face, because it actually takes a real life situation and puts them together. Right, in a real life position, if you have multiple people around a table, you actually can't read these people's micro-expressions while you're reading this person's micro-expression. On camera, you can. It smooshes them all together. And so you can kind of back up and get an idea for all of them. Remember, our brain is attuned to see fear. So, fear is really easy to get, with a group of three. So you can usually focus on each of them, but actually keep a side-eye out for what's happening sideways, so I actually think it makes it a little bit easier, yeah. Any other questions from the chat room? We do, but I think we'll move on. Okay, so, we have a couple more things we're gonna do in this segment, and we are going to start our Increase Your Influence section. So, increasing your influence has huge roots in your nonverbal. Your body language, your vocal power. So I'm going to go through the five steps that you can do, non-verbally, to increase your influence. And this is when someone asked earlier about how to keep engagement, a lot of that is about your influence. How to be engaging, increase your presence, increase your charisma. Step one. This is the hardest one. But once we get over it, it makes us get far really quickly. It is self diagnosis. So I want everyone to get out their chart, this is in the free bonus materials when you RSVP. It is the self-diagnosis chart, so when everyone can find that one that'd be great. Okay, so, what I want you to do, is think about how you show your body language with your emotions. The whole point of self diagnosis is to know what your body language is saying. And for me, it's very important, I don't wanna just teach you little body language tricks to increase your confidence, we will talk about a couple of them, but I want it to be based in what you already genuinely express. So how we do that, is we figure out, what do you do with your body, when you're in low confidence, and what do you do with your body when you're in high confidence. Okay, so, here's how we're gonna do it. I'm gonna break you guys up into pairs, for everyone at home, you get to turn on your webcam, or look at the chart and fill it out for yourself. And what we're gonna do, is we're gonna go through how you act and what you do when you're in low confidence body language. So, I'm just gonna go through the chart. Posture: how do you hold yourself? What happens with your shoulders, what do you do with your feet, how do you stand, how straight are you, do you have your chest up or is it hunched over. Movement: do you use your arms a lot? Do you hop and sway? I have a lot of people who do this, hop and sway, or hop and sway, right? Any kind of movement with hands, movement with head, very gesturing with the head, or feet. Hands and arms: how expressive are you? Do you show a lot of open palms? Do you clench your fists at your sides? Do you cross them over, do you cross them over your trunk, so what do you do with your hands and arms? Feet and legs: So, are you a hopper? I have people who sometimes will tap their feet back and forth, do you raise up on the front of your feet, are you a bouncer on the balls of your feet, do you do this, I have people who sometimes will put their leg behind them and they'll rotate it or jiggle it, are they a foot jiggler, so what do you do with your feet and your legs? Face and eye contact: so, do you make a lot of eye contact? Do you overhead gaze? Do you look up and to the left? Are you a down-looker, do you have eyes that shift very quickly back and forth? What is your eye gaze like, and what are you facial expressions like? So what kind of facial expressions do you make, when you feel these things. Volume: how high or low do you go, how fast do you speak, how slow do you speak. Attitude reaction: so this is how defensive you get, how hard it is to come up with things, this is a little bit less verbal, because it can be behind the scenes, what you think is happening behind the scenes, and then any other little notes that you make, and then of course we're gonna talk about also your internal gremlins, what's going on in your head. Okay, so here is the challenge. What I'm gonna have you do is think about your most embarrassing moment. So just think for a second, about what's your most embarrassing moment. And I want you to think about, what happens in your body when you think about that moment. How embarrassing it was, how shameful it was, because that is how we're gonna know what you do when you're feeling low confidence. So, what I'm gonna do with the audience members, is I'm gonna have you partner up, and you're gonna take turns sharing your low confidence moment with each other. I'm gonna bring one pair on stage, to share their low confident moment, and we're gonna help diagnose, so people at home can see what they do with their body when they're doing that. What does their face look like, what does their body look like. Does that make sense, that interaction? We're gonna help each other take notes, right, so that while one person is sharing their embarrassing moment, and make sure that you stand up, and you put your clipboard down, because that way you have full range, the other person's gonna take notes on what you do with your body. Okay, so who has an embarrassing moment in their head? Okay, Sarah, you wanna come on up please. You're like oh man, didn't realize raising my hand meant coming up. Who else has an embarrassing moment they know off the top of their head? Shaun Marie, I know, I'm terrible, I just called you out. Right now! Right now! Shaun Marie, limited to one. Great. Okay, so we're just gonna do one right now, we'll do one after the break as well, but I wanna start with one, so Sarah would you mind starting? Sure. And you guys can think about it or you can talk amongst yourselves if you'd like. So, would you please, tell us your most embarrassing moment, and we're gonna pay attention to what does her body do, what does your body do when you feel this kind of low confidence. Yeah, so, I had just set up my first freelance contract. I was so excited, this guy seemed excited to work with me, and so I sat down and I thought really hard about my rates. I researched them really really well, I talked to other people, in my sort of area of expertise, and so I thought that I was ready to go. So I get on the phone, and I'm talking to this guy, and I say, you know what, I'm gonna charge x amount per hour, or you could do a project package of like this amount. And he looked at me, or not looked at me, 'cause we were on the phone, but I just sort of, in my head, could hear that disdain, and he was like, have you ever done a project at that price point before? And I was like (groaning) it just felt miserable. I'm here on the phone, and when you were talking about body language, I remember myself just sort of sliding across my desk like this on the phone, it was miserable. Okay. It's still really embarrassing to think about. That's horrible, and that's why, it's horrible to think about these embarrassing moments, and that's why I want you to think about them, because you begin to feel that low confidence, which is what I need you to tap into, so I'm not used to it, I'm always just so Totally, so what you noticed Sarah did, is she hunched over her shoulders immediately, she even said she slid across the desk, right, when she got embarrassed she hunched in. You also got really tight with your body. What else did you notice that happened when she started getting into the embarrassment part of the story. Her head kinda went down. Okay, so head bowed, and chin tucked, absolutely. What else did we notice, anything else? Well she was listing off, like I did this and I did that and I did this, trying to justify it. Yeah, okay, so that, in body language terms, is you're trying to solve it, right? So, you're reaction to low confidence is trying to find a solution, right, that kind of trying, clenching hands. I noticed that too, right? Yeah. And this is actually a gesture of anger, so when you're upset, when you're angry, you gesture, you close your hands. So, this is the perfect example of what you want to do in the next few minutes, I want you to go back to your chart, write down what you do, think about your embarrassing story. Thank you so much guys. Yeah. Okay. I know that was so, it's so hard to tell your embarrassing stories. So, what I want you to do is, I want you to fill out your self-diagnosis chart, so if that means sharing your embarrassing story out loud, that's great, we're also going to do our proudest moments, for high confidence body language, but we're gonna start with a low confidence, and fill out what you do, during the break I'm gonna have the audience members partner up and rate each other, and that's how we're gonna figure out what we do naturally in our body when we feel these things. I also encourage you to go online, I have a quiz, we were talking about facial expressions earlier, and I said you can tell how popular or rich or successful someone is based on their face. I have a quiz where you can actually guess who is more popular based on their twitter picture.

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!