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The Power of Body Language

Lesson 17 of 27

Read Their Cues

Vanessa Van Edwards

The Power of Body Language

Vanessa Van Edwards

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Lesson Info

17. Read Their Cues

Lesson Info

Read Their Cues

Part two, their nonverbals. So this is the second part of "How to Increase Your Income" and it is so important. So when we go into a pitch meeting with a client or student or our boss, and we're thinking all about our own stuff, we miss all of their really important cues. And to be persuasive, to be charismatic, we have to make them feel like we're there for them. So this is actually even more important than that first aspect, that first part that we talked about. Step number one, we're gonna dive right in, is nonverbally encourage them. So this isn't necessarily about engagement, this is about encouragement. What do I mean by this? Why is this important? This is back to that principle we talked about earlier about being interested in them. When you encourage people with their beliefs, their excitement, their enthusiasm, they feel like they are part of a team with you. That's how we get comradery. And people want to work with you when they feel like you can celebrate with them together...

, that you're gonna be there through the good times and the bad. It's like a business marriage. And so you can do this by nonverbally encouraging them. This is one of my favorite tricks. So I told you I'd mention a bunch of my favorite nonverbal tricks during the sales section, and this is The Triple Nod. Couple people watching the previews for this course saw that I did a little trick with the triple nod. The Triple Nod makes people speak three to four times longer when you use it. The Triple Nod looks like this. So it's a very slow one two three. It is that pace. That is a nonverbal dot dot dot. It's like you're telling someone "Please, keep going. "Tell me more." It's a nonverbal cue to make them dig deeper. So here's how you can use it. You can use it a couple different ways. First, when you're speaking with someone and they're getting to the heart of an issue, something that's really gonna help you do better work, you can one two three. A very simple slow triple nod. It makes them go "You're on the right track. "Keep on going, keep on talking." And it helps encourage them to know that you're on the same page as them. Okay, the second way that you can use it is when they've finished speaking but you want them to keep going. So this happens when you have clients who are very, they're not expressive verbally. Has that ever happened to you? Or a boss who gives a lot of one-word answers and you're like "I'm getting nothing from this person. "I need them to talk to me more. "I need them to give me more information." So you can help them. So when they've finished speaking, so they say "Yes", like you asked a question and they give you one-word answer, "Sure." Keep that pause. I know that for women especially, we like to fill the space with our words. I have a problem with this. That can help you pause. Adding the nod, and they're okay with it. People are okay if you use that nod just to slow it down. So after they've finished speaking they can say, "Yeah, I'm not so sure." You're literally cuing them to keep going, keep telling me, explain to me more. More times than not, people will then go into explanation mode for you. They will explain that one word or short answer that they just gave you. So it's a very very powerful tool that you can use while they're speaking to encourage them, or at the end of their speaking to make them give you more, to make them dig a little bit deeper. Yeah. The Spectrum. The law of the spectrum is so important with the nod because you know what happens when you hit the high end of the nod? You bobble head. Right? People do this where they're constantly nodding, bobble-heading. That is a very low-power behavior. So it is a slow triple nod. The way that it works is the faster you nod, the more impatient you seem. So if you want someone to hurry up, I never want you to actually rush anyone, this is not for sales, but let's say that someone's talking to you and they're just going on and on and on, one way that you can non verbally get them to end is you can go "Uh huh." That really fast triple nod. It is a way for them to wrap up, let's go. But it also shows impatience so you never wanna use the fast nod with clients. You don't want to also not move your head at all. That's the low end of the spectrum. So no nodding is low. That's very stiff. The nodding also adds the law of movement that we talked about earlier for our laws of body language. On the high end, the fast nodding which is impatient as the bobble-heading. We want that ideal slow triple nod for encouragement, absolutely. Ninja tip here on encouragement. So my main tip for encouragement is the triple nod, but I have one more if you wanna nonverbally encourage someone. And it's using the Open Palm Gesture. So another way that you can get someone to keep talking, to show that you're totally with them, especially if it's a nervous topic. For my wedding photographers out there, right? You're talking to your clients about very touchy subjects, sometimes family issues, sometimes their body insecurities. If you're working with clients on websites or their personal brand and they're talking about some of the more emotional issues, one way that you can encourage them is to listen like this. "I get it, I hear you, tell me more." This is the nonverbal universal gesture for "I'm open." That's another way that you can encourage someone when they're in that difficult place. Sometimes what happens is the opposite. Is when someone gets into a nervous or tense topic, we close our body language because we're nervous for them. Then you're actually nonverbally telling them "Stop talking about this. "This is making me uncomfortable. "This is not what we're here for." So doing this is a way to say "Yeah, I got it." And even one hand, "Oh wow, that must have been so hard." That's how you show nonverbal empathy. It's a little ninja tip for you there on encouragement. Step two, reading their cues, reading their body language. So here's how we read cues. First and foremost are the seven universal microexpressions. We learned those first thing in the course because they are the basis of every good interaction. Remember there are seven universal facial expressions, they are coded within all of us. They are across cultures, across races. Once you master those seven, you begin to see them everywhere. And they are integral to not only sales, but also lie detection which we're gonna do tomorrow. So learning and mastering those microexpressions. Plus, remember how afterwards we talked about what to do when you saw those microexpressions. That all comes into play today. I won't repeat all of it because hopefully you can go back and watch those videos. When you see anger microexpression, what do you do with a client? When you see a contempt microexpression, what do you do with a client? That is where you use that here, is reading their cues and then how to react to it. High or low use of space. So we talked about your using the power of space. So the Law of Space is that the more space we take up, the more expansive we are, the more confident we feel and the more confident we look. That's for us. The Law of Space also works for your client and you can watch how they use their space to gauge their internal emotional state. So oftentimes a client will go on a journey with you. They'll come in the room and they're really excited, they have really loose body language. They're using a lot of space and they start talking to you, start talking about pricing. And slowly they start using less space, they crossover, they cover their chest. And you've watched them go from high space into low space. That for you is a nonverbal cue that you've just watched them go from high confidence to low confidence. It can also work the other way. They come with low-confidence and you immediately go into rapport-building behavior. You use the Open-Palm Gesture. You use the Triple Nod. You use the Head Tilt to show that you're listening. You social and power gaze cause you wanna have an intimate relationship with them and they move from this to talking like this. You've successfully moved them from low to high and you wanna keep them in that high expansive body language. So you can use the Law of Space to gauge their internal frame of mind. And this works by the way even if they're not talking very much. You'll watch their body move with how they feel so you can gauge your pitch. Especially if you have a long pitch, like you have to go through a deck, or you have to go through your albums or something like that, that's a way that you can gauge "how are they doing? "Are they liking this? "Are they not liking this?" That Law of Space is the way that you can use that. The third thing, and this one we have not talked about yet, is blocking behavior. Blocking behavior is our 17th law of body language. So in your free bonus materials we have the Laws of Body Language handout. This is number 17, the Law of Blocking. The Law of Blocking says blocking behavior happens when someone doesn't like what is being said or done. And we're gonna go into real specific detail on this. When we don't like something, when our brain is triggering "We don't like this," it wants to literally block our body, our eyesight, and our mouth from that thing. It's a very weird survival cue that we still have. When we don't like it, we try to get as far away from it as possible, which is distancing behavior, and we try to block it from us to protect ourselves. So this comes out in business all the time. Here are a couple of examples of how blocking works. The first type of blocking is when we cross our arms. So this is the very most basic type of blocking. Now let me go into detail about arm crossing because I know that it's one of the biggest myths about body language. People always say to me "Okay Vanessa, I understand crossed arms has low space "and I'm hiding one of my hands. "I get it, it's not good. "But it feels comfortable. "I'm so comfortable when I cross my arms." Here's why that happens. When we cross our arms, we're engaging in a blocking behavior. For our brain, that feels safer, because we're blocking our vital organs. Our heart and our stomach are protected by our arms. So our heart rate lowers. It makes us feel safer. The problem is, it's a low confidence cue. So even though we're safer, it also shows that we're being vulnerable or submissive. That is why we have the tendency to cross our arms. It protects our torso. It protects our vital organs and it's why it feels more comfortable. That is why that happens. Yeah? Why do they show newscasters on the stairs of City Hall all doing that? Always. So if you search in Google images. So Google, I spend so much time in Google images looking for interesting body language cues. People tweet me all the time funny stuff they find in Google images. If you search confident body language in Google images, or power body language in Google images, all these pictures come up like this. And that is because people think "Oh, I'm protected." Subconsciously they feel comfortable in this position. The problem is is this is actually high-confident body language, power body language, but our torso is exposed. So that is why we tend to do it. It's the biggest myth about body language. It is not good for you but that is why it happens. It makes us feel more safe. So that is a first example of blocking behavior, is crossing arms. The other kind of blocking behavior we can do, which I briefly mentioned yesterday, was women who hold their purse will swing their purse in front of their body so that it's partially blocking their torso. Or with books. School kids, we talked about this earlier. Evie was saying that at school she would clutch her notebook to her chest. That's cause it's a blocking behavior. It makes our brain feel like "At least our torso is protected "from the harm that could come to us "from the insults in the hallway." That's literally what our brain is saying. Protect yourself. That's why it does that. So clutching a purse or a drink. Sometimes I see people at networking events, they're clutching their drink. They have it right in front of their chest and they're gesturing like that. It is literally like they're trying to block with it. I've also seen when I work with a lot of therapists who need to read body language of their clients, that people will clutch the pillow. They'll take the pillow on the couch of the therapist, and they'll hold it in front of their body. I usually recommend that they remove those pillows or they can use them as emotional indicators. Once they get into a tense topic people will literally reach over for the pillow and start hugging it as a blocking behavior. Book we talked about. Other examples of blocking, laptop, iPad, phone. These are all, we use technology sometimes to block. Phone, I have to sort of harp on this a little bit. You have to forgive me. So when people are nervous, they usually take out their phone and they're hunched over it. This does two things. First, it puts you into immediate low-confidence body language, and second it serves as a blocking behavior. So that's why your brain likes to do it. That's why our brain is a comfort blanket. Like at networking events. Sometimes I see people who are in the corner pretend texting. They're like "I have so many important texts right now." And I'll walk over and be like "Are you fake texting?" and they kind of laugh. Because that's what they're doing as a comfort blanket and the reason we do that is cause it's a blocking behavior. We do it when we're nervous about what's happening around us to protect ourselves. Shame. So a sub-body language of blocking is the nonverbal expression of shame. The universal body language expression, what we do when we're embarrassed, is shame, we touch the tip of our fingers with our forehead. When we're ashamed. So if you watch blooper videos or prank shows, people will be like "Oh." That is what we do. If you watch award shows and they embarrass people in the audience, they embarrass actual actors, the actors are always like "Oh my God." That is because it is the universal gesture of shame. We slightly touch our head. It is on the way to an eye block which we're gonna talk about in a second. We're literally trying to block out what is happening. We're trying to cover our eyes. Have you noticed when you tell kids, little kids, bad news, they'll cover their eyes. It's like they don't want to see it. They actually cover their face. So we still do this when we're really embarrassed. Why this is essential to recognize in business is you need to know when your client is feeling ashamed or embarrassed. A lot of the times it happens around cost or around their needs. And this is when you want to say "Look, a lot of people feel this way. "Let me explain we're on the same team. "I want this to work for you. "Tell me what's bothering you. "Tell me what you're thinking. "Tell me what's going on for you." So being very aware when you see that shame body language to immediately disengage it. There's no need to feel ashamed around me. I'm here for you. Yeah? So if you do recognize, when you're reading someone else's body cues, that there is something that you could, not necessarily call out, but that you could try to solve it or try to elicit it, is it better to let them maybe speak it a little bit, or should we sort of jump right on it and say "Hey I'm sensing that you know..." Perfect question. Which leads me to my next slide. Blocking solutions. Okay, so if you see a blocking behavior, especially if they remain in that blocked behavior, I do like to give them a second cause they might say, they're waiting for me to finish, and they jump in with you "Okay, let me tell you the problem with that." So I always give them a second. Oftentimes when people are in that close-minded, they're not quite sure what to say or how to express themselves, so hopefully they'll come out of it themselves. If not, here is what you can do. You can verbally address it. You can say "Let's take a moment, "tell me what you're thinking" or "I just want to check in with you, "how is it going so far? "Have I missed anything? "Have I not addressed anything "that's at the top of your list?" So you can verbally address it. You can also nonverbally address it. So there was studies that showed that when people have their arms crossed, they have less recall of what was said, they have a higher rejection of proposals, and they speak in shorter sentences. So we do not want our clients in this body language. We do not want our bosses in this body language. Because they are in a close-minded mentality. That is another reason why we don't want to be, by the way, in this body language. Not only does it make us not feel confident, it makes us not as good of a provider. Even standing here teaching you're like "Uncross your arms." It makes you uncomfortable. So that's why it's so important mentally to take that blocking out, to unblock their arms and remove them. So here are a couple things you can do other than verbally addressing "How can I help you?" One, you can demonstrate an open torso to encourage mirroring. Now we're gonna talk about mirroring in a second. But you can show how open you are. You can make a show of it. So, for example, you're with a client and they're blocking with their glass. You can bring over your glass, take a drink, and then make a show of putting it aside and leaning forward. Sometimes that gets them to recognize that they're kind of. They don't even realize they're clutching. So you can demonstrate the exact behavior that you want. That will encourage them to subconsciously mirror it or call attention to the fact that they're super tight. They're super closed. Sometimes they don't even realize they're doing it. Second, you can go into rapport-building behavior. You're pitching right? You're going and you're in that heat of the pitch, you're talking about your benefits, and someone's in super closed body language, you've lost them. You need to get back on the same page. Back up, ask if there's any questions, and go back into rapport-building. Take a break, get a coffee, because you've lost them. You've gotta get them out of that closed mentality so they can hear what you're saying. Third, move positions. This is a real easy one. So if you're standing at a networking event, I do this all the time at networking events by the way, if I'm pitching a potential client, and I can see they're kind of in closed body language. They're thinking about it. They're like "Mm, I'm not, body language? What? "I'm not sure." I'll say, let's get a drink. Just the process of walking over to the bar makes them move position. So getting them to move out of that position is another way that you can do that. This is my favorite. Anti-blocking objects. So in my office I have objects that I use to get people into open body language. And everyone has these so it's very very easy. You want to bring with you these props that you can use. What you do is you can hand them things to get them to look at what you just handed them. So you can offer your company info. Have a PDF that's kind of waiting off to the side. Most people when they get into an office or they're starting a pitch, you send them everything at once. You're like here's this, here's your water, here's your. I actually wait. I sit down and I rapport build with them. "How's it going? "How's it been going? "Tell me what you've been working on." I do that first. And then once we get into the pitch I try to keep them in open body language. But if they slip into this, I'll say "Let me show you some of my materials." I'll get up, I'll slide them over, and then they have something to look at. They lean forward over the table, they open up the folder, they're leaning forward, they're engaged, and they're open, they're looking. So company info, brochures, packets. You can even do this on email by sending someone an email on the phone with them. Getting them to change whatever position they're in. If you feel like they're being close-minded, send them something to get them to open it. Literally open the email. So that at least gets them moving. At least gets their hand on the mouse clicking. Gets them out of it. Card, business card. So if you're at a networking event, "Oh gosh, let me give you my card." And then they have to get out of it and lean forward. Or a drink. I love serving hot cocoa. That's one of my favorite drinks. It reminds people of their childhood. It gets them way more relaxed way faster. So you can offer them water, coffee, drink tea. And you can say "I'm gonna grab myself a drink, "do you want something, can I bring it back for you?" Or just bring it. You can just bring them a bottle of water or a cup of cocoa, a cup of tea. And that also can get them into open body language cause they go into "Oh, I'm consuming." So that changed the body language. So that makes sense with the blocking behavior and how important it is mentally to shift them? Great. Step three. Mirroring. I think I heard this actually at the very beginning of the course. Someone said "I heard you were supposed to mirror people "when you're doing body language. "I heard that's really good." The reason why I teach mirroring so late in the course is because it has to be done really really sensitively. Really delicately. Because if it's done wrong it comes off as very inauthentic. So I share step three and I only want you to use it cautiously. So let me explain with that ominous warning. Let me explain what mirroring is all about. So mirroring is when an individual mimics another's nonverbal behavior. It's when one person subtly copies the other person's nonverbal voice tone, cadence, body language. It's when we copy one another. I like to call this chameleonization. I think of the best sales people in the world can mirror effectively. And it's not about being inauthentic. It's about speaking in a way that your client understands and relates to because it's similar to the way that they speak and act. So that's how I look at mirroring. Is it's just showing that you can speak, speak with your body, and speak their language. So chameleonization mirroring nonverbally. You can mirror a couple of different ways. You can mirror first with posture. So if they're sitting a certain way, you can subtly mirror their posture. You can also subtly mirror the kind of gestures they use. So if they are very animated with their hands you might wanna elevate your gestures as well to mirror with them. Let me talk a little bit about the science of mirroring. So the way that we discovered mirroring is we, it's a really sweet study, they looked at best friends. They brought pairs of best friends into the lab and they video-taped them talking. And they found the longer the friends had been friends, the closer they were, the more intimate those friendships were, the more they mirrored each other subconsciously. So best friends, people who already get along, they blink the same, they have the same breathing rate, their heart rates synchronize. Their bodies actually synchronize to each other. We mirror each other without even thinking about it. So we already mirror. We already do this subconsciously and we do it with people that we really like. That's like with your spouse. Typically you end up, you know, there's the 101 Dalmations where the dogs end up looking just like the owners? There's this whole set of pictures I was looking at where spouses end up looking like each other as they get older, because they're using the same facial muscles over and over again. They just end up mirroring each other for so long that they become more and more alike. They wear the same colors. They come out in the same outfits. It's actually a gesture of love. We do that when we really really care about someone already. So doing it with clients is a way to show "I care. "I care in a professional way with you." Let me talk about how to do this. Let's actually try it. Let's put it right into action. So this is always an interesting activity because it's very very hard to mirror on the spot. I am actually going to practice mirroring you first to show you how it works. I'm gonna interview you about your body language challenges. I'm gonna show how I can mirror you. So who wants to be mirrored by me? Who wants to come up on stage? Max come on up. Okay. Max is my client and I'm going to interview him about his body language challenges and struggles that he's having with his body language. And what I'm gonna do is I'm going to subtly, subtly, mirror his posture and his gestures in a natural way as we talk. Now obviously he knows I'm doing that with him, but I wanna show you how it works. And I just want you to be totally natural, tell me what it's like. Max, tell me about some of your body language challenges. Sometimes when I get disengaged with someone that I'm talking with, I tend to not only stop listening to what they're doing, but then I just kind of look down and my shoulders roll forward and I stop listening to anything that they're saying. Ah, that's the worst. So, when does that usually happen for you? Usually when I'm on the phone for more than 30 minutes is when my attention kind of shuts off. Oh, so that's when it shuts off. Okay. So you kind of see what that looks like? It's very very subtle and I'm also not doing anything super low. Like if they're crossing their arms, I don't want you to mirror them. What you want to mirror is the open posture and any gestures. Very very very subtly. Obviously you were looking for it, but it didn't feel unnatural to you, it just felt like I was listening to you, right? How did that feel for you? You were kind of coming to my level. Right, and that is the exact thing that mirroring does, is it brings you and your client on the same level. I look at it as a nonverbal sign of respect. You're literally saying "I'm gonna speak on your level. "I'm gonna use your words "and your gesture and your posture." Again, this is only if this feels comfortable to you. If this is something that you're like "I don't think this is something that would work for me," that is fine. This is your optional tip. It's only if it feels absolutely comfortable for you. Thank you. Thanks. That was perfect. Alright, let's talk about the next aspect of mirroring. First, are there any questions about mirroring? Usually there's a lot of stuff that comes up when I talk about mirroring. It's a little bit of a tense topic. Well mirroring, I can imagine, would be very difficult to do without appearing that you're almost sending the person that you're talking to up. I mean it must be very very subtle, which you've emphasized, but what happens if you find you've really done it, you've exaggerated too far maybe. Is there a way out? Yes. If in your head, you wanna think about, it's like one out of every five. Alright so if they're doing these kind of gestures, only do it once. Then maybe wait five seconds or wait for five gestures and then mirror it. So it's really, it's a very small percentage that you're trying to mirror and it's very very subtle. So if they're doing this, you don't wanna also do this cause it wouldn't make sense if you're not talking. But when he brought his arms up and he was gesturing like this, I brought my hands up. I didn't copy his gestures, I just brought them up so they were at the same place that he was at. When he had his hands down, I had my hands down. So it's more placement. That's why I said posture as opposed to the exact things that they're doing. Yes? How does mirroring translate into tonality. For example, if a client is frustrated and angry and they're starting to raise their voice and get angry with you, obviously you don't want to match them and get-- Perfect. Okay so you only wanna mirror the positive and the neutral. You never, and we're gonna talk about the next aspect of chameleonization which is exactly that, the tonality. So we wanna mirror positive and neutral body language, posture, and nonverbal, and gestures, and you wanna mirror nonverbally. So tone neutral and positive. If they're in anger, you wanna stay as neutral as possible. Which we talked about the other day when they're getting that angry microexpression, how you can respond to that in a very neutral way that helps them feel that you're not going on the offensive or the defensive. Great question. Only the neutral and the positive is what you want to mirror. So nonverbally we talked about chameleonization, the posture and the gestures. You can also mirror verbally. So I actually very rarely mirror in person, or I do it very little in person. I more mirror on the phone. So if you're doing a lot of phone calling this is the most important tip for you. It is incredibly powerful. So I can give you an example of how this worked for me. I was cold-calling and I had a client from the South. Deep deep south. I went to school in Atlanta at Emory so I'm used to the southern accent. And I am a fast talker. So I talk very very quickly. He spoke very slowly in the nice southern drawl. He talked a lot like this. "Well, you know, I'm just not sure "if that's what we're gonna be able to do." That's the kind of pace, I'm sorry my southern accent is terrible, but you get the idea of that kind of slow southern drawl. So here I am pitching in my de-de-de-de-de. I have a very rapid fire away. And he's speaking at and I could just feel we were on totally different pages. No matter what I was saying, we just spoke so differently that it was hard to be able to say we're on the same level. So what I did is I slowed down my pace and the rhythm of my words to match his. So instead of pitching and saying "I love coming to speak at corporate organizations "and I can't wait to tailor a presentation just for you." Instead I said "I can't wait to come to your organization, "and pitch a presentation, "that is tailored to your needs." So I used the pacing of the southern drawl without actually doing a southern accent. I just mirrored the lilting quality of his voice. So that's a very very powerful thing you can do. The easiest way to remember this is if you're speaking to a fast talker, try to speed up your talk a little bit. And if you're speaking to a slow talker, just slow down your pace. Even that amount of nonverbal respect, is huge. And I actually heard him after I transitioned into a much slower pitch for him, I heard him go "(sighs) yes, yes." He actually said that. Like he went okay, now we're speaking the same language. Mentally he felt like we had gotten onto the same page. Okay, so verbally you can match the cadence. You can also mirror word usage. This is called the Rogerian Method. So this is when you copy the kinds of words your client uses. This is fabulous for marketing. Every marketing, whenever I teach marketing classes, I teach them that nonverbally using the words your client uses is the best way to show them that you know exactly what they need. So if they say "I'm just super stressed and overwhelmed, "I don't know what to do." Those are the kind of words they use. It would not be as beneficial to say "I can hear the anxiety and the worry in your voice." You're better off saying "Tell me about that stress. "What makes you feel so overwhelmed?" Using their words in your questions. Using their words in your actual pitch. Now that's a really advanced tip, but if you can change your pitch word-wise on the spot, the adjectives, the verbs, the descriptive words they use, they will feel like you just get them. You just get them. Yeah? Sorry to cut you off. Yeah I love it. There was a question in the chat that has to do with different regions you live in. Just like if you're in the South you might say ya'll. Would that be something you'd suggest picking up, or is that pushing it too far? No, that's a great question. You do not want to pick up slang words that you are not comfortable using. That is like a beacon for inauthenticity. You use the words stress and overwhelm. You normally use that in your speech. So using it because they've used it still feels comfortable to you. You're just speaking in the language that they are using. But adding in the ya'lls to try to bond, don't try that. Also don't try to speak in their accent if they speak in an accent. Don't try that. The most you can do is the lilting tone. That cadence you can do. For my audio learners, I'm speaking to you. You have a perfect ear for this. Probably already do it naturally. You already do it with your friends. Next time, I have a little challenge for you. Next time you're with your friends, notice if you or they are mirroring you. In fact what you can do is when you're with them, you can change your body language and see if they move into that body language that you did. Like cross your legs one way and see if they do it, and then move it to the other side and see if they move it. You'll notice that your closest friends actually will copy you. It's a way that we have nonverbal empathy. We do that subconsciously. Is there other questions from the chat room? Yes? Oh, yes? I have a question. About the intonation because quite often I see the tendency when I speak someone speaks the same language but the different intonations dependent on the region, and it's like a natural tendency to adjust it to the local way of speaking. I'm not speaking about the slang words, it just, the tone of your voice. Is it something to be avoided? No, I actually love that. That natural tendency to speak in sort of the pace at which they speak that local, that's actually good. The intonation, The intonation part in it's different. the singsong. The singsong. That is exactly what I'm talking about mirroring. And we already do that naturally. That's why I'm just training you to dial up a natural thing that you already do. To pay attention to when you do it. Yes, that singsong quality like when I'm in Italy, when I'm in Italy as if that happens all the time. When I went to Italy once. When I vacation in Italy. When I was in Italy, they speak so beautifully. They have this beautiful intonation and I noticed that even in English I was like "Do you know where the supermarket is?" Like I was going intonation and my husband was like "Are you serious? "You are embarrassing me." And I'm like "They like it! "I'm mirroring them because I love them." So yes we do that naturally already. Vanessa? Yes? Huge sports fan who wants to know what are the cues you look for during a session while sitting. Cause obviously you get a completely different impression of somebody's body language. Absolutely, so first if you are in control of the sitting position. When I interrogate people, I always put them in a rolling chair under a glass table. So I can see as much as possible and all of their accents are highlighted. Aren't you lucky that you're not in my interrogating room right now? So first, if it's your office, if you're in control of the sitting position, try to get them into an area where you can see as much of their body as possible. That's the first thing. The second thing is, everything that we talked about, absolutely applies to seating. If you can't see their legs, you just ignore their legs. If they are seated at the desk. I feel like, if they're here, and they're, you can do all the same mirroring. So let's say that you can't see their legs, but they're using these kind of gestures, as they're talking you can bring your arms up. Then when they have their arms down, you put your hands rested on the desk. So all of it works exactly the same when they're sitting, you just ignore what you can't see. Because you can't mirror what you can't see. So Vanessa, I actually made a video to show you later, but when I'm working with families, it's a different situation, I sit in a rocking chair and usually my golden retriever is next to me, so oftentimes I'm petting him while I'm talking to. And it's been working, but I'm really interested in, obviously that's quite different than what you're saying. Okay, so you are in a profession where you want them to tell you things. So when I work with therapists, counselors, they actually are sometimes better being totally blank. Because they shouldn't have any kind of feedback. They just want their patient to talk. So you need to turn mirroring on and off. When they're going into explanation mode of things, actually petting your golden retriever's a great way to be neutral. I'm just listening. I'm totally blank, it's all about you. Mirroring can happen if you really wanna get them to partner with you. Especially if there's trust issues between the patient and the therapist, that's when you can mirror. So you're in a very unique profession where you don't always want to mirror. Mirroring is not always good for you. Doctors, I do a lot of work with healthcare, with patients they can also turn mirroring on and off when they need to. Yeah, other questions from the chat room? We're good, yeah. Okay. Alright, so remember this is a spectrum. I mean huge. The law of the spectrum is so important with mirroring. If you do low mirroring, if you do absolutely stiff or the opposite of them, you're not gonna be able to connect with them. They're gonna feel like you're on a totally different page. If you do over mirroring, they're gonna feel like it's inauthentic and creepy. Usually by the way, people don't realize that's what you're doing, they just feel creeped out. That's it. My poor friends, I make them do all kinds of experiments all the time. And I had one of my friends purposefully over mirror to see if the date would go better, and I asked him afterwards "What did you think of it?" and he's like "She just weirded me out." So he didn't know and I said "Well that's cause I told her to mirror you, everything." And he was like "Oh." And he didn't even realize it and it was so obvious. He didn't realize that was going on. So on the other side ends up being creepy and inauthentic. You really want that sweet spot to show "I respect you, I wanna speak your language "and show that I care." I wanna talk a little about the different kinds of learners. I talked about my visual learners, my audio learners. So this is about the percents of the population of how our learning breaks up. So about 40% are visual learners. They use words like "I see what you mean" or "I can visualize that." 25% are audio learners. "I hear you, I hear what you're saying." Or "I wanna feel heard." They use words, they use phrasing like that. And 40% use feelings. So "I can't quite grasp it, let's kick the idea around. "Let's play with the idea." Why this is important is because you can notice what kind of learner your client is by the kinds of words they use. So this is super helpful. If you're working with a client and you're doing all phone sessions and they're saying things like "I just can't picture it" or "I can't visualize what you're talking about" or "I can't quite see it, I don't see what your saying." People say "I don't SEE what you're saying." Those are typically visual learners. You are trying to force your audio method onto them and they are just, it is a different learning method for them. So if you hear that you can say "You know what? I have an idea. "Let's hop on Google Hangout." or "I have a whiteboard that we can use. "I'm gonna draw out these ideas for you." or "I'm gonna send you a chart "and I want you to write out your feelings." or "I'm gonna send you a venn diagram of how this works." That is how you get higher income. Huge amounts of referrals and they don't even realize what you're doing. They're just like "Wow she gets me. "He gets it. "He gets what I'm talking about." So thinking about these breakdowns and adding into your mental checklist when you're working with people, to figure out how do they learn. How can they best learn from you and what's the best way to interact with them by using what they naturally do already.

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!