How Should You Gesture When Speaking?

How should you gesture in order to win the favor of the crowd, persuade the audience of your point of view, or appear most charismatic? I get asked variants on these questions all the time by speakers wanting to up their game, executives wishing to improve the odds of their success, and thought leaders wanting to get more attention for their ideas. The key to successful gesture is not what you think… Read More

Are You Leaving Your Impact To Chance?

One thing that is not part of our commonsense understanding of how our minds work is the importance of the motor system (movement) to our thinking. We tend to think of movement and brainwork as two separate things. I reach for the glass of water when I’m thirsty; I think about my next chess move with my mind.

The Body Language Infographic

I had great fun developing the infographic below with Gengo.  While it can’t cover the nuances, and so should be used with care, most of the information in this graphic is clear and helpful.  Enjoy!

How to Decode Other People’s Body Language Accurately

What Gesture Is Good For A useful way to think about gestures is as an early warning system for intent, emotion, and mood.  We gesture because our unconscious minds push us to do so with an emotion, an intent, or a desire that our conscious minds are not aware of until after the gesture has started.  Our bodies know what we want before our conscious minds do. That’s counter-intuitive, because of course… Read More

Weird Jewelry or Brilliant Solution to an Age-Old Speaking Problem?

Apparently, there’s a jewelry designer in New Jersey who is so self-conscious that she’s created a line of jewelry in order to answer the age-old question that speakers have asked for as long as there have been speakers, what should I do with my hands? Wonderful. I’m making the risky assumption that this article is not a joke.  But even if it is, the whole idea raises that interesting question and suggests,… Read More

The Fourth Step to Brain Mastery

The fourth step to brain mastery comes straight out of science fiction.  In his classic sci-fi novel Dune, Frank Herbert shows us a powerful family communicating their intent with secret hand signals and controlling less dominant individuals with the Voice, a mysterious way of speaking that bends others to their will. Here’s the surprising truth:  you can do something like this with your own voice, in real life.   By working on two… Read More

The Third Step to Brain Mastery

The third step in brain mastery involves learning how to read the body language of others around you. There is a huge body of misinformation that has built up around reading body language.   The research approach for most of the last 40 years studied gestures as if they had specific meaning.  In other words, if you put your hand to your chin, you were thinking – in all circumstances – and so… Read More

The Second Step to Brain Mastery

The second step to brain mastery and powerful communication follows directly on from the first.  Now that you’ve taken inventory of your gestures, it’s time to learn to control and shape them. Here’s the surprise:  once you take charge of your own gestures with the right techniques, you’ll be well on the way to controlling the emotions and reactions of the people around you.  That’s because of mirror neurons. Mirror neurons were… Read More

Communication and Brain Science — Part 3

The brain research of the last few years revolutionizes our usual ways of thinking about communications.  Here’s a summary of what the new science is telling us: We communicate more powerfully through our bodies than our words; Communication is mostly unconscious, and, unless we become aware of it because of some extraordinary moment or action, out of reach of our conscious minds; Our bodies tell us what to do and how to… Read More

How to master your gestures to become a more effective communicator

Every communication is two conversations. The first conversation is the one you’re aware of — the content. The second conversation is the one that you’re an unconscious expert on — the non-verbal one. These two conversations always go together. They are so integral to one another that most people tend to gesture with their hands and face even when they’re talking on the phone. Think about it. No one else can see… Read More