The Pope and Donald Trump – a study in contrasting body language

Those interested in the study of body language had a fascinating opportunity this week to study two completely different approaches to power through non-verbal communication: the Pope and Donald Trump. The Pope, as all the world must know, was visiting the US for the first time, and Mr. Trump was all over the media, as per usual, but on “60 Minutes” for the first time on Sunday. Trump, of course, has been… Read More

How Do You Carry Yourself?

How do you walk into a room, out of a meeting, or onto a stage?  You probably have some parental or authority figure in your past who told you to worry about your posture, but how you carry yourself is more important and more subtle than just standing up straight when you go on a job interview.   There’s a lot going on, all the time, and your unconscious mind – and everyone… Read More

3 Quick Body Language Secrets

We’re all looking for an edge.  Maybe your competition is tougher than ever.  Maybe you’re facing an audience that you know going in will be a tough sell.  Maybe your clients have been demanding more for less ever since 2008 and you’re running out of wiggle room.  So think about the next meeting, or presentation, or negotiation you’re going to have.  Here are three body language secrets that you can put to… Read More

The 2 Body Language Mistakes You Make Every Day

We normally don’t think at all – at least, in the casual sense of the word “think” – about where we are in space, or how we’re gesturing, or what kind of impression we’re making on the people around us.  Most of that activity is left to our unconscious minds most of the time.  So when we do think consciously about such things, it’s very distracting.  Precisely because these chores are normally… 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

10 steps you can take right now to improve your presentations

Improving your presentation skills can be hard work. Changing behavior takes time. But there are some easy things you can do right now that will make a concrete difference in your presentation success rate. Some are physical, some are about a change in attitude. But they’re all practical, simple, and immediate. Get started now! 1. Lose the PowerPoint When you put up PowerPoint slides you ask the audience to look at 2… Read More

Seven ways to rehearse a speech

Rehearsal is a practice more honored in the breach than the occurrence, and it should be the other way around. People wiggle out of rehearsal in a variety of ways. They say, “I’ll just wing it.” That’s usually fatal, and ends up turning a modern virtue — the casual approach — into a sin — verbal chaos of one kind or another. Or they say, “I don’t want it to get stale,”… Read More

People I’m Grateful for #5: Paul Ekman

This blog is the fifth in a series of blogs on people that have added something important to the world of communications.  Today, my gratitude is for Paul Ekman. The series is personal and partial, but I welcome nominations for those you think I’ve missed.  I’m grateful to these people because understanding how we communicate is desperately important to bettering our humanity in both business and life.  Miscommunications are sometimes merely irritating,… Read More

Can you fake authenticity? Body language quick take #10

For my final blog in this series on body language “quick takes,” I’m going to answer the question I get asked most often by interviewers, audiences, and fellow speaking coaches:  how do you show up with authenticity?  And what about the irony of practicing that authenticity?  Doesn’t that mean that any such ‘authenticity’ will be fake?  Thinking about authenticity in this way mistakes what it is and how it is projected.  Authenticity… Read More

Body Language Quick Takes 6 – How can you tell if someone is interested?

What does interest look like?  It helps to know the person a little bit, so you can factor out the idiosyncrasies.  But interest typically begins with eye contact.  Mostly, we look at what we’re interested in.  There are, of course, exceptions.  When people flirt, they play an age-old game of looking away and looking back, giving fleeting glances, making a game of their attention.  The purpose is to heighten the excitement of… Read More