Body language is a type of non-verbal communication in which physical behavior, as opposed to words, are used to express or convey information. Such behavior includes facial expressions, body posture, gestures, eye movement, touch and the use of space. It is also known as kinesics.


What Are Micro Expressions? | Body Language

What Are Micro Expressions? | Body Language

So recently micro expressions have exploded in popularity. Mainly due to the show “Lie To Me” which is grounded in Paul Ekman’s research. Let me explain what they are.

Now most facial expressions last more than a second. So you’re not exhibiting micro expressions all the time. But sometimes you’re exhibiting what’s called micro expressions. And micro expressions are these slips. You don’t want the person to see them. And thy’re these fraction of a second facial expressions that happen as a result of a slip. Unintentionally. You unintentionally display how you are truly feeling.

So usually how micro expression relates to lie detection is you’re looking for an inconsistency or a discrepancy. So all of a sudden a woman is talking about how she’s so sad that her daughter just died and all of a sudden you see a slight smile. Alright. That’s an inconsistency. A mother shouldn’t be upset about her daughter dying. That kind of leads you to believe they’re not really being truthful.

Now this is how micro expressions work. So Paul Ekman originally did research on the six universal facial expressions which I’m going to cover in later videos. There are six facial expressions that no matter where you go in the world, everybody thinks they mean the same thing. So for example, a smile. You can go to the most remote villages in the world and when somebody smiles they’ll say that this person is happy. That this person likes this behavior. So on and so forth.

So the cool thing about micro expressions are they’re universal. Something that people don’t understand, micro expressions, you’re not walking down the street and being like. “Micro expressions.” You can’t see them. They happen so quickly that you’re only processing these unconsciously. Right? Some people don’t even display micro expressions. There’s some people that don’t display them. There’s some people that do. And the theory is that through training you can get better at identifying people emotions through constant exposure to these micro expressions. But they happen very, very, very quickly.

The only way you can really point to a micro expression is if you have people on video camera. If you have people on video camera, you can look at things frame by frame by frame. And I can point to a micro expression. “Look, there’s a micro expression.” But when you’re in real time, that’s not necessarily how it works and I think there’s a confusion for most people who watch this show. They’re like, “Oh, I can look for micro expressions,” when you’re having a conversation with somebody. No.

But you can look for facial expressions. Why I think that it’s so important to really pay attention to micros or train for it, is because training for micro expressions, training to look for facial expressions that last 1/25th of a second or last very, very quickly is going to help you identify facial expressions when they happen much slower.

So some people show surprise and some people show contempt and some people show happiness at a slower rate. It doesn’t need to be a micro expression. So it’s just training to get better at identifying emotions.


The Five C’s of Body Language


5 Habits of Exceptionally Charismatic People

The power of non-verbal communication. No matter your situation in life and your individual aims, one of the most important tools for success is your personal charisma.

Charisma  allows you to command a room, draw others to you, and convince people of your ideas. It’s an essential part of being the kind of leader who wins devoted followers who are willing to go to the ends of the earth for you. Charismatic men are perceived as both likeable and powerful, a dynamic, irresistible combination that opens endless doors to them.  Here is a video featuring 5 Habits of Exceptionally Charismatic People:

Habits of Exceptionally Charismatic People

Far from being a magical and inexplicable trait, charisma is be broken down into a set of concrete, largely nonverbal behaviors that can be learned, practiced, and made natural. Olivia Fox Cabane, author of The Charisma Myth, places these behaviors into three categories: Presence, Power, and Warmth. When deftly combined, these three components produce strong personal magnetism.

It’s incredibly easy to set yourself apart from the pack simply by being fully present with people and giving them your complete attention. When you think of charisma, you might think of trying to make yourself seem super awesome to others. But the paradoxical secret of charisma is that it’s not about trumpeting your good qualities, but making the other person feel good about himself. Real charisma makes the other person feel important. When they finish an interaction with you, they should feel better about themselves than they did before.

Focusing your mental and emotional energy on someone as you interact is how you create that feeling of importance. People fundamentally want attention – they want to be recognized and acknowledged.

Conveying presence is a simple concept, but oftentimes difficult to actually achieve. You can’t just fake it. People are surprisingly adept at deciphering your feigned interest. To truly convey presence, you must actually be present. It takes a significant amount of willpower to focus all your attention on the person you’re with at the moment. But like all things, with practice, it becomes significantly easier.


Here are some tips written by Brett & Kate McKay on developing your charismatic presence:

Bring yourself to the here and now.

Presence begins in your mind. If you feel like your mind is off somewhere else while engaging with someone, try this little exercise to bring you back to the here and now. Focus on physical sensations in your body that you often ignore. It could be your breath or it could be the sensation of your feet touching the ground. You don’t have to spend very long meditating on these sensations. Just a second or two will bring you back into the moment you’re sharing with this person.

Make sure you’re physically comfortable.

It’s hard to be fully present with someone when all you’re thinking about is how uncomfortably tight your pants are or how hot it is. To that end, do what you can to ensure you’re as comfortable as possible.

Set your devices on silent and put them out of sight.

This serves two purposes. First, it reduces the temptation for you to check them while you’re engaging with someone. Second, it sends a strong message to the person you’re with that they have your complete attention and they’re not sharing it with the smartphone placed on the table.

Look the person in the eye when they’re talking.

Numerous studies show that people who make higher levels of eye contact with others are perceived as possessing a load of desirable traits, including warmth, honesty, sincerity, competency, confidence, and emotional stability. Eye contact imparts a sense of intimacy to your exchanges, and leaves the receiver of your gaze feeling more positive about your interaction and also more connected to you.

Nod to show that you’re listening.

Besides eye contact, an easy way to convey presence is through body language, and more specifically, nodding your head. But be judicious with the noggin nods. An over abundance can indicate you’re trying too hard to please and agree with the person, which decreases their perception of your power. Also, only nod at appropriate times; you’ll need to be truly listening to know when a nod makes sense.

Ask clarifying questions.

An easy way to show someone that you’re completely there with them is to ask clarifying questions after he or she has spoken. For example, you could ask, “When you say ________, what exactly do you mean?” Another great clarifying question comes to us from Dr. Stephen Covey’s The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. Basically, you paraphrase what the person just said and add, “Am I understanding you correctly?” In more casual conversations, ask questions like, “What was your favorite part of that?” or “What was the hardest part of that for you?” For more info on how to ask questions that show you’re really listening, click here.

Don’t fidget.

Fidgeting signals to the other person that you’re not comfortable or content and that there’s somewhere else you’d rather be. Don’t twiddle your thumbs or your phone. And avoid looking around for what else is going on, which signals to the other person that you’re searching for a better opportunity than your current one.

Listen, don’t think about how you’re going to respond.

We all have a tendency to do this. Our inner conversational narcissist wants to be ready to jump in and start talking as soon as there’s an opening. But if you’re thinking about what you’re going to say, you’re obviously not fully listening to what the other person is saying.

Wait two seconds before responding.

Breaking in the very instant a person pauses or stops talking signals to them that you were thinking about what you were going to say instead of fully listening to them. Nonverbal behaviors are more powerful than verbal ones, so use this trick. When someone has spoken see if you can let your facial expression react first, showing that you’re absorbing what they’ve just said and giving their brilliant statement the consideration it deserves. Only then, after about two seconds, do you answer.

The sequence goes like this:

  1. They finish their sentence
  2. Your face absorbs
  3. Your face reacts
  4. Then, and only then, you answer
Read the full article here>>
Want to learn how to be charismatic? Go to

How Your Body Language Conveys You’re a Leader

How Your Body Language Conveys You’re a Leader—or Not. Nonverbal communication from executives can speak volumes to employees and others. For starters, don’t tilt your head. How do leaders carry themselves? In this video Vanessa shares how leaders have a different understanding and use of body language–and how you can adopt it.

See this engaging video – Body Language of Leaders – by Vanessa Van Edwards



How Your Body Language Can Tell People You’re a Leader—or Not

Written by By AIli McConnon

Nonverbal communication from executives can speak volumes to employees and others. For starters, don’t tilt your head.

For better or worse, C-suite leaders are always on display. And whether in a one-on-one meeting or speaking to a crowd of thousands, they are sending nonverbal messages that shape employees’ opinions of whether they are authentic and credible.

New research shows that striking the right balance of power and authority with warmth and empathy is essential. If executives’ body language conveys too many power signals, they appear aloof. But too much warmth can prevent them from setting themselves apart and commanding the attention of others.


Here are some of the most important cues:


Head straight.

When speaking to crowds large or small, a leader should hold his or her head straight and avoid tilting it or cocking it to either side, says Carol Kinsey Goman, an executive coach and author of the book “The Silent Language of Leaders.” The head can be tilted slightly back, but not too much; otherwise, the person may come across as arrogant.


Growing smile.

Smiles should be used sparingly because too much smiling makes one seem weak. The most effective smile is one that starts small but grows when a person walks into a room or walks across a stage.


Eye contact.

There is a “Goldilocks effect” with eye contact. Too little looks deceptive, but too much gives you the “stalker stare.” Goman advises focusing in the triangle formed by the eyes and forehead. Looking anywhere below the eyes can come across as inappropriate rather than businesslike.


Making a point.

When pointing, point with your whole hand rather than just their index finger, which comes across as aggressive and makes others uncomfortable.



Whether sitting or standing, “steepling” your fingers conveys confidence confident.



Leaders don’t hide behind a lectern, but move around on stage when speaking to convey energy and engage audiences, says Amy Cuddy, a Harvard Business School professor and author of the book “Presence.” Walking, pausing and then walking again works best, she says; too much movement can seem erratic.


Power of the pause.

Speaking slowly and pausing makes leaders seem more authoritative. The faster you talk, the less authoritative you appear to your audience, Ms. Cuddy says.

Ms. McConnon is a writer in New York. She can be reached at

7 Hand Gestures You Should Be Using

Want to be more memorable? Try using these 7 hand gestures.

By Vanessa Van Edwards

Do you know how to speak with your hands?

Once we realized the importance of the TED speaker’s body language, we decided to look for specific nonverbal patterns that the top TED Talks had different from the bottom TED Talks. One thing became quickly clear: The more hand gestures, the more successful the Talk. There was a direct correlation between the number of views on a TED Talk and the number of hand gestures. Holler and Beatie found that gestures increase the value of our message by 60%! Leaders use specific hand gesture patterns. In summary:

  • The least popular TED Talkers used an average of 124,000 views and used an average of 272 hand gestures during the 18 minute talk.

  • The top TED Talks had an average of 7,360,000 views and used an average of 465 hand gestures—that’s almost double!

By the way, Temple Grandin, Simon Sinek and Jane McGonigal topped the hand gesture charts with over 600 hand gestures in just 18 minutes. Why do we think this is? Our hands are a nonverbal way to show and build trust–studies have found that when we see someone’s hands, we have an easier time trusting them. Also, when someone uses their hands to explain a concept, we have an easier time understanding them. Speakers who use hand gestures are speaking to their audience on 2 levels–verbally and nonverbally.
Bottom Line: To be a good speaker, let your hands do the talking.

The TED research shocked us and brought up tons of questions:

  • Why are hand gestures so important?

  • What are the most popular hand gestures?

  • How can everyone use their hand gestures to go viral?

We broke down all of the most popular TED Talks and major speeches from the last 5 decades and synthesized them into the top 20 hand gestures you can use. But first, some background:

Crazy Facts About Hand Gestures:

  • You’re born to speak with your hands. Researchers have found that infants who use more hand gestures at 18-months old have greater language abilities later on. Hand gestures speak to great intelligence. Check out this adorable baby using hand gestures to the Itsy Bitsy Spider:
  • Hand gestures make people listen to you. Spencer Kelly, associate professor of Psychology and co-director of the Center for Language and Brain at Colgate University found that gestures make people pay attention to the acoustics of speech. Kelly said, “Gestures are not merely add-ons to language – they may actually be a fundamental part of it.”
  • We can’t help it. Hand gestures come to us naturally. Spencer even found that blind people use hand gestures when speaking with other blind people.
  • Gesturing helps you access memories. Using hand gestures while you speak not only helps others remember what you say, it also helps you speak more quickly and effectively!
  • Nonverbal explanations help you understand more. One study found that forcing children to gesture while they explained how to solve math problems actually helped them learn new problem-solving strategies.


How to Speak With Your Hands:

Use your hand gestures responsively. Safe gesturing only please. Before we get into the top hand gestures you can use, let’s talk about using your hands appropriately:

  • Stay in the box. I never want you to think in the box, but I do want you to gesture within the box. Appropriate hand speaking space is from the top of your chest to the bottom of your waist. If you go outside this box, it’s seen as distracting and out of control. Here’s the difference:
  • There is a spectrum. Hand gestures are great up to a certain point. I call this the Jazz Hands Spectrum:


  • Make your gestures purposeful. Just like you bullet point out a pitch or presentation, do the same with gestures. The best Ted Talkers used their hands purposefully to explain important points. Use the list below to guide you.
  • Know what you want to say. If you have a big speech coming up, prepare your words, otherwise your gestures can try to overcompensate. According to Elena Nicoladis, a researcher at the University of Alberta who studies hand gestures, people who have trouble finding the right words are more likely to speak with their hands.
  • The more smooth the better. We love fluid hand gestures. Jerky and robotic prepared moves are distracting. Practice speaking with your hands until it feels and looks natural.
  • Film yourself. Film yourself chatting with someone on the phone. You might be surprised what kinds of gestures you use and how many you use during the conversation. Then, film your speeches and elevator pitch. Have a friend give you feedback on your gestures.
  • Be careful cross-culturally. Not all hand gestures are created equal!

Read the full article here>>


Body Language Tricks

5 Instantly Effective Body Language Tricks

There’s no question that body language is important, you can capture – and hold – anyone’s attention without even saying a word. We’ve selected some of the best body language techniques and shared them through this lesson:

The Flooding Smile

“Don’t flash an immediate smile when you greet someone,” If you do, it appears as if anyone in your line of sight would receive that same smile. Instead, pause and look at the other person’s face for a second, and then let a “big, warm, responsive smile flood over your face and overflow into your eyes.” Even though the delay is less than a second, it will convince people your smile is sincere and personalized for them. According to Lowndes, a slower smile can add more richness and depth to how people perceive you.

Sticky Eyes

Pretend your eyes are glued to your conversation partner’s with sticky warm taffy, Even after they’ve finished speaking, don’t break eye contact. “When you must look away, do it ever so slowly, reluctantly, stretching the gooey taffy until the tiny string finally breaks.” This technique will help you appear more intelligent and insightful.

The Big-Baby Pivot

People are very conscious of how you react to them. When you meet someone new, turn your body fully toward them and give them the same, undivided attention you would give a baby.Pivoting 100% towards the new person shouts, ‘I think you are very, very special.'”

Limit the Fidget

If you want to appear credible, try not to move too much when your conversation really matters. “Do not fidget, twitch, wiggle, squirm, or scratch, Frequent hand motions near your face can give your listener the feeling that you’re lying or anxious. Instead, simply fix a constant gaze on the listener and show them that you’re fully concentrated on the matter at hand.


Using your hands

Use you hands to create appropriate gestures. Hand movements help you to get the words out of your mouth accelerating your thought process. Do not cross your hands while speaking, It passes a signal that your are disinterested in a conversation.


Body Language Basics

“We’re losing social skills, the human interaction skills, how to read a person’s mood, to read their body language, how to be patient until the moment is right to make or press a point. Too much exclusive use of electronic information dehumanises what is a very, very important part of community life and living together.” ~ Vincent Nichols


So many people say that your body speaks much more loudly than your words speak and it’s probably…It has quite a bit of truth. It’s really important that as you speak you exhibit great body language. The most important aspects of your body language are, number one, your shoulders and where your shoulders are positioned as you speak to other people. So, your shoulders could be like this or they could be like this, and that slight change makes an enormous difference in what your body is saying about you. This little change could make me seem like I’m insecure or don’t have much confidence, but moving my shoulders up changes the entire dynamic of how I’m coming across.

Also, a really important part of your body language is your hands and what you’re doing with your hands. Now, some people have a really hard time with what to do with their hands as they’re speaking. If you have a hard time with it what I suggest is if you’re sitting, just putting your hands in your lap or if you’re standing just making sure that they’re at your sides or folded in front of you. A lot of people have a hard time with playing with things, with playing with bracelets, with playing with hair, fumbling with their pockets. So, be aware as you speak next time of what your hands are doing. Where are your hands? Are they stationary? Or, you can ask someone else to make this assessment for you. Have a conversation with them and ask them to keep an eye on where your hands are during the conversation.

Another important element of your body language is the fact that you need to be standing still, so if you’re moving during a conversation that’s going to give off the impression that you’re nervous or that you’re uncomfortable during the conversation. So, be sure that you’re standing stationary and that you’re not moving around as you’re talking. And, your feet, as you’re talking, you don’t want to be moving your feet around or lifting up your knee or moving your feet around. You want to make sure that those are stationary as well. The whole idea is that you don’t want to distract someone while they’re speaking or while you’re speaking. Not only is it distracting, but it can make you come across as insecure, less than confident, or even uncomfortable during a conversation. You definitely don’t want to give off that impression.

So, your body language speaks a great deal. You want to make sure that you have great body language as you’re communicating and speaking with other people. It’s probably one of the most important elements to making a good first impression.

TedTalk - Smile Power

TED Talk – The Hidden Power of Smiling

Body language, Smile, Smiling, Happiness, Power. Ron Gutman reviews a raft of studies about smiling, and reveals some surprising results. Did you know your smile can be a predictor of how long you’ll live — and that a simple smile has a measurable effect on your overall well-being? Prepare to flex a few facial muscles as you learn more about this evolutionarily contagious behavior.

Have you ever wondered why being around children, who smile so frequently, makes you smile very often? A recent study at Uppsala University in Sweden found that it’s very difficult to frown when looking at someone who smiles. You ask why? Because smiling is evolutionarily contagious, and it suppresses the control we usually have on our facial muscles. Mimicking a smile and experiencing it physically helps us understand whether our smile is fake or real, so we can understand the emotional state of the smiler.

Another aha! moment came from a 2010 Wayne State University research project that looked into pre-1950s baseball cards of Major League players. The researchers found that the span of a player’s smilecould actually predict the span of his life. Players who didn’t smile in their pictures lived an average of only 72.9 years, where players with beaming smiles lived an average of almost 80 years.

Smiling Predicts Longevity

And unlike lots of chocolate, lots of smiling can actually make you healthier. Smiling can help reduce the level of stress-enhancing hormones like cortisol, adrenaline and dopamine, increase the level of mood-enhancing hormones like endorphins, and reduce overall blood pressure.

And if that’s not enough, smiling can actually make you look good in the eyes of others. A recent study at Penn State University found that when you smile, you don’t only appear to be more likable and courteous, but you actually appear to be more competent.

So whenever you want to look great and competent, reduce your stress or improve your marriage, or feel as if you just had a whole stack of high-quality chocolate without incurring the caloric cost, or as if you found 25 grand in a pocket of an old jacket you hadn’t worn for ages, or whenever you want to tap into a superpower that will help you and everyone around you live a longer, healthier, happier life, smile.

Watch Ron Gutman’s Ted Talk Here

Ron GutmanRon Gutman/Entrepreneur

Ron Gutman is the founder and CEO of HealthTap, free mobile and online apps for health info. He’s also the organizer of TEDxSiliconValley. As a graduate student at Stanford, Gutman organized and led a multidisciplinary group of faculty and graduate students from the schools of Engineering, Medicine, Business, Psychology and Law to conduct research in personalized health and to design ways to help people live healthier, happier lives. He is an angel investor and advisor to health and technology companies such as Rock Health and Harvard Medical School’s SMArt Initiative.

Body Language That Shows Confidence

Body Language That Shows Confidence

Confidence is extremely important in terms of building relationships and personal success. We like confident people. We trust more confident people. We are drawn to confidence. So one the big issues, this sounds weird, but one of my big problems is shaving. So I can’t shave because I break out a lot. Right? I always go to these barber’s to get shaved and I always break out. So I go to this old guy’s shaving spot and I tell him, “Listen, don’t do three razor shave. Just do one.” But he’s so confident in his movement and his body language. He’s like, “No, sit. I cut hair for 20 years. You’ll be fine.” So I’m just like, “Alright. Let’s do it.” He butchered me. I was like bleeding. It was terrible. But I believed in his confidence. It’s something that’s very important. I tend to believe in people who are confident.

So how do you display confidence non-verbally? It’s kind of simple. Forward moving motions. Forward moving motions in the sense that if you want to say something. If you want to go in a certain direction, go. You see a lot of people in meetings who want to say something, they raise their hands like. If you want to raise your hand, raise your hand. Right? If you want to make a statement, make a statement. It needs to be forward moving. You can’t hesitate at all.

Also people who smile more are going to be a lot more confident. Posture is an indication of confidence. Right? So there’s a big difference in like, “Well, no, yeah, no. I’m really interested. No, I believe I can do this job. I really have the confidence.” And the other guy goes, “Listen, I can do this. Are you kidding me? This is something I can do. This is not even an issue.” There’s a big difference between those two communications. It’s a difference in tone. It’s a difference in the way I’m addressing. It’s a difference in speed. It’s also a difference in the way I’m sitting. It’s all these things. It’s not just one thing.