body language experts

The Body Language

of Experts



secret crush (2) presence (2)
adopt behavior capture (2)
slang cool (2) material (2)
pull audience retention
smash term (2) pull out (2)
guru icon (2) check them out
desire boom (3) expressive
fear trick (2) figure out
trust count (2) master (2)
verbal indicator find/found/found
impact amazing bottom line (3)
admit explain investigator
engage press (2) signature (2)
tip wisdom confidence
call (2) eyebrow credibility
cue point (3) pay attention
fierce steeple entrepreneur
author gesture speaks volumes
potent slightly incredibly
affect charisma draw/drew/drawn (2)
sacred share (3) screen shot
trigger founder authentic
crazy freaking awesome
likable amazing engagement
brand content memorable
tilt fantastic check them out
base relatable object (3)
stage research permission
effect gravitate in motion
brain demand period (2)
focus lean (2)






The internet’s greatest experts know a secret: they know the power of presence.

I’m Vanessa van Edwards, and I’m the lead investigator at the science of people, a human behavior research lab.

Today I’m going to show you seven body language secrets that experts use to reach their audience.

Think of the great web icons of today, to name a few, Tim Ferris, Chris Guillebeau, Marie Forleo — you get the idea.

All these experts, or if we want to use the cool new slang term “thought leaders” know how to capture their audience.

Yes, they teach awesome material. But more importantly, they know how to teach their awesome material.

So I’ve pulled out a few body language tricks these experts use that you can adopt to improve your own presence.

Let’s check them out.

Number one: Tim Ferris. Tim Ferris is a productivity guru, and he is the master of presence. And the secret to his power body language is expressive hand gestures.

In Tim’s sixteen-minute awesome TED talk on smashing fear, he used over four-hundred-seventeen (417) hand gestures — yes, we counted.

Here are just a few: boom. Boom. Boom.

Expressive hand gestures are so important for your presence for two reasons.

First, your hands are your trust indicators. When people can see your hands, their trust in you goes up.

Second, studies have found that when you compare hand gestures to verbal ex-planations, the retention of your material goes up. So if you explain with your hands, people remember what you have to say.

Bottom line: use your hands to make an impact.

Number Two: Marie Forleo. Marie Forleo is creator of Rich Happy Hot B-School and is a master marketer. I have to admit, I have a little girl crush on her, but who doesn’t.

Her signature body language is the steeple. The steeple is when you press your fingers together like this. Marie has this in ton of her video. Boom . . . boom . . . boom.

The steeple is the universal gesture for wisdom and confidence, so when you use it, you not only show your hands more (remember tip Number One), but you also increase your credibility.

Bottom line: use the steeple to increase your credibility.

Number Three, Ramit Sethi. Ramit Sethi is a financial guru and creator of I’ll Teach You to be Rich. Ramit’s classic body language move is the eyebrow raised. Now this isn’t that surprising because Ramit often says that he has the best eyebrows on the internet.

And he does use the eyebrow raise in both his interviews and videos.

What does the eyebrow raise mean?

This is the universal, nonverbal gesture for “pay attention”. When we raise our eyebrows, it calls attention to our face.

In other words, when Ramit raises his eyebrows, in a video, he’s cueing viewers to pay attention to what he’s about to say. This makes it incredibly easy to watch him and stay engaged.

And that’s why it’s such a great power move.

Bottom Line: Use the eyebrow raise to get attention.

Number Four: Daniella Laporte.

Daniella Laporte is a fierce, female entrepreneur and author of The Desire Map.

One thing she does extremely well is called the lean in. In her videos, Danielle slightly leans in on certain points as if she’s about to tell you a secret.

This has an extremely potent effect: it draws you into her words and makes you feel a part of her sacred circle. Here are just a few sceenshots of her leaning in during her video.

This slight lean in makes her warm and relatable. This is an awesomely authentic body language move you can use to create your presence.

Bottom line: Lean in when you want to share something special.

Number Five: Derek Halpern. Derek Halpern is the founder of the marketing blog Social Trigger and produces some freaking, amazing videos.

I’ve watched a ton of his content and figured out what his body language secret is the master of facial expressiveness. Look at some of these face: boom . . . boom . . . boom . . . amazing facial expressiveness.

Studies have found that people who have an expressive face, meaning they use lots of movement and different gestures, are seen as more likable and more charismatic.

Bottom line: Use facial expressions to be more memorable.

Number Six: Chris Carr. Chris Carr is a wellness activist and the star of Crazy, Sexy Cancer. Her brand is fantastic and her video get hundreds of thousands of views.

Her secret body language move is the head tilt. The head tilt is the uni-versal gesture for “I’m listening”. She not only does this in her videos, but also her signature head tilt in many of her online photos. Check them out.

When Chris uses the head tilt, it makes her relatable, warm and more charis-matic. It’s as if she’s saying to her viewers and readers, “Even though I’m sharing my info, I still want to hear from you.”

I think this it’s one of the reasons she has such high engagement. The head tilt speaks volumes to her relatability, charisma and warmth.

Bottom line: Tilt your head to increase your charisma.

Number Seven: Chris Guillebeau. Chris Guillebeau is an author and entrepreneur who has an amazing fan base. Chris is a great speaker, and his body language secret is movement.

During Chris’s TED talk on fear and permission, he is a master of the stage, moving from here to here to here.

Why is movement so important?

Research has found that our eyes gravitate towards an object in motion. So as Chris and speaks and walks across the stage, our brains stay focused on him, and then we’re able to pay attention for longer periods.

This movement body language is so engaging, and is such an in-demand speaker.

Bottom Line: Use movement to increase your presence.

That’s all I got for you today.

Be sure to use the seven power body language moves to increase you presence. Thanks to all these amazing internet icons for letting us learn from them.


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1. The host used just one example to illustration body languages. She focus only on one individual. True or false?

2. According to Vanessa, which has more of an impact, content or delivery, the information or the presentation?

3. Does a speaker’s hand gestures distract viewers and muddle the subject mat-ter?

4. The steeple hand gesture conveys a meaning. Is this right or wrong?

5. What does a raised eyebrow indicate? Is it similar to leaning in?

6. Should people look serious and straight?

7. People should stand behind a podium and deliver a talk from there only.


A. Are you familiar with any of the experts the host mentioned?

B. I know some expert speakers and presenters. Yes or no?

C. In my line of work, we have to give presentations.

D. What sorts of books, seminars, videos have you seen about body language?

E. What will happen in the future?

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