Body Language Australia - Body Language for Business

So how do we sell (ourselves) better

I believe that some level we are ‘pitching’ or selling every day.

Daniel Pink in his book ;To Sell Is Human’ is in agreement.

So how do we sell (ourselves) better – to bosses, team members, clients and customers, to our partners and even our children?

Some of the answers are to be found in the famous ‘Shark Tank’ show.

So what is it that defines the Shark Tank winners and losers – what is it that stands the winners apart?

And can normal, mere mortals like us learn and use these strategies?

Thankfully the answer is a resounding YES – watch the video or read the transcript to learn more



Hi, it’s Diederik Gelderman here. Have you heard of Shark Tank? You probably have. It’s one of the most successful TV shows on the planet.

In many countries now, they have their own version of Shark Tank.

In Shark Tank, there’s someone who is pitching their idea, and in fact, pitching themselves to three potential investors. Does that scenario sound familiar?

When you’re talking to the people who work with at work; you’re pitching your ideas, you’re pitching yourself to those people who you work with. Whether you’re an employee or a boss, in fact, you’re always pitching to someone at work.

And, if you’re a salesperson… look at the end of the day—Daniel Pink wrote a book saying We’re Always Selling, a really good book; have a read of it.

So at the end of the day, we are in fact, always selling. Whether we’re selling to a client or a customer, or whether we’re selling in some sort of other scenario, we’re all sales people so we’re always pitching something to someone.

If you’re a parent you’re pitching your ideas, your philosophy to your kids and you’re hoping that you do a better job at pitching your ideas and philosophies to your kids than the drug dealer down the road or the gangs up the street.

I won’t say we’re pitching every minute of our lives but we’re certainly spending a considerable amount of our lives pitching, and therefore, I think the Shark Tank scenario is really, really, really important.

As you know, they’re pitching and they’re doing it professionally and it’s worth millions of dollars to the pitcher—to the person doing the pitch if the investor takes them up.

So, I thought it was really worthwhile looking at the difference between the Shark Tank winners and the Shark Tank losers, if will, to see what’s the difference between a good pitch and a not-so-good pitch.

In 2016, there were 495 investors who came to Shark Tank and did their pitches, and of that, 253 people got the deal and 242 didn’t. It’s about a 50-50 split.

The organization that I work with The Science of People, through which I’m certified, looked at all those pitches in great detail and looked at three components of those pictures; body language, business strategies and the psychological effects.

Body language is a really important part of our communication, and sixty percent or more of our communication is through body language, the non-verbal. Over sixty percent is non-verbal.

  1. The first non-verbal component of our communication, the non-verbal component includes body language; so that’s facial expressions, gestures and posture – how you stand, how you walk etc.
  1. The second component of the non-verbal is your vocal tone, not what you say but how you say it. Timbre, pitch, cadence, how quickly you speak, etc.
  1. Then the third component is or are your ornaments; tie, necklace, jewellery, watches, rings, hat, what clothes you wear, style etc. 

So, that’s what was analysed. Let’s go through and have a look at some specifics on that.

First of all, I want to talk about mathematical problems.

64% of the ‘No’ deals had a math problem in the pitch, and 32% of the ‘Yes’ deals, only 32% of the ‘Yes’ deals, had a math problem in it. Do you see something here, a pattern perhaps?

If you’re pitching to someone and you include a mathematical problem, something for them to work out physically in their head or on a calculator, if there’s a Math problem involved, you’re only 1/3 as likely to have a ‘Yes’ response from the person that you’re pitching yourself to. It’s a good idea not to include Math problems.

The second thing is a grand entrance.

How you walk towards that person, how you present as you’re walking towards the person you’re pitching to is really important.

And specifically in Shark Tank, when the people doing the pitch came into the area where the Sharks were sitting, the bulk of the winners smiled and nodded as they were walking down the ‘runway.

So, when you’re approaching someone that you’re pitching to, it really is ultra-important that you smile and nod and not just when you get REALLY close to them. Start nodding and smiling when you’re well and truly just walking in – a long distance away – smile and nod.

Your ‘grand’ entrance is really important, and there are a number of TED talks on this topic and you can look up exactly how to make a grand entrance.

I’m going to suggest you nod to the people as you walk in, you have your hands visible and exposed, you stand square on both legs, shoulders back, erect, head up, chin up and that will make you look much, much, much more confident and therefore you’re more likely to be trusted.

Speaking of trust, we move on to factor number three.

Let me ask you this, what part of someone’s body do you notice first, or does anyone notice first when they’re approaching you?

When I ask that question in a in a forum, in front of a group where I’m doing some body language training, most of the time people say, “Oh, we notice their smile,” or, “We notice their eyes.”

Yes, you do notice the smile, you do notice their eyes, you do notice how they look and stand, but the first thing you notice is these hands, visible hands.

This goes back to our caveman days, and if you’re a cave man or a cave woman sitting around the fire looking after the kids and someone came over the hill a little distance away, the first thing you’d notice is were their hands empty or was there something in their hands like a club or a spear.

If their hands were hidden behind their back, your brain starts to scream at you, “They may have a club back there. They may not be trustworthy. Be careful.” So, this goes way, way back to caveman days.

Studies with juries in courtroom trials showed that when a defendant had his or her hands under the desk and the juries could not see those hands, the juries were more likely to regard that person as being guilty.

It’s really, really important that when you’re making your entrance that you keep your hands visible, and then when you’re directly communicating with that person, you have your hands visible as well – and also expressive.

These hand movements of mine, it’s just the way I’ve always done it a little too much. And I have, probably, jazz hands, I’m a little bit too all over the place with my hands, and it can be a little bit distracting.

The ideal place to have / use your hands is in a square box, about as wide as  shoulder width, in front of your torso, and you move your hands in that space. That is the ideal place to have your hands.

No hand movements at all are also very disconcerting. There’s quite a few good TED talks on this too, where they’ve studied the number of views of similar videos and similar TED talks and the people who get the highest number of TED talk ratings or watches, whatever you want to call it, have twice as many hand movements as similar topics in which there are not many hand movements.

Studies also show that when you examine the comprehension…so, let’s assume I’m a teacher or a lecturer, or we’re sitting around the table talking about whatever we’re talking about, and if I’m passing information on, and you were then examined on all that information at the end of the talk, if I’m using hand movements you’ll retain, comprehend, understand, internalize twice as much as if I don’t use my hands.

Using your hands almost adds an extra dimension and an extra layer of understanding to the communication, so it is really important to use your hands.

The number four strategy from the Shark Tank strategies was to be interactive.

When the person’s selling themselves to the Sharks, or selling their ideas to the Sharks, when they gave the Sharks something to do, something to taste, something to hold, something to feel, something to touch, when they engaged the Sharks – now 81% of the winners were interactive with the Sharks.

Same thing for you, when you’re pitching yourself, pitching ideas, whether that’s to your employees, to whether that’s to your co-workers, whether that’s to your kids, be interactive.

The fifth thing they found out was that the more successful pitchers has a story behind the pitch.

The story is king, and your story is too…and if you’re pitching yourself to, say, a bank or an organization like that, tell your story about why you would be a good relationship for them to have, what brought you to where you are and why they should agree with you etc.

If you’re selling yourself in a job interview, and that’s a pitch, again tell your story.

The take-home message is to find a story, tell the story, engage the person or the people that you’re talking to with that story. It works really, really, really well, and it will increase your ‘sales’, if you want to call it that.

Number six is confidence.

There are some studies that were done by Harvard Business School, and these are really interesting studies.

They took a number of young men and women, and they asked them to sit for job interviews. Now, these job interviews were actually mock interviews, but the young adults, teenagers early 20s, they thought that was sitting for a real job interview.

The Harvard Business School asked the interviewers, to judge these young people on their overall performance, on their presence and on their likeability, trustability, that sort of thing.

The young people were broken up into two groups — so, this is all about confidence, remember…

One group was asked to stand for two minutes in a power body-language pose, so a power pose. That’s standing like Superman or Batwoman; take up space have a big physical presence. You can do it in the bathroom for example, where no one could see you, you can even get an old style broadsheet newspaper and hold it out like you’re reading it, that’s having exactly the same ‘power’ stance.

Half the people were asked to stand in a stance like that, and that was their preparation for the interview.

The other half weren’t told to do anything specific.

All three ratings were much, much, much higher in the young people that had stood in the power pose, or power stance for two minutes than the other group.

Their hire-ability, their credibility, their trust-ability, their presence went up exponentially when they stood in a power pose for two minutes.

This is how simple this stuff is….

If you’re going to have a meeting with someone, whatever that meetings happen happens to be for, whether it’s for a job interview, whether it’s talking with an employee, whether it’s talking with the client for that matter, or if you’re say a car salesman, stand like this for two minutes, and you will make more sales, you will be more credible, you will get more information across. This is a really, really, really important strategy for you to use.

Obviously, if you walk into the meeting in a power pose or power stance, that would be a little bit socially aggressive, so you probably shouldn’t do that.

Once you’re in that meeting, you should stand in what is called a ‘presenter’s stance, or a launch stance’.

A presenter’s stance is what I described earlier, feet shoulder-width apart, head back, chest up, shoulders back and down and standing equally and comfortably – balanced on both feet.

The next strategy that was looked at was powerful voice.

There are a couple of things here that are really important with respect to your voice.

The first thing is to avoid what’s called the question inflection. Let me give you an example; we’ll do a pricing one, “The price is sixty five dollars?” (rising intonation at end of phrase). Versus, “The price is sixty five dollars.” (flat intonation)

So, the second way, “The price is sixty-five dollars.” I had a flat intonation, so that’s a neutral intonation.

The first example I said with a rising inflection, “The price is sixty five dollars?”

That doesn’t sound very credible, it’s an upward inflection at the end of the phrase, and it’s almost like I’m asking you, “Are you alright with the $65 price?”

Use a neutral inflection; don’t use a rising tonality or the questioning tonality at the end. Unfortunately this is something we see a lot in Australia, maybe you see it in your country as well.

The next thing to having a powerful voice is to learn to speak on the out-breath.

When you speak on the out-breath, you have more emphasis, more power more volume to your voice.

The third thing with the voice is to use the lowest natural tone that you can.

I’ll use myself as an example, and even though I’m aware of all this, I still fall into the same trap on a regular basis.

When I get excited my voice just goes up a little bit and it makes me lose credibility.

Bring you voice down to the lowest range that works for you and speak on the out-breath using a flat tonality and you’ve got three of the four points of a powerful voice tone.

The last thing is to use emotionality.

A powerful speaker uses emotions to engage your audience and the people that are listening to you.

The next thing is to be relevant.

By being relevant, I mean finding common ground.

If you can elicit from the person that you’re working with or talking with or talking to, if you can find some common ground, then that’s really going to help bond you to them, bond them to you and have a better outcome.

For example, if you are wearing the same watch that they are, you might point that out. If they have some fantastic jewellery or a tie of a certain kind, and you like that, point that out. If during that conversation, they say that they like going on skiing holidays in Switzerland and you like skiing but you’ve only done Japan, point that sort of thing out.

The more common ground you can find, the more likeable, trustable and credible you’ll be.

There are more, but these are the main tips that come out of the Shark Tank studies.

I’ll redo this video at some stage and go into a lot more depth. I’ve just picked the highlights or the high points and I’ve tried to pick the ones that are quick and easy for you to apply.

If YOU want to be a more powerful speaker, face to face, if you want to get your ideas across more quickly and easily, develop trust, rapport, credibility and have the person you are talking to be engaged with your more, these are the tips and the clues that will make that happen.

I’ll see on the next video.


Are you using your hands to speak?

Some people naturally speak ‘using their hands’ (like me) and others don’t.

Studies show that there are LOTS of reasons why ‘speaking using your hands’ is a good thing to do’.

And these reasons hold true whether we are speaking one-on-one or one-to-small-group or even one-to-large-audience.

These reasons include; better understanding of the subject matter by the listener(s), better retention of the subject matter by the listener(s)

and more ‘deals’ / better outcomes attained.

In fact they showed that talking using your hands had huge positive outcomes for both parties and no negative outcomes.

In this quick video I discuss the WHY, WHAT and HOW of speaking with your hands.


Hi, it’s Diederik Gelderman here.

Today, I want to share a strategy on how you can help improve your communication outcomes whether that’s on the phone, face to face or speaking in front of a group; small or large group.

This is all about the science behind getting your hands to speak. And you may or may not have noticed as you’ve been watching me over the last few weeks and months, but I tend to use my hands to speak.

I’ve always done this and it’s natural to me, but if you think this through, you undoubtedly have run into a lot of people who don’t use their hands when they speak, or only use them in very small ways or use very small gestures.

I don’t know what you do personally, but let me suggest that if you’re not using your hands or if you’re only using them minimally, that you increase the number and the range of your gestures, because a couple of things will happen — I’ll just go through them in a sec — but briefly; first off you’re going to be able to think better.

Yes, your thoughts will improve when you’re using your hands to speak; a study showed this.

Then from the listener’s perspective, the person you’re talking with, that second language of your hands will increase the depth and emotionality and the impact of what you’re saying.

Therefore, using your hands to speak is;

  1. beneficial to you, it’ll help improve your thought process, it’ll help improve your thinking and thinking through that topic and subject, and
  2. it will help you get the message across more clearly, and
  3. then it’s also beneficial to the other person with respect to that it helps their subconscious to more easily process what you’re saying and
  4. it also helps them to increase their understanding and retention of what you’re saying.

It’s a win-win situation all around…

I’ll cite one particular study for you. I’m sure you heard of the TED Talks… and the Science of People lab in Portland Oregon studied TED talks from 2016 which had gone  viral versus the ones that had not gone viral to see if there were discernible differences in the talks.

They looked at some common denominators between the viral talks and the non-viral ones, and the comparisons were on talks on the same subject of course.

One of the biggest standouts, of a number standouts, and we’ll talk about the other standouts in another video, but one of the biggest standouts if not the biggest standout was that in the TED talks that went viral ,the speakers use their hands and made about twice as many hand gestures as similar topics which didn’t go viral.

Wow. Just a few extra hand movements, double the hand movements, and you get a viral TED talk versus a non-viral TED talk, hmm maybe there’s something in this.

The other thing is that when you quiz or interview audiences who have watched people speaking live or on TV or video or DVD [or whatever], when people used lots of hand movements, they judged those people who used lots of hand movements to be more warm, more agreeable and more energetic than people who didn’t. 

And people who don’t use their hands to speak, they’re regarded as cold, logical and analytic; so, big difference there as well.

If we have agreed by now that we should be using hand movements, where and how many hand movements should you be using?

If we use my body as an example; you’ve got a box infront of your torso that’s about as wide as your shoulders and as wide as your hips, and it goes from your shoulder line, the top of your shoulders and the bottom of your neck, to just below your waist and if you keep your hands inside that box that’s the optimal place to have hand movements.

Now, people who move their hands outside of that box, like I do a lot of times, can be occasionally perceived as being a little bit out of control.

It’s occasionally okay to make larger hand movements but try and keep them within that box as much as possible.

Hand movements also add colour and depth and variety to your story, and also adds emotionality to the story.

It’s been shown that hand movements are almost a second language that adds in missing parts to the verbal communication that may not have come through verbally.

Hand gestures gives the listener a lot more nuances and depth into that conversation or into what you’re saying; so, it adds a lot of extra information and dimension to what you’re saying, so it’s really, really, really important.

As I said earlier, it also adds extra emotion into the story, and then it also acts as a punctate or punctuator.

Let me give you an example of some of this so if I were to say, “I want to tell you a really big important point,” how would that look?

Versus, “We’re going to share a really big important point,” does that add an extra dimension to the ‘bigness’ of that point, versus this? Yes, I think so.

And also, if you’re listing things out like if you’re lecturing or if you’re talking to a group or if you’re a salesperson selling stuff, if you say “We’re going to talk about three things here today. Number, one is this. Number two is this. Number three is this.” You’ve effectively boldened or underlined or brightened up those three important points by using your hands as punctuators.

The last thing that I want to share is that people who don’t use gestures at all, or virtually at all, are regarded as less trustworthy than people that do (use gestures), and while we’re talking about trust, there’s obviously also the matter of Lie Detection.

When what you say and your hand gestures match up to what you’ll say, then you’re going to be perceived as telling the truth.

However, one of the biggest keys to Lie Detection is to find mismatches between what the other person is saying and their hand gestures.

When your hand gestures and what you are saying coincide and build on each other, you’ll be regarded as truthful.

But where your hand gestures mismatch what you’re saying or you use no hand gestures at all, it’s more reason for the other person to regard you as being less than honest.

I hope this has given you some really simple immediately actionable strategies that you can use.


Can you benefit from a Greek sculptor named Pygmalion?

There’s a really powerful people managing tool called The Pygmalion effect, or The Rosenthal effect.
Are you using this ‘effect’ to get more out of your people?
If not, then you should.
It will cost you NOTHING and it really works
Above all, you need to avoid using The Golem Effect.


Today, I want to talk about The Pygmalion Effect. If you haven’t heard of Pygmalion, please look it up on Google and you’ll learn all about it. 

There’s this thing called The Pygmalion Effect which says that ‘Great expectations are met with greatness’.

When YOU expect greatness in someone and you express that, when you tell them so, it’s more likely to happen; i.e. – they are more likely to live up to your expectations and be GREAT.

And, the opposite is true as well, when you expect poorness or not doing stuff well in someone, that’s what’s going to happen as well.

Let me ask you – what are your expectations of your team member, partner, spouse, children, etc. Do you expect greatness or do you expect ‘poor performance’?

My thought for you today is for a number of things.

We’ll start with verbal cheerleading;

How can your team members verbally cheerlead for other team members?

What I mean is this… let’s assume that you have a receptionist in your practice and—in your practice or your business or whatever industry you’re in, this is totally cross contextual… let’s assume it’s a situation in which they are the ‘face’ of a clinic of some type – a ‘doctor’ whether it’s a physio or a dentist or a doctor-doctor or a veterinary doctor — and the receptionist welcomes a client in and says, “Hey Mrs. Smith, you’re so lucky today. You’re getting to see Dr. Gottlieb, and he is fantastic because he loves…”

…..whatever… – it may be “he loves back problems” if it’s Chiro or a Physio it may be “He loves Maltese terriers” if Mrs. Smith’s got a Maltese she’s bringing in and the Veterinarian is seeing her Maltese, etc., etc. I’m sure you know what I mean.

It is really important for every team member (especially the owners and senior team members) to find a way to verbally cheerlead other team members.

Let’s assume that I’m a veterinarian (which as you know I am), and let’s assume that I’m admitting a patient, Bruno the Maltese; I’m admitting Bruno because he’s sick, and I’ve got Rebecca here that’s my nurse. And, I’m saying “Mrs. Smith, we’re going to admit Bruno. I’m putting him in the care of Rebecca. She is my best nurse, she is awesome, and she will look after Bruno fantastically well. He is in the best hands possible.”

How do you think Mrs. Smith is going to feel versus if I’d said, “Mrs. Smith, we’re going to admit Bruno, and here’s Rebecca she’s going to be looking after him today”? A totally different scenario isn’t it? Mrs. Smith’s expectations are going to be totally different.

That’s what’s called the Pygmalion effect, and there are two sides to this….

When Rebecca hears me talking about her and that she’s the best nurse and we’re going to take awesome care of Bruno, don’t you think that’s going to ignite her flame and make her feel wonderful!!!

So, that’s one side of the Pygmalion effect.

The other effect is Mrs. Smith, how do you think she’s going to think about Rebecca? She going to be really respectful of and impressed by Rebecca.

It’s really important that you verbally cheerlead and use the Pygmalion effect as much as you can both in your team – whatever Team you happen to have.

Set your team members up for success.

As we are finishing up…..

May I suggest that you become someone who finds the greatness in everyone.

I know that’s hard to do, or it could be hard to do for others, but I know it’s going to be easy to do for you.

You can ‘look’ into everyone and find their area of greatness and compliment them in front of others, if that’s appropriate in front of team members, in front of clients, whatever is needed to make them feel good.

They will feel better and function better and do better and whoever else is around is going to look at you and say “Wow isn’t he a great boss” if you’re the boss or “Wow isn’t he a great team member” if you’re a team member.

And if there are clients there as well, they’re going to get so much more out of this as well. They’re going to love and respect you and what you do and the practice culture.

The opposite of the Pygmalion effect is called The Golem effect.

As you can imagine, it’s exactly the opposite….

Find what they’re doing wrong and talk to them about it and they will do it worse.

I’m not going to talk about the Golem effect because I don’t want you knowing about it. I want you concentrating on the Pygmalion effect and how to get that really, really, really working well in your workplace.

Your assignment, your task, your challenge should you decide to accept it, and I know you are going to accept it, is to find the goodness, to find the greatness in everyone and mention that to them to help motivate them and bring the best out of them, and also to level up the lives of other team members and your clients.

See on the next video.

People can tell when you are nervous

When we’re nervous most of us make what are called ‘comfort’ or ‘self-soothing’ gestures.
When we do this, at some level the other person know that we’re nervous, afraid or not in control.
This happens one-on-one, in a small group and even when you’re presenting or on stage.
When this happens you lose all your credibility and power.
Watch the video, read the transcript or listen to the audio to learn what these self-soothing gestures are and how people can tell when you’re nervous

People Can Tell When You Are Nervous

Are you nervous when you meet new people? Are you nervous when you stand up in front of a team meeting? Are you nervous when you stand on a podium and present to everyone that’s out there?

The answer for most of us is yes. It’d be unusual not to be nervous. And, the more we do it, the less nervous we become.

But the more nervous we are and the more ‘nerves’ we show that the less respect that audience will give us.

And that audience may be really small, just one person, or a small team group or even a large audience of 200 or more people present.

The more nerves that you show, the less credibility and believability you’ll have, the less trust you’ll develop from that audience.

It’s really, really important therefore,  that you show a ‘strong’ presence and that you show that you’re ‘in control’ and that you are not nervous.

Let me share some nervousness behaviours with you.

A couple of really simple nervousness tells or giveaways include the following; 

  • when people scratch themselves, on their knee or their arm, anywhere in fact or
  • when they twiddle with their earing, twiddle with their hair
  • another one is playing with the tie or some jewellery that’s around the neck

The little indent at the front of the neck is called the suprasternal notch, and just under it are some arteries and veins and nerves When we rub this area, it soothes us and slows our heart down.

Therefore, when we play with our tie (men or women wearing a tie) or when, women play with their jewellery in this area, they are doing so to ‘calm’ themselves down – even though they may not realize what they are doing, and these are all ‘nervous’ gestures.

Other self-soothing or nervous gestures include;

  • biting your finger nails
  • chewing gum
  • ‘adjusting’ an item of clothing
  • rubbing ones shoulders
  • etc.

Now, you may be thinking, “Oh, look, Diederik, I don’t consciously see or recognize those things that you’ve just said so I can’t tell when someone is nervous.”

I’m going to beg to differ because you may not consciously be aware that someone else is nervous but your subconscious definitely is!

And so at some level you will feel that ‘something is not quite right’…. – but you might not have any idea why.

This goes back to our caveman days, and back then we HAD to learn to read someone else’s body language.

We had to learn to ‘read’ that other caveman who was approaching us or that person that we were with and know whether they were friend or foe, threat or enemy, confident or nervous.

We innately recognize those body language ‘tells’, maybe not consciously but certainly subconsciously, and that gives us a feeling of “I don’t know why but I don’t trust that person – something is not quite right.”

The other thing I want to show you is another nervousness gesture – I just did it to show you — and it is called ‘turtling’.

Turtling is where you pull your shoulders up towards your ears. This minimises the ‘length’ of your neck and the exposure of this ‘sensitive’ area to others.

The neck and the throat are very sensitive areas – so we want to protect them! So, if you ‘turtle’ that shows that you’re nervous because you’re trying to cut down the exposure of this high risk area.

What we’ve gone through are just some of a whole host of nervousness gestures that we all recognize at some level. Therefore, when someone makes or uses these gestures, we have less credibility, trust, authenticity and belief in that person.

The take-home message here is; even if you don’t think you’re nervous, watch your body language and check-in and see if you do any of those behaviours.

And if you do some of those behaviours or ‘tells’, may I suggest that you practice not doing them because that’s going to hugely improve the communication outcome and the trust and credibility that you receive from your audience, whether that’s one person or a huge room.

What are your eyebrows saying


Today, a really quick tip.

How do you show someone that you’re interested in them or interested in what they’re saying? Well, the trick is an eyebrow-raise.

The eyebrow-raise

When you raise an eyebrow, or both eyebrows (when someone else is talking), it signifies to them that you’re interested in what they’re saying.

And, if you really want to impact this person even more and show them that you’re even more interested super interested in what they are saying…. as well as raising an eyebrow, just lean in towards them very slightly.

At a conscious level, that person may not, and probably will not, see or realize what you’re doing, but at an unconscious level, they will most certainly see that eyebrow raise and see that lean in.

This shows the person that’s talking that you’re interested in them, interested in what they’re saying, and therefore, naturally, they’re going to like you more, trust you more and respect you more.

This is a super effective strategy and also it’s super-easy to learn how to do this and add it in to your communication armoury.

There’s another side to this coin as well.

If you are speaking (to one person or to an audience or even a large group) and if YOU want to emphasize an important point…

… let’s assume that you’re a teacher in a classroom situation, or a lecturer at a university or something along those lines….

  if and when you want to emphasize a point, you can do, and should do, exactly the same thing. – raise an eyebrow!

This places a ‘line’ under what you’re saying and emphasizes it to your audience.

An eyebrow raise indicates to the person who’s listening that there’s something important here, there’s something important and I’m telling you to listen more closely by raising my eyebrow; it means that something important is coming out of my mouth.

And then the ‘lean-in’. As a speaker, learn to use the ‘lean-in to achieve exactly the same thing.

Learn to watch for the raised eyebrow and look out for that lean-in.

And learn to use both those strategies yourself – with volition!

  • If you’re a teacher, a lecturer, or even if you’re just having a conversation with someone and you want to emphasize what you’re saying, then raise an eyebrow, raise two eyebrows and lean in slightly.
  • If you’re someone that’s listening to someone else and you want to show empathy and show that you understand them and you’re on the same page and that you’re really listening well, you’re truly interested in what they are saying, then an eyebrow-raise and leaning in achieves exactly that.

Today you learned some new skills and strategies. It’s now up to you to practice these strategies to cement them into your neurology.

I’ll catch up with you on the next video.

Introduction To Fronting in Body Language

Today, we’re going to learn another skill that’s really important for you to learn and to use.

But first – I need you to do a Google search, just some quick research…

Pause the video and google some famous people. You could google a favourite actor, you could google a politician, you could google some other ‘icon’. I need you to look at their ‘image’ or their picture.

As you do this just look at the images that you come across. What I’d like you to think about is when you see these images, what are your immediate thoughts with respect to like and trust…

Do you like, trust and respect that person based on that image, or are you less likely to trust, respect and like that person based on that image that you see on your screen

I’d like you to go and do that now. Go and look at three or four different people and half a dozen images of those three or four people.

Then make an instant decision about them – do you like and trust them based on that image or are you less likely to like and trust them.

And see if you can also form an impression as to why you do or don’t like them.

Then come back to me and we’ll go into this in a little more in depth. I’ll explain some of the things that may have come out for you.

Okay, welcome back.

I hope you’ve just done that little but very important exercise.

What we’re talking about today is Fronting.

Essentially people who front us, who look straight at us are perceived to be more likable and trustable.

Fronting is – that’s straight ‘top’, ‘torso’ and ‘toes’ – all pointed to you or at you.

When someone fronts you, this means to your mind and to your body that that person is respecting you, paying attention to you and therefore you are more likely to reciprocate and like and trust them more in turn.

When you went and googled these people a little while ago, if these people were looking at you front on, or maybe their head is slightly turned but to all intents and purposes they are still looking directly at you, you are much more likely to like them, trust them and respect them.

However, if they were like, looking away from you, then you are less likely to trust them, like them and respect them.

Some Examples;

There are some classic pictures of politicians on the internet which are designed to either get you to like that politician or to not-like that person.

When people are talking images of these politicians, they’re trying to portray them in either a good light or a bad light depending on what that writer, that author, that photographer, what image he’s trying to create about that politician.

When they like what the politician is doing, and they like what he said, they’ll have a full-frontal image, (see above) for you to see – or maybe the politician might be slightly turned – but is still looking at the camera. That then gives the reader more reason to trust and like and respect that politician.

Whereas if the writer or the photographer doesn’t want to portray that politician in a good light, then they’re going to have the politician looking elsewhere or looking sideways, or looking up and not facing the camera directly. This results in the viewer having less positive feelings for that politician.

Fronting is a VERY powerful tool and it’s something for you to be aware of.

Fronting means ‘top’, ‘torso’, ‘toes’ all pointing at the most important thing or person in the room. This most important person is the person who they are communicating with – you.

Fronting is the non-verbal way of saying; “I respect you…”

This means that if you are talking to two or three or four people, then if someone is talking you’d front that particular person, and then when someone else talks, you’d front them, and then when the 3rd person talks, you’d then front them.

So, you’d slightly rotate your head and your torso and your toes to that next person and the next person, etc.

You should learn to do this both when you are standing or sitting.

Even when meeting around a table, where you are all sitting down, you can front as well.

It’s obviously very much easier in a swivel chair than in a fixed chair, but it can be done whether you’re in a swivel chair or a fixed chair. In the fixed chair scenario, you just need to make more of an effort.

I’m going to politely ‘insist’ that you start fronting when you are meeting with people and having discussion with people, because your credibility, your likedness, your trust worthiness and your respectedness will improve dramatically in that other person’s eyes when you front them.

This is a very powerful skill to master and will significantly affect your communication outcomes.

Let’s go a little bit deeper on this.

Now that you know the power of fronting, what I’m going to suggest that you do is to look at your Facebook image or picture if you have a private Facebook page—and may I suggest that you look at LinkedIn picture as well.

In a LinkedIn photo (this is a professional business environment where you’re trying to create relationships), it’s really important that your image has a full ‘front’ of you and that you have a good frontal image on your LinkedIn site.

Facebook, may not be as important if you’re not using it for business. If you do use Facebook for business, then the same ‘rules’ apply with respect to your image on Facebook.

However, let’s go sideways quite dramatically and do some lateral thinking.

If you’re dating for example, and if your Facebook image on your Facebook site is part of your dating profile, then absolutely, you should have a good frontal image on Facebook. You’ll be seem as more trustworthy!

And, if you’re using a dating site, exactly the same thing applies, it will really improve your ability to get a date.

And even if you don’t use your Facebook page for business, it could be that someone who wants to do business with you might actually go and ‘look you up’ on Facebook.

If your Facebook image isn’t as good as it needs to be, then this may just cost you business.

So, there are many reasons (both personal and business reasons) for fronting and having good frontal images on the internet.

Just one last thing

I could talk about this topic for quite a while—I’m not going too. I just want to throw one last thing into the mix.

When you’re at a party and you’re fronting someone, typically, subconsciously, our toes point at or to the most important thing in the room (to us), and so you might be fronting someone with your head, your top and your torso, BUT your toes may be pointing at the bathroom.

The person that you’re talking with, at some level, will know that your toes are pointing at the bathroom, or your toes are pointing to the bar, or your toes are pointing to the food table – in other words they will subconsciously ‘see’ that your toes are not pointing at them and that you are only ‘partially fronting’ them.

It’s really important therefore, that when you’re communicating with someone at a networking event or in fact that when you are communicating with anyone, anywhere that you be aware of your top, your torso and your toes, and you pay the other person respect by fronting them fully and you pay that person that you’re communicating with attention by fronting correctly, and also being aware of where your toes are pointing.

This has been a bit of a longer video today and we’ve shared a few tips, strategies and clues for you to implement in the next couple of weeks.

I look forward to catching up with you on the next video.


Expressive Hands

A few weeks ago, we talked about the two big trust indicators;

  • one was ‘visible hands’ and
  • the other one was the smile.

Well, we’re going back to look at the hands today.

Today it’s all about ‘expressive hands’ and using your hands to improve your communication and communication outcomes.

We can grade the use of one’s hands during conversation from no use at all (zero) through the over use (ten).

I’m one of those people who tends to use their hands A LOT – I almost over use them. Call them ‘Jazz Hand’s if you like; I use my hands a lot.

But, studies show, that using one’s hands, does add expressiveness to the communication and it most definitely improves communications outcomes.

Using the expressiveness of your hands does help get the message across to the people that you’re talking with. They do remember more of what you’ve said and you are also regarded as more likable and trustworthy when you use your hands to help you communicate.

One extreme is where you are waving your hands around almost ‘wildly’, using expansive gestures and large movements of the hands. As I’ve indicated above, this can be called ‘Jazz Hands’.

Doing too much with your hands can be distracting and hinder communication. Jazz hands ‘distracts’ your listener and can take away from the message that you are trying to get across. If you are like me and if you have Jazz Hands, just be aware of this and be a little careful therefore to remember to tone it down – just a touch.

The other extreme is no use of hands at all, the hands remaining just sort of flat by your side, or folded across the abdomen, or something like that – no use of the hands at all.

This lack of animation (by the hands) means that your message gets across with less power and less impact.

Without the use of hand gestures, you have a lesser communication impact on the listener

And that extreme (no hand movement) is equally bad, because it also detracts from the power of your message.

Then we have the middle of the road use of hands. This is where you DO use hand gestures and movement, but you limit your movements largely to a ‘restricted’ area in-front of your torso.

This restricted area is a box, about 50 cm to 60 cm square, in-front of your chest and abdomen. Maybe this box is about as wide as your body and maybe a 50cm to 60 cm high, and it’s in front of your abdomen or lower chest.

In this ‘ideal’ scenario your hands would move within that space. Most surely, you would occasionally gesture more broadly and widely, but to a larger degree, your hand gestures would be within that box-like area. This is probably more of the ideal scenario when we’re talking about how much we should be using our hands.

What are you doing with your hands?

The point of this video is to get you to assess how, where and how much you are using your hands when you’re speaking; how expressive you are.

If you’ve got no hand movement at all, if you’re down at the lower end of the scale, then I’m going to suggest that you consciously start moving your hands around to improve the impact of your communication.

Initially this will feel stilted, awkward and strange. You may even feel that your communication is contrived.

The more you practice and practice, the more natural this will feel and the more impactful you’ll see your communication becoming.

On the other hand, if you’re like me and you have jazz hands, and you’re happy with that and if it isn’t throwing your conversation and communication off, then that’s okay, keep doing what you’re doing.

Knowing what you know now, start observing the other person or people in the conversation carefully to ensure that you aren’t putting them off or even slightly ‘frightening’ them.

But if you are throwing people off, maybe just tone it down a little. Remember, all body language and all communication goes on a scale from extremely low to extremely high, and you should fit somewhere in the middle. That gives the best of all worlds.

So, this is another skill to tack onto the skills we’ve worked on over the last four or five weeks. This is all about learning how to use your hands to improve your communication outcomes.

Final Note: If you are speaking from ‘stage’ or to a small or large group, then the correct use of your hands is also VERY important in getting your message across. Here again, learn to use your hands to maximise the communication outcome you will achieve.

Now it’s over to you – it’s time to turn this theory into a new skill by starting to practice, practice and practice.

I’ll see you on the next video.

Look Into My Eyes


Look Into My Eyes…..

Hi, it’s Diederik Gelderman here.

How did you go with the handshake practicing in the last week?

Over the last three weeks we’ve practiced;

  • the smile,
  • we’ve practiced the visible hands, and
  • we’ve practiced the handshake.

I hope that you have those well and truly ingrained into your neurology now, and that it’s second nature for your hands to be visible when you meet someone or walk into the room, for you to have a big smile plastered all over your face, and for you to put your hand out and get that handshake and make that connectedness happen. I hope that’s all natural now.

If it’s not totally locked-in yet, then just keep at it – it will come!!

If you have a challenge with learning any of this, please contact me. My email is, – just contact me and we’ll set a time to talk or to go through this together.

Or, you contact me through Facebook. By the way, I’d love it if you went to Facebook this week and like Body Language Australia, it would mean so much to me.

What are we talking about today? Today, we’re talking about eye contact.

This is the fourth of the things that you can really do to improve your connectedness and your trustability and likeability with people you meet, it’s making eye contact.

Sixty percent of the people that you meet are what are called ‘visual processors’. In other words, they store and code and process information primarily visually. There are also auditory processors, there are also kinaesthetic processors, or people who process information by gut feel, and then the fourth group is what are called the auditory-digital processors, these are the people who process everything based on facts and figures, and we’ll talk about all this at a later date.

But 60% of people are visual processors.

A visual person feels that you’re disrespecting them and not paying attention to them if you don’t look them in the eye!

So, the way to create better trust connectedness, rapport and be more liked is by looking people in the eye; and if you look people in the eye like this (staring at the camera), they’re going to think that’s a little bit creepy. And, if you look people in the eye like this (looking sideways), they’re probably going to think that you’re being sneaky.

How long should you spend looking in the eye, either when you meet them for the first time or when dealing with them on a re-acquaintance type basis?

When you meet them for the first time, I’m going to suggest that you look in their eye, and then look away, look again a little bit longer, look away, and then look back a third time and then look away again.

In those first three ‘looks’ into someone else’s eye, what you’re trying to do is to learn the colour of their eyes; are they blue, green, turquoise …. — what are the colour of their irises.

When you have that information, you’ve looked in their eyes long enough, and your ability to build trust, rapport, respect and connection significantly improves.

From that point on, you’re going to look in their eyes probably for about 50%-65% of the conversation.

So, if you are talking with them for a five-minute period, you’d probably want to be looking in their eyes for about two and a bit up to three minutes of that period of time.

Less than that, you’re being sneaky, more than that, you’re being invasive and over the top.

So, it’s really important that on a first meeting, you learn the colours of their irises, and look at them for just over half of the time in the conversation, and especially look at them a lot early on to build that trust and rapport.

When you then meet them again on subsequent occasions, again, look at them more initially and as that relationship builds, and as you become familiar again, you can look at them a little bit less. I’m going to suggest that you should never look at them less than 40% of the time.

Let me explain that; if you’re having that five-minute conversation, and you’ve met this person two or three or four times, and if you’ve got a good relationship already, you should look at them for about two minutes, never less than two minutes because you’re breaking that relationship down if you look at them for less. So, about 40% – 50% of the time when you know them well, about 50% – 65% of the time when you’re initially starting to know them.

You’ve got NEW things now to practice and ingrain in your neurology now. Please, go to Body Language Australia on Facebook, and give us a big tick, a big like, and I’ll catch up with you again on the next video.

See you next time.

The Vital Importance Of Your Handshake


The Vital Importance Of Your Handshake

Hi, it’s Diederik Gelderman here again. Thank you so much for the likes and feedback that I’ve had for the previous video.

Today, we’re going to share a strategy with you that may not be particularly comfortable for you. That being said, it is an extremely valuable and important strategy, and I would very strongly suggest that you implement and use this strategy IMMEDIATELY – because it’s going to massively improve your ability to be liked, trusted, respected and hugely going to improve your communication—overall communication—ability. And, what is this strategy that is going to be a little bit challenging for you? It’s the handshake.

When we touch someone, when someone touches us, we and they both release a hormone called oxytocin. Oxytocin is called the hormone of connection; it’s also called the cuddle hormone.

Hey – I’m not going to ask you to cuddle the person that you are meeting .

In European society, it’s a lot more common to hug the person you are meeting – something important to remember.

On a serious note, when you meet someone in Europe, you’ll typically put your hands on their shoulders or around their waist and kiss them once on each cheek, that type of thing. There’s a lot more oxytocin released in both those people when you do that than there is with us in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, the States, where it’s typically only the handshake that’s exchanged – unless we know that person very well.

Studies show that a handshake, a simple handshake builds as much rapport and connection and trust as does a 3-HOUR face-to-face communication, a sit down face-to-face meeting.

  • You can really, really short-circuit your being liked, your being trusted, your being respected and therefore improve your communication by a thing as simple as a handshake.

When I talk about a handshake, I’m talking between man and woman, woman and man, man and man, and woman and woman. It doesn’t’ matter who you are meeting for the first time, I’m going to very, very strongly suggest that you get over any yips that you’ve got, and shake their hand.

Now, while we’re on this, what is the quality of a good handshake?

A handshake should be palm level, vertical handshake, it should be a firm touch. Now, a limp handshake—ooh, jeez, that doesn’t work at all, and someone that power squeezes you, it’s the same sort of thing.

The way to practice the handshake is to practice on your own hand, and practice making a firm grip, whether it’s like this, or whether it’s like this. Just try shaking your hands just like this and see how it feels for you.

Develop a nice firm solid handshake, not too strong, not too weak. Palms should be dry. And then, an up and down, one or two or three times – vertical movement.

Now, if you’re in a networking situation, here’s a quick tip; if you have a glass of some sort of drink, alcoholic or not alcoholic in your hand, it’s typically going to be a cold glass, and your hand may therefore be wet from the glass, so I’m going to suggest that you get a napkin and wrap one or two or three napkins around that glass so that your hands stays dry or you have a spare napkin in your pocket so you can put your glass down, before you meet someone, dry your hand and then give them a hand shake.

Now, as I said a little bit earlier, in Europe, hands on shoulders, check to check, kiss, a lot more oxytocin released, a lot more connection developed.

Therefore, you may ask, “Diederik, what about if I do a double clasp handshake?”

Yup absoluteley a double clasp handshake is going to give you lots more connection, lots more oxytocin release.

But, a double clasp handshake is also a real sign of “I’m superior to you, I’ve got you under my thumb, or in my hands,” as it were, and a typical example at the moment is Donald Trump.

You’ll see him doing this double-clasp handshake with all sorts of people all over the world, and they’re almost pulling their hands away and they’re in effect saying “You’re not the boss.”

I would never do a double-clasp handshake, it doesn’t work for me, it makes me feel embarrassed and icky. If it works for you, go for you it. If it’s natural for you, go for it, but don’t force it one someone.

The other thing is, the way to do a handshake correctly is that you step towards them and put your hand out. If they put their hand bag or their laptop between you and them, or between them and you, or if they take a step back, then you know that handshake is not going to happen, it’s not for them.

Then you can then very easily pull your hand away and no one is embarrassed.

But, typically, you’ll step forward and put your hand — we’ll talk about personal zones, private body zones in a future video — and when you’re putting your hand out, you’re moving into one of their personal zones, and if they move forward and put their hand out, that’s a really great sign and that’s a really great increase in connectedness and connection.

If they are a bit uncomfortable with you moving into that personal zone or with the handshake itself, then they have the opportunity to easily step back.

If you do the handshake that way you can make use of two things that way, the handshake and the power of proxemics—proxemics is the study of space and distance between two people.

Now, the other thing with the handshake as I said earlier, it should be vertical.

If someone grabs your hand and turns your hand down, that means that they’re trying to dominate you and say that they’re ‘better’ than you are, and the other way around as well…

If you’re doing this over someone’s hand, then they’re going to get the feeling that you’re dominating them and that you’re better than they are.

So, I’m going to very strongly suggest that at all times you keep your hand vertical.

If someone does this to you and pushes your hand down, you can either accept it — which is why I do, and I make a mental note saying “Ha, I saw you do that. I’m going to keep that in mind in future.”

But, there’s plenty of people who I know who will actually just cock that hand straight back up and straighten it and say the equivalent of “No, I’m on an equal level with you”, by verticallying up both those hands.

Now, they’re not the words that they say, but that’s the information that is shared on a body to body basis.

If you’re comfortable flicking the hand straight up, go for it, if you’re not comfortable doing it like I’m not comfortable and I accept that they are putting their hand over/on-top of mine, then as I said, I would note and remember this and in a future occasion I’d remember what they were trying to achieve. So, you could do that as well.

So, that’s the power of the hand shake. It’s vitally important that you shake people’s hand because it’s equivalent to a 3-HOUR conversation, and you get a whole heap more of connectedness, trust and rapport building because of that handshake.

This is your task this week, should you choose to accept it, as they say in the movies.

This is your task for the next week, practice the handshake, see you next week.

A quick call to action before we finish. Please  go to the website, there are lots of tools and resources there that you can download that’ll help you in improving and practicing your body language.

I’d also be really appreciative if you ‘liked’ my BLA Facebook page.

See you next week. Bye.