Business Skills Bundle For Dummies®

Table of Contents

Business Skills Bundle For Dummies
Body Language For Dummies
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: Defining Body Language
Chapter 2: Looking Closer at Non-verbal Gestures
Chapter 3: Heading to the Heart of the Matter
Chapter 4: Watching Facial Expressions
Chapter 5: The Eyes Have It
Chapter 6: Mastering Lip Reading
Chapter 7: Taking It From the Torso
Chapter 8: Arming Yourself
Chapter 9: It's in the Palm of Your Hand
Chapter 10: Standing Your Ground
Chapter 11: Playing with Props
Chapter 12: Being Aware of Territorial Rights and Regulations
Chapter 13: Rating, Dating, and Mating: Using the Body in Courting Behaviour
Chapter 14: Interviewing, Influencing, and Playing Politics
Chapter 15: Crossing the Cultural Divide
Chapter 16: Reading the Signs
Chapter 17: Ten Ways to Spot Deception
Chapter 18: Ten Ways to Reveal Your Attractiveness
Chapter 19: Ten Ways to Find Out About Someone Without Asking
Chapter 20: Ten Ways to Improve Your Silent Communication
Persuasion and Influence For Dummies
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: Laying the Groundwork for Persuasion and Influence
Chapter 2: Finding Common Ground with Your Audience
Chapter 3: Establishing an Emotional Connection
Chapter 4: Putting Together a Compelling Case
Chapter 5: Establishing Your Credibility
Chapter 6: Exhibiting and Exercising Your Expertise
Chapter 7: Listening Actively
Chapter 8: Gaining and Maintaining Your Audience's Interest
Chapter 9: Gearing Your Approach to Different Decision-Making Styles
Chapter 10: Getting Things Done with the Help of Others
Chapter 11: Leading by Example: Quietly Creating Big Change
Chapter 12: Appealing to Other People's Drives, Needs and Desires
Chapter 13: Getting Physical: Putting Body Language to Work
Chapter 14: Perfecting Your Persuasive Voice
Chapter 15: Ten Sure-Fire Ways to Influence Anyone
Chapter 16: Ten Ways to Persuade Electronically: Emails and Beyond
Chapter 17: Ten Ways to Persuade over the Phone
Chapter 18: Ten Essential Instruments for Your Persuasion Toolkit
Confidence For Dummies
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: Assessing Your Confidence
Chapter 2: Identifying Your Sticking Points
Chapter 3: Charting Your Course Ahead
Chapter 4: Finding Your Motivation
Chapter 5: Sticking to Your Principles
Chapter 6: Making Friends with Your Emotions
Chapter 7: Unleashing Your Passion
Chapter 8: Moving Beyond Perfection
Chapter 9: Stretching Yourself Mentally
Chapter 10: Developing Your Physical Confidence
Chapter 11: Raising Your Voice
Chapter 12: Getting the Result You Want
Chapter 13: Demonstrating Confidence in the Workplace
Chapter 14: Approaching Romantic Relationships with Confidence
Chapter 15: Connecting Confidently via Social Media
Chapter 16: Ten Great Questions to Spur You into Action
Chapter 17: Ten Daily Habits to Raise Your Confidence

Body Language For Dummies®, 2nd Edition

Visit to view this book's cheat sheet.

Table of Contents

About This Book
Conventions Used in This Book
Foolish Assumptions
How This Book is Organised
Part I: In the Beginning Was the Gesture
Part II: Starting at the Top
Part III: The Trunk: Limbs and Roots
Part IV: Putting the Body into Social and Business Context
Part V: The Part of Tens
Icons Used in This Book
Where to Go from Here
Part I : In the Beginning Was the Gesture
Chapter 1: Defining Body Language
Discovering How Body Language Conveys Messages
Projecting an image in the first 30 seconds
Transmitting messages unconsciously
Substituting behaviour for the spoken word
Gesturing to illustrate what you’re saying
Physically supporting the spoken word
Revealing thoughts, attitudes and beliefs
Examining Key Types of Gestures
Unintentional gestures
Signature gestures: Gestures that define who you are
Spotting fake gestures: Pulling the wool
Micro gestures: A little gesture means a lot
Displacement gestures
Universal gestures
Getting the Most Out of Body Language
Becoming spatially aware
Anticipating movements
Creating rapport through reflecting gestures
Becoming who you want to be
Reading the signs and responding appropriately
Appreciating Cultural Differences
Chapter 2: Looking Closer at Non-verbal Gestures
Observing the History of Body Language
Aping our ancestors
Gestures first, language second
Understanding the Nuts and Bolts of Body Language
Kinesics: The categories of gesture
Inborn responses
Learned gestures
Hearing a Final Word on Non-Verbal Gestures
Part II : Starting at the Top
Chapter 3: Heading to the Heart of the Matter
Demonstrating Power and Authority
Signalling superiority
Demonstrating arrogance
Displaying aggression
Showing disapproval
Conveying rejection
Catapulting for intimidation
Tossing your head in defiance
Beckoning with your head
Touching someone on the head
Showing Agreement and Encouragement: The Nod
Encouraging the speaker to continue
Showing understanding
Micro nodding
Displaying Attention and Interest
Tilting and canting
The head cock
Sitting tête à tête
Indicating Submissiveness or Worry
Dipping and ducking
Cradling for comfort
The head clasp
Showing Boredom
Showing You’re Deep in Thought
Head resting on hand
Chin stroking
Chapter 4: Watching Facial Expressions
Communicating Feelings When Words Are Inappropriate
Recognising Facial Expressions that Reinforce the Spoken Message
Masking Emotions
Expressing a Range of Emotions
Showing happiness
Revealing sadness
Demonstrating disgust and contempt
Showing anger
Recognising surprise and revealing fear
Demonstrating interest
Chapter 5: The Eyes Have It
The Power of the Held Gaze
To show interest
To show disapproval, disagreement, and other not-so-pleasant feelings
Showing dominance
Effective gazes in business situations
The Wandering Eye: Breaking Eye Contact
The eye shuttle
The sideways glance
The eye dip
Other Ways Your Eyes Tell a Tale
Winkin’ and blinkin’
Active eyebrows: The Eyebrow Flash
Widening your eyes
Flicking, flashing, and fluttering
Chapter 6: Mastering Lip Reading
Revealing Thoughts, Feelings, and Emotions
Tight lips
Loose lips
Chewing on lips
Maintaining a stiff upper lip
Pouting for effect
Pursing as a sign of disagreement
Tensing your lips and biting back your words
Changing thoughts and behaviours
Differentiating Smiles
The tight-lipped smile
The lop-sided smile
The drop-jaw smile
The turn-away smile
The closed-lip grin
The full-blown grin
Remembering that Laughter’s the Best Medicine
Part III : The Trunk: Limbs and Roots
Chapter 7: Taking It From the Torso
Gaining Insights into the Impact of Posture
Evaluating what your own posture says about you
Showing intensity of feelings
Revealing personality and character
Knowing the Three Main Types of Posture
Lying down
Changing Attitudes by Changing Posture
Using Posture to Aid Communication
Showing high and low status through postural positions
Leaning forward to show interest and liking
Shrugging Signals
Signalling lack of knowledge
Showing unwillingness to get involved
Implying a submissive apology
Chapter 8: Arming Yourself
Building Defensive Barriers
Arms crossed on your chest
Touching yourself: Hugs, strokes, and more
Placing objects in front of yourself
Giving the cold shoulder
Conveying Friendliness and Honesty
Touching to Convey Messages
Creating a bond
Demonstrating dominance
Reinforcing the message
Increasing your influence
Embracing during greetings and departures
Chapter 9: It’s in the Palm of Your Hand
Up or Down: Reading Palms
The open palm
The downward facing palm
Closed-palm, finger-pointed
Hands Up!
Hiding your hands
The hand rub: Good for you or good for me?
The folded hand
Hands clenched
Letting the Fingers Do the Talking
The precision grip
The power grip
The power chop
The steeple
Gripping hands, wrists, and arms
Gesturing with your thumbs
Analysing Handshakes
Deciding who reaches out first
Conveying attitude
Displacing Your Energy
Drumming for relief
Fiddling for comfort
Hand to nose
Hand to cheek
Hand to chin
Chapter 10: Standing Your Ground
Showing Commitment and Attitude through Your Stance
Straddle stance
Parallel stance
Buttress stance
Scissor stance
Entwining your legs
Reflecting Your Feelings by the Way You Position Your Feet
Pointing towards the desired place
Fidgeting feet
Knotted ankles
Twitching, flicking, or going in circles
Walking Styles
Chapter 11: Playing with Props
Using Accessories to Reflect Mental States
Showing inner turmoil
Pausing for thought
Through the Looking Glasses
Stalling for time
Scrutinising the situation
Controlling the conversation
Showing resistance
Appearing cool
Spectacles at the office
Holy Smokes
Smoking and sexual displays
Ways of smoking
Making It Up as You Go Along
Make-up at the office
Making up for play
Clothing: Dressing the Part
Women’s accessories
Men’s accessories
Part IV : Putting the Body into Social and Business Context
Chapter 12: Being Aware of Territorial Rights and Regulations
Understanding the Effect of Space
Knowing Your Space
The five zones
Other territorial positions
Using Space
Demonstrating ownership
Showing submission
Guarding your space
Revealing comfort or discomfort
Maintaining your personal space
Seating Arrangements
Speaking in a relaxed setting
Combating and defending
Keeping to yourself
Creating equality
Orientating Yourself
Chapter 13: Rating, Dating, and Mating: Using the Body in Courting Behaviour
Attracting Someone’s Attention
Going courting: The five stages
Highlighting gender differences
Showing That You’re Available
Looking at the many courting gestures of women
Examining the few courting gestures of men
Recognising dilated pupils: A universal sign of attraction
Progressing Through the Romance
Matching each other’s behaviours
Displaying that you belong together
Chapter 14: Interviewing, Influencing, and Playing Politics
Making a Great First Impression: The Interview
Perfecting your interview behaviour
Using minimal gestures for maximum effect
Creating a Positive Environment
Demonstrating respect
Establishing rapport
Standing tall and holding your ground
Moving with purpose
Pointing Your Body in the Right Direction
Creating a relaxed attitude with the 45- degree angle
Facing directly for serious answers
Picking the power seats
Negotiating Styles
Claiming your space
Displaying confidence
Avoiding nervous gestures
Chapter 15: Crossing the Cultural Divide
Recognising the Different Strokes for Different Folks
Positioning yourself and setting boundaries
Getting up close and personal
Gearing up your greetings
Acknowledging the no-touching rule
Waving farewell
Observing the Conventions of Higher- and Lower-Status Behaviour
Bowing, kneeling, and curtseying
Standing to attention
Getting Specific: Common Gestures, Multiple Interpretations
Giving the thumbs up . . . cautiously
Ensuring that the okay sign really is okay
Laughing your way into (and out of) trouble
Avoiding Problems and not Causing Offence
Smoothing over difficult situations
Playing by the local rules: Eye contact
Adapting your style for clear communication
Chapter 16: Reading the Signs
Taking an Interest in Other People
Drawing Conclusions from What You Observe
Looking at the sum total of the gestures
Dealing with a mismatch between spoken and non-verbal messages
Considering the context
Practice Makes Perfect: Improving Your Reading
Part V : The Part of Tens
Chapter 17: Ten Ways to Spot Deception
Catching Fleeting Expressions Crossing the Face
Suppressing Facial Expressions
Eyeing Someone Up
Covering the Source of Deception
Touching the Nose
Faking a Smile
Minimising Hand Gestures
Maximising Body Touches
Shifting Positions and Fidgeting Feet
Changing Speech Patterns
Chapter 18: Ten Ways to Reveal Your Attractiveness
Using Eye Contact
Showing Liveliness in Your Face
Offering Encouragement
Using Open Gestures
Showing Interest Through Your Posture
Positioning Yourself
Touching to Connect
Being on Time
Synchronising Your Gestures
Balancing Your Non-Verbal Aspects of Speech
Chapter 19: Ten Ways to Find Out About Someone Without Asking
Observing Eye Movements
Looking at Facial Expressions
Watching for Head Movements
Noticing Hand and Arm Gestures
Observing Posture
Considering Proximity and Orientation
Paying Attention to Touching
Responding to Appearance
Checking Timing and Synchronisation
Scrutinising Non-verbal Aspects of Speech
Chapter 20: Ten Ways to Improve Your Silent Communication
Taking an Interest
Knowing What You Want to Express
Modelling Excellence
Mirroring Others
Practising Gestures
Developing Timing and Synchronisation
Dressing the Part
Acting the Way You Want to Be Perceived
Demonstrating Awareness
Asking for Feedback
Cheat Sheet


Body language speaks more loudly than any words you can ever utter. Whether you’re telling people that you love them, you’re angry with them, or don’t care about them, your body movements reveal your thoughts, moods and attitudes. Both consciously and sub-consciously, your body tells observers what’s really going on with you.

All day, every day, your body is relaying messages about your attitude, your mood and your general state of being. You can determine what messages you relay by the way you use your body.

Although body language began with our ancient ancestors and long before vocal sounds turned into sophisticated words, phrases and paragraphs, only in the last 60 years or so has body language been seriously studied. During that time, people have come to appreciate the value of body language as a tool for enhancing interpersonal communication. Politicians, actors and high-profile individuals recognise the part that their bodies play in conveying their messages.

Each chapter of this book addresses a specific aspect of body language. In addition to focusing on individual body parts and the role they play in communicating your thoughts, feelings and attitude, you discover how to interpret other people’s body language, giving you an insight into their mental state before they may be aware of it themselves. Remember that you need to read body language in clusters and context. One gesture doesn’t a story tell any more than does one word.

By performing specific actions and gestures, you can create corresponding mental states. By practising the gestures, you experience the positive impact of body language and discover how to create the image you want. You may actually become the person you want to be.

Are you ready? Read on.

About This Book

For a subject that’s relatively new to the study of evolution and social behaviour, you can find a sizeable amount of research on body language. As businesses expand across the globe and international travel is more accessible than ever before, people are recognising the impact of culture, gender and religious customs on body language and communication. While I’ve written the second edition of Body Language For Dummies from a mostly English-speaking western perspective, Chapter 15 has been expanded to include body language in different cultures – what’s acceptable and what could cause offence. Because of the vastness of the subject, I’ve been selective in what I’ve chosen to include and focused on using body language to enhance your non-verbal communication for your personal and business relationships.

In this book I explain ways of recognising and identifying specific gestures, actions and expressions that convey and support both the spoken and non-spoken message. By improving your reading of body language, understanding how your body conveys messages and recognising how mood and attitude are reflected in your gestures and expressions, you have the upper hand in your interpersonal communications. By recognising and responding to body signals, you can direct the flow of the conversation and facilitate meetings easily and effectively. I show you the impact of thoughts and feelings on gestures and expressions – both yours as well as others.

The point of the book is for you to become conscious of body language, whether it’s your own or that of other people. The book is also intended to help you interpret gestures, movements and expressions. Finally, this book identifies the signs and signals you can send out to enhance your communication.

Conventions Used in This Book

This book is a jargon-free zone. When I introduce a new term, I italicise it and then define it. The only other conventions in this book are that Web and email addresses are in monofont and the action part of numbered steps and the key concepts in a list are in bold. I alternate between using female and male pronouns in odd- and even-numbered chapters to be fair to both the men and women who read through these pages.

Foolish Assumptions

I assume, perhaps wrongly, that you:

check.png Are interested in body language and know a little bit about it

check.png Want to improve your interpersonal communications

check.png Are willing to reflect and respond

check.png Expect the best

How This Book is Organised

The cool thing about the For Dummies books is that you can dip in and out as you please. You don’t need to read the first chapter to understand the last and if you read the last chapter first you won’t ruin the story. The table of contents and index can help you find what you need. If you prefer to just dive in, please do – there’s water in the pool. Read on for what lies ahead.

Part I: In the Beginning Was the Gesture

In this part I explore the foundations of body language, the silent communicator. You discover the origins of body language, how it evolved and the impact it has on all your communications and relationships.

Part II: Starting at the Top

Focusing on the head and its parts and positions, I continue exploring body language and the messages it conveys. You discover how the tilt of your head, the lift of your brow and the tremble of your lip reveal more than the words that tumble from your mouth.

Part III: The Trunk: Limbs and Roots

In this part I explore the impact of your posture on your thinking, attitudes and perceptions. You see how feelings, behaviour and perceptions are intertwined. I look at the body’s limbs, its arms, legs, feet, hands and fingers and how their movements reflect inner states and create impressions. Finally, you see how your accessories add to the picture of who you are.

Part IV: Putting the Body into Social and Business Context

In this part you discover how to gesture effectively and appropriately according to the situation you’re in. You find out where to place and position yourself for greatest effect. You discover how to read and reveal signs of interest and dismissal and how to engage with a possible romantic partner. Back at the office, you discover the power positions and how to demonstrate confidence and positive impact.

Addressing cultural diversity, you get a glimpse into behaviours different from your own and pick up adaptive strategies for avoiding potential pitfalls.

Part V: The Part of Tens

If you’re keen to get a handle on body language quickly and concisely, start with Part V. Stop here if you want top ten tips for spotting when someone’s being economical with the truth. I also show you how to enlarge your fan base and engage with your admirers. For developing your skills as a silent communicator, gaining self-awareness and honing your observation skills, this is the place to be.

Icons Used in This Book

For sharpening your thinking and focusing your attention, let these icons be your guide.

anecdote.eps This icon highlights stories to entertain and inform you about people I know, or people I’ve observed and the clues they’ve revealed through body language.

peoplewatching.eps Here’s a chance for you to stand back and observe without being seen. By distancing yourself and taking a bird’s eye view, you can watch how others behave and reflect on the outcome.

remember.eps This icon underscores a valuable point to keep in mind.

tip.eps These are practical and immediate remedies for honing your body language skills.

trythis.eps Here, you can have a go at putting theory into practice. Some of the practical exercises are designed to enhance your image and create an impact.

Where to Go from Here

Although all the material in this book is designed to support you in being yourself at your best, not all the information may be pertinent to your specific needs or interests. Read what you want, when you want. You don’t have to read the book in order, nor is there a sell by date for covering the material.

If you’re interested in how body language conveys messages, begin with Part I. If you’re seeking to improve your body language for a job interview or for playing the political and corporate game at work, have a look at Chapter 14. If you’re curious about facial expressions have a look at Chapter 4. And if you want to know how to behave appropriately in cultures different from yours, turn to Chapter 15.

Now, flip to a page, chapter, or section that interests you and read away. Feel free to dip and dive from section to section and page to page. Most importantly, enjoy the read.

Body Language For Dummies®, 2nd Edition



About the Author

Elizabeth Kuhnke holds a Bachelor’s degree in Speech and Communications from Northwestern University, and a Masters degree in Theatre Arts. For over 20 years, Elizabeth has worked with individuals and groups to bolster their personal impact and communication skills.

Before moving to Britain, Elizabeth acted throughout the United States on the stage, radio, and television. In addition to designing and delivering university programmes in voice and movement, she also taught acting skills to students and professionals.

In the United Kingdom, Elizabeth applies her theatrical expertise and psychological insight with a rock-solid business approach. She works at top level with FTSE 100 companies and leading professional firms to provide both one-to-one and group coaching in key areas relating to interpersonal communication and image projection. Coming from diverse backgrounds including accountancy, law, construction, and telecommunications, Elizabeth’s clients consistently achieve their goals and have fun getting there. Her keys to communication are based on the simple principle of demonstrating respect, establishing rapport, and achieving results.

A highly entertaining speaker, Elizabeth is a popular choice on the conference circuit, and is often quoted in the media addressing issues concerning confidence, voice, body language, and communication skills – all the ingredients that create a positive impact.

For further information about Elizabeth, visit her website at www.kuhnke

Author’s Acknowledgements

They say you should be careful what you dream for, as it may come true. When I wrote the first edition of Body Language For Dummies, I harboured an unspoken dream that the book would be a runaway bestseller with translations across the globe. My dream came true – and then some! Apps, DVDs, enhanced e-books, and international speaking engagements all followed.

Thank you, Kate, for introducing me to the wonderful world of Wiley, and for helping me to surpass my goals. My thanks also go to Kaiser Karl, whom I love with all my heart, for supporting me in weird and wonderful ways; to my precious angels, Max and Kristina, who bring me peaceful love and nurturing challenges; to Katie and Charlotte, who keep me on track and bring joy to my days; to Tom, who keeps his eye on the pounds and pennies; and to Kerry, Steve, Jo, and the whole For Dummies crew. You’re stars.

Most of what you read in these chapters I have learned from valued colleagues, clients, friends, and family members. To name them all would take more pages than I am allowed, so those of you who know me, know you’re in my heart as I write these words. Finally, to you, my readers. My wish for you is that you enjoy the read, gain some knowledge, and free your expressive bodies in the name of clear, congruent communication.

Publisher’s Acknowledgements

We’re proud of this book; please send us your comments at For other comments, please contact our Customer Care Department within the U.S. at 877-762-2974, outside the U.S. at 317-572-3993, or fax 317-572-4002.

Some of the people who helped bring this book to market include the following:

Acquisitions, Editorial, and Vertical Websites

Project Editor: Steve Edwards (Previous Edition: Rachael Chilvers)

Commissioning Editor: Kerry Laundon

Assistant Editor: Ben Kemble

Development Editor: Andy Finch

Proofreader: Kim Vernon

Production Manager: Daniel Mersey

Publisher: David Palmer

Cover Photo: © iStock/hammondovi

Photography: Stephen Walby (

Cartoons: Rich Tennant (

Composition Services

Project Coordinator: Kristie Rees

Layout and Graphics: Carrie A. Cesavice

Proofreader: Jessica Kramer

Indexer: Christine Karpeles

Publishing and Editorial for Consumer Dummies

Kathleen Nebenhaus, Vice President and Executive Publisher

Kristin Ferguson-Wagstaffe, Product Development Director

Ensley Eikenburg, Associate Publisher, Travel

Kelly Regan, Editorial Director, Travel

Publishing for Technology Dummies

Andy Cummings, Vice President and Publisher

Composition Services

Debbie Stailey, Director of Composition Services

Part I

In the Beginning Was the Gesture


In this part . . .

Here’s where we explore the foundations of body language, the way of silently communicating that can improve your impact factor and relationships once you grasp the basics. In this part, we go back in time to the origins of body language, how it’s evolved, and its ability to reveal thoughts, feelings, and attitudes.