Introduction

Body language speaks the truth. While the spoken word conveys facts and data – not all of which may be real – your body’s movements, gestures and facial expressions never lie. No matter what words you choose – ‘I love you’, ‘I’m disappointed’, ‘I’m happy’, ‘I’m sad’ – if your body isn’t reflecting what you’re saying, your listeners will be confused and will believe what they see and sense rather than what you say.

All day, every day, your body relays messages about your attitude, intentions and general state of being. Although at times you’re unable to control your body’s movements, all is not lost however. With awareness and practice, you can determine what messages you relay through your gestures, postures and expressions.

Although body language began with our ancient ancestors (long before vocal sounds turned into sophisticated words and phrases), only in the last 80 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 understanding and enhancing interpersonal communication. Politicians, actors, celebrities and other high-profile individuals recognise the important 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 their role in communicating your thoughts, feelings and intentions, you discover how to interpret other people’s body language, giving ...

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