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How To Read Body Language and Become More Confident with Vanessa Van Edwards

by Dr. Rangan Chatterjee   /  April 6, 2022

Today’s conversation is all about cues – the small signals that we give and pick up that have a big impact. The head tilt, the smile, the open-palmed gesture – they all carry meaning that people intuitively understand. And if you’ve ever felt misunderstood, overlooked or underestimated, you can change that by using the right cues. Everything from the way you walk into a room to how you stand, your choice of words to your intonation, can affect how people perceive you.

When we want to make a good impression, we think about what to say, but not always how to say it. Yet as today’s guest explains, as much as 90 percent of our communication is non-verbal. And learning how to read – and use – non-verbal cues can turn you into a master communicator.

My guest today is Vanessa Van Edwards, an expert in body language, facial expressions, and nonverbal communication. Her latest book Cues: Master the Secret Language of Charismatic Communication is packed with practical tools and exercises to help you understand more about others – and communicate your own ideas with warmth and competence.

Vanessa likes to introduce herself as a ‘recovering awkward person’. She certainly doesn’t come across as awkward anymore, in fact she exudes confidence and charisma. And during our conversation, she reveals some of the tricks that helped transform her.

She begins by explaining that confidence and charisma are unique to each of us. You don’t have to be an extrovert to have confidence in what you do and say. She defines charisma as the combination of competence and warmth and says these two components are essential for trust. Research has shown that when people assess one another, what they’re looking to find out is, ‘Can I trust you?’ followed by, ‘Can I rely on you?’ By identifying and using the cues that convey trust and reliability, we can instantly come across as more charismatic and likeable.

But it’s not just about how we want to come across. Understanding the cues other people are giving us can help us deal with conflict and build better connections. Arguably, there is nothing more important because at our core we all want to belong, to understand and be understood.

I’m convinced that mastering cues can help us improve communication and nourish connection in all areas of our lives, from business to romance. This was such a fun and uplifting conversation that is full of practical tips that you can use immediately. I hope you enjoy listening.

Disclaimer: The content in the podcast and on this webpage is not intended to constitute or be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.*

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Watch the video version of this interview – click below.

'If we can broaden our definition of what confidence means we have permission to feel authentically ourselves.' Share on X

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Vanessa’s Book:

Cues: Master the Secret Language of Charismatic Communication

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*DISCLAIMER: Always seek the advice of your doctor or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have heard on the podcast or on my website.

†Disclosure: All books marked with a † are hyperlinked to an affiliate program. We take part in Amazon’s affiliate advertising program designed to provide a way for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon’s website. You are not charged any extra by using these links to purchase books.

Dr. Rangan Chatterjee MbChB, BSc (Hons), MRCP, MRCGP