What are the top tell-tale signs that someone is nervous? Body language tricks that hide nervousness well.

Here are stress cues and tips on how to prevent stress from Patti Wood, Body Language Expert, Coach and Author of "SNAP Making the Most of First Impressions Body Language and Charisma."


What are the top tell-tale signs that someone is nervous?

When someone is stressed. Their automatic nervous system will cause them to sweat more, particularly in the palms of the hands (which perspire solely in response to stress, breathing becomes uneven, the throat and lips become dry and swallowing may increase in frequency. But let’s say you’re watching someone giving a speech, interviewing for a job or being questioned during a performance appraisal.

Research on accurate lie detection's says most of believe someone is lying if their voice shakes, or they cannot make eye contact, they blink frequently, maybe they cover their face with their hand, or moisten their lips. But, each of these actions are actually signs of nervousness.

They may give stress cues, (also called comfort cues or pacifying gestures.)

·         Rubbing Motions—These motions are complicated. Rubbing may be a means of self-assurance. For example, we may gently rub a gold chain around our neck just before an interview, symbolically making it shine.

·         Nose, Eye and Ear Rubbing—Often signify disbelief or disagreement if done by the listener or: “Boy, that doesn’t smell right to me, that doesn’t look right to me, that doesn’t sound right to me.”  Or deception if done by a speaker. Note: The nerve ending in those location fire when we are stressed making them itch so it makes sense you touch the face when you’re anxious.

·         Holding MotionsHolding are own hand, placing are arms around our shoulders or stomach. When we were little and we were anxious or scared, our moms or dads held on to us, and the holding motion assured us that everything would be okay. As adults, when we are anxious or afraid we repeat these motions to reassure ourselves that everything is going to be all right.

·         Comfort cues and or Preening Motions—We use self-comfort touching your wrist. They may touch the neck and their limbic brain may fear attack, and respond with a primal response desire to cover their carotid artery and or windpipe (women touch the center and the base of the neck and may even place their entire palm over their neck or heart to protect it), the pulling up your pants or adjusting belt.  These motions to prepare ourselves for a stressful interaction like a speech a job interview. In preparation to flirt you may also touch your hair, rub out the wrinkles on your pants, adjust belt or watch, tuck in your shirt, and women may touch their collars and or jewelry. These self-touch motions offer comfort to us.

The neck a classic position where a predator attacks, either going for the jugular artery at the side or crushing or ripping out the windpipe.  When people feel threatened they will thus naturally act to protect the neck, pulling the chin down to protect the throat and possibly also raising the shoulders to protect the sides of the neck.  When a person is uncomfortable with what they are saying or where they are saying it, then their neck muscles may tense, affecting their voice through constriction of the windpipe or tensing of the vocal chords. This can cause their voice to go higher or sound strained and may cause discomfort in the neck and the hand thus acts to sooth this irritation.

If they are confused and stressed they will shift in their seats or shuffle their feet.
Their brows may furrow and they may rub their eyes or face typically downward,
as if they could clear their head. They may touch their temple or forehead
symbolically pushing the ‘on’ button for their brain. Their eyes may blink or
stretch open, as if they hope they could see more clearly. Also look for cues that
look asymmetrical.

We have “windows” all over our bodies: at the top of our head, our eyes, our mouth, our throat, our upper chest or heart, the palms of our hands, our knees, at the toes and the soles of our feet. We may close one or more of those windows when we are stressed, by crossing our arms, turning away, buttoning up a jacket, hiding our hands

We open and close our heart window in four ways: through the clothing we wear, the way we position our heart window toward or away from someone, the use of physical barriers such as books and counters, and finally, through our arm and shoulder

What are the body language tricks that hide nervousness well? Or the most effective body language trick to hide nervousness?

Try to keep your hands at your sides most of the time. It’s ok to cross your arms briefly, just don’t freeze in a closed position.

The belly window is the area between the bottom of the ribs and the top of the hips. This area is particularly vulnerable to attack. It is the area that often receives punching and stabbing in a fight. As anyone who watches action movies, police dramas, CSI or frankly any television can attest, if the gut is pierced,  internal bleeding can cause a slow death. Holding hands across the belly can thus be a defensive act when we fear any form of physical or emotional attack.

·         When you’re stressed, you often feel cold, and crossing your arms can make you feel warmer. The science tells us that the area under the limbic brain engages different systems in you to prepare for the freeze, fight, flight or faint survival response. The blood is channeled away from the skin towards the large muscles of the limbs (as well as the vital organs so are heart keeps beating and are lungs take in air). Without the blood
to warm the surface of the skin, we feel cooler. So guess what? We often cross our arms to get warm.  If that is a typical problem for you wear a T-shirt under your clothes. (This goes for women as well as men)

·         Rehearse success: Visualize your success before the interview, rather than imagining all the things you might do wrong. Most people when faced with a difficult situation like a job interview or a speech imagine themselves failing; you create a movie where they don’t make a good impression. Instead, rehearse your success and create a positive script. Prepare by first practicing “live” with someone. Then visualize your successful movie closing your eyes and visualizing yourself in the interview... Imagine how you will shake hands well and sit with confidence, be warm and friendly, listen attentively and answer with confidence all the questions you’re asked. Play the movie of you giving a successful interview in your head over and over so that when you are under stress, you can easily go to the positive, successful responses you have rehearsed.

·         Merge:  Think of a time on the job, or in your personal life, when you experienced a success, take a success from any part of your life where you have had an emotionally satisfying experience where you have felt confident, fully alive and positive. Notice how you feel, tell yourself that story, feel those emotions and merge those positive emotions with the new story of your job interview success. (We create and experience stories in the emotional right hemisphere of our brain. When we recall and retell these stories, we re-experience the feelings that accompany them. By using the merging technique, you can bring positive emotions and success into any situation.)

·         Pop:  You can take this process one-step further by creating a pop anchor to feel and act more positively in your interview. I had a client who was having trouble visualizing success after a number of negative job interview experiences. He didn’t have a positive memory of a work scenario to recall. We used what I call my pop tool, so he could
“pop” to a more upbeat, optimistic body language. I asked him to recall what activities or situations made him feel that way. “Sailing!” he quickly replied, and his whole demeanor changed as he explained why. While he was in this mode, I asked him to “anchor” these feelings to his subconscious by briefly touching his leg. Then we watched our
recording, and he touched his leg when he saw and felt the confidence and excitement he liked.


Patti Wood, MA, Certified Speaking Professional - The Body Language Expert. For more body language insights go to her website at www.PattiWood.net. Check out Patti's website for her new book "SNAP, Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language and Charisma" at www.snapfirstimpressions.com. Also check out Patti's YouTube channel at http://youtube.com/user/bodylanguageexpert.

Body Language Read of George and Amal by Patti Wood Body Language Expert

I like the sly grin on his face that seems to signal to her that they both know what's going to happen later in the evening. I like especially how her head is tilted down towards him, that’s unusual for her. She doesn't like to show nonverbal signals of submission. Here it speaks of giving herself to him, with pleasure. 


In the red carpet photo his eyes are hooded and bags under the eyes and tense thin line in his mouth show fatigue. He is just a cup holder and she is the energetic glad champion.  He is not happy with his role in this moment and she is unaware of him.




Patti Wood, MA, Certified Speaking Professional - The Body Language Expert. For more body language insights go to her website at www.PattiWood.net. Check out Patti's website for her new book "SNAP, Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language and Charisma" at www.snapfirstimpressions.com. Also check out Patti's YouTube channel at http://youtube.com/user/bodylanguageexpert.

The Way You Eat Pizza Could Be Saying A Ton About You

The Way You Eat Pizza Could Be Saying A Ton About You
How do you grab a slice?

If you thought the way you put your bra on said a lot about your personality, think again. There's actually something to be revealed in everything you do, whether it's the order you do things in the shower (are you a shampoo or soap first kind of gal?) or, say, how you like to enjoy a hearty slice of pizza. A lot of it is based on habit—the way you learned to do things when you were young tends to be what you do later in life, says Patti Wood, body language and human behavior expert. But those moments when you're doing something spontaneous, like smiling—that's when things get interesting, because they show the world how you really feel and connect to things.
And while it's easy to try to categorize us all into nice little boxes—four to be exact, if you're following the DISC method—let's be real. Life doesn't work that way. "Not everyone is just a driver or just an influencer," says Wood. "It's a combination of personality traits, so you could identify as a driver in some things you do, and an influencer in others. Usually, though, there tends to be one that comes to the forefront just a bit more."
But since science is getting on the pizza-eating bandwagon, we figured we would, too. Because research has now found that 63 percent of pizza lovers have XX chromosomes, making them brilliant women (hey, it's one of the 100 healthiest foods you could ever eat). So now that we've got that out of the way, let's be a bit more specific. Once you've grabbed a slice, how do you go about eating it? Find your category and see which personality traits rise to the front for you.
You Fold It

You're likely a driver, as those who eat their pizza this way—eh hem, food competitors—don't mess around or "waste time" savoring the different flavors in a slice. They just want to get their pizza down, and finish their pie the fastest. And since drivers don't necessarily care about following the rules (you know, when mom taught you to just pick it up and eat it, or be proper and use a fork and knife), you're not afraid to find whatever method is actually the best. Because for you, being the best is top priority. You're a take charge kind of gal, so just go ahead and tell us which pizza joint to meet you at—we know you've got the best pick of the pack.
Getty/Sammy Li
You Eat the Crust First

At first we had to figure out if people actually do this, but it's true—you really do exist. And those who dig in crust first like to be different; they like to set trends and tell people this is what's up (obviously, because not many eat pizza this way, so you're definitely unique). If that's how you identify, then you're an influencer. You like to be dramatic, often talk loudly, and love getting attention through your actions—even better if a little admiration comes with it. You're not afraid to say something is cool before the rest of the internet thinks it is, because hello, then you can take all the credit. You knew your way of eating pizza was cool before everyone else did.
Getty/Sammy Li
You Fork and Knife It


When you eat pizza with a fork and knife, do you like to be methodical? Do you make that first cut in the same spot every time, or maybe slice out the same size piece for each bite? If so, then you're a supporter. You're a very steady and stable person, the kind of friend every woman needs in her life. You'd make sure everyone has a slice before you grab your own, and would likely be hosting the pizza party in a very warm, relaxed living room so all your girlfriends can gab over a glass of wine, too. And because you're so system-oriented, you can bet you like routine—the pizza guy knows exactly what you're going to order before you even pick up a menu. So keep calm and carry on, girl—you need plenty of time to enjoy bite by bite, before the pie gets cold.
Getty/SammyLi
You Straight Up Bite It

No frills or fancy eating methods required here, which makes you a careful corrector. You like to go with what you know works so that you're certain to get it right every time. That also means you're not one to take pizza eating very lightly. Yes, it can be a fun experience that gives you the freedom to experiment with a few flavors, but really, you've done all the research to find out what's really the best. And your perfectionist tendencies aren't afraid to come out, either. You've got the highest-rated pizza cutter around (mess = stress), so you can divvy up an equal amount to everyone sharing the pie.
Getty/Sammy Li


Patti Wood, MA, Certified Speaking Professional - The Body Language Expert. For more body language insights go to her website at www.PattiWood.net. Check out Patti's website for her new book "SNAP, Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language and Charisma" at www.snapfirstimpressions.com. Also check out Patti's YouTube channel at http://youtube.com/user/bodylanguageexpert.

How You Eat Pizza and What It Says About Your Personality

I just did a story last week on the way you eat pizza and what it says about your personality. It was just quoted on Live with Kelly and Michael.

Here are the personality types I used in the Pizza article for Redbook.com. I also used these types for the How You Fold Your Laundry Says A Lot About Your Personality.

What Is Your Personality and How To Deal With Conflict Based On The Other Person's Personality . From Patti Wood’s book, “The Conflict Cure.” Copy write 2007

How can you recognize immediately the best way to interact with someone by reading their  body language. How do you look to others? What does your body language say about you and how can you read other people and asses their personality?

 Your personality affects your preferred way of moving, standing, gesturing, speaking and other body language and paralanguage and you can look at someone body language and listen to their paralanguage to note what what personality style they are using.

Using a simple version of the DISC personality as your guide, you can quickly figure a match of voice and body language to the four major personality styles.  The DISC is a personality assessment first developed by William Moulton Marston PHD has used various labels for the four personality types.

Driver who wants to Get it Done,

Influencer who want to Get Appreciated,

 Supporter who wants to Get Along and

 Careful Corrector who want to Get it Right.  

The Driver Get it Done nonverbal cues body language is strong and confident. They will bound into the room. They are directing forceful and commanding. When they make eye contact it will be strong and direct. Their voice can be loud and forceful and they can talk at a rapid fire pace. They may interrupt and get loud to get what they want. They love you to be quick direct and to the point.

The Influencer Get Appreciated – Is a charismatic speaker one you can easily recognize they are typically charismatic and have a happy smile There voice can be expressive and engaging to listen to. They often talk with their hands and sometimes their entire bodies. They give a full range of facial expressions and you can easily tell how they are feeling. They laugh easily and are enthusiastic they keep their hearts open as they gesture. They may move and talk fast and seem to always be having fun. They love for you to be excited and enthusiastic.

The Careful Corrector Get it Right.- They love to solve problems and figure things out. While they are the great “thinkers” their body language may be reserved. They may have their hands in the pockets or behind their back or have their hand pressed the thumb across the chink fore finger up as they think.  You may not be sure what they are thinking but they are thinking.  Their face is not super expressive. They may even look a bit critical as your talk. Their voice is typically kept at a low volume and slow paced and may sound monotone to other types especially Drives and Influencers. Though they feel things deeply they may seem to others to be unemotional and monotone. They seem smart and analytical they know the facts. In my research in the last 30 years on how DISC and other personalilty indicators are perceived through nonverbal communication and I find that when people are presenting facts and or reading from notes or reading slides in  a power point ppint presentation the voice and body language can sound like a Get it Right.  In every day business interactions true Get it Rights  are extremely organized they won’t talk till they have something to say. They will focus on preparing the specific words and facts. And while they may saying nothing or very little after at the face to face meeting or durring a conference call they are very likely to send you a long email or text later, after they have the silence and time to get what they wanted to say.

Called, “The Gold Standard of body language experts by the Washington Post and credited in the New York Times with bringing the body language to the national consciousness, Patti Wood is a true  expert. She speaks and consults to Fortune 500 companies such as AT&T, Merk, GE, Hewlett Packard, The Kroger Company, McGraw-Hill, DuPont, Prudential, Chase,  Porsche and Deloitte to enhance their, communication skills.   Patti taught Nonverbal Communication at four universities, and has authored 7 books including “Success Signals Body Language”.

She is viewed as a Body Language expert by law enforcement, judges and you see her regularly on CNN, Fox News and Fox Business Network, the BBC, PBS, Good Morning America, The Discovery Channel, Regis and Kelly, Bravo, Dr. Drew, Nancy Grace and The History Channel.   You see her quoted every week in publication such as The Week, The Wall Street Journal, Psychology Today, Bloomesberg Business Week,  The Huffington Post, Oprah, Esquire, , USA today, People, "US" weekly,  Fortune and many more.



Patti Wood, MA, Certified Speaking Professional - The Body Language Expert. For more body language insights go to her website at www.PattiWood.net. Check out Patti's website for her new book "SNAP, Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language and Charisma" at www.snapfirstimpressions.com. Also check out Patti's YouTube channel at http://youtube.com/user/bodylanguageexpert.

Channing & Jenna Step It Up! Body Language Read by Patti Wood




Patti Wood, MA, Certified Speaking Professional - The Body Language Expert. For more body language insights go to her website at www.PattiWood.net. Check out Patti's website for her new book "SNAP, Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language and Charisma" at www.snapfirstimpressions.com. Also check out Patti's YouTube channel at http://youtube.com/user/bodylanguageexpert.