What's Behind the "Selfie" Explosion?

Recently I have had journalists talk to me about the explosion of selfies and what I think it means about our culture.  At a core level I believe it indicates our desire to be seen, to have proof that we exist, that we have value, that we are not invisible, proof we our lacking in our face to face interactions.  I think that if we take a moment to be present with one another, to really be with each person we wouldn't need selfies, we would be seen in each other’s eyes.
It’s something to think about the next time you want to check your cell phone when someone is talking to you.

If you still want to take a great selfie here is another article with my tips on how to pose.




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.

Why is it Fun to Meet and Date Someone When Traveling?

What happens when love and travel are paired? What happens when we only see our date when we are both someplace new and exciting?


Part of the fascination with the idea of only seeing your love comes from the memories of dating someone I met on a plane many years ago.
I am a professional speaker and travel every week and he also traveled every week  and was separated with small children so when he was home he had his children.
So when we started dating we often met not only in our home cities but in cites we happened to be traveling to at the same time.  We wanted to spend much more time with each other once we fell in love!

What I know about nonverbal behavior, specifically how intense short bursts of time to interact and various new environment effect interspersion interactions is that this kind of dating can be very fun, heady and exciting. For example, there is research that shows
in dating there is a significant positive correlation between adrenaline and attraction, which means as levels of adrenaline increased, so did level of attraction. 

1.       Choosing exciting places for a first date increases the chances of the other person falling for you. There is a definitive link between danger and physical/romantic attraction.
2.      There is also a classic experiment conducted by Arthur Aron and his colleagues, researchers gave upper-middle-class middle-aged couples a list of activities that both parties agreed were “pleasant” (like creative cooking, visiting friends or seeing a movie) or “exciting” (skiing, dancing or attending concerts) but that they had enjoyed only infrequently. Researchers instructed each couple to select one of these activities each week and spend 90 minutes doing it together. At the end of 10 weeks, the couples who engaged in the “exciting” activities reported greater satisfaction in their marriage than those who engaged in “pleasant” or enjoyable activities together.
3.      Surprise and novelty is also a potent force for attraction and liking. When something novel occurs, we tend to pay attention, to appreciate the experience or circumstance, and to remember it. 
4.      Travel can make people feel free for worries and cares and we like those who are associated with rewarding events and whose behavior is intrinsically rewarding. We dislike those whose behaviors are a burden to us. At the level of motivation, conscious or unconscious, we seek to maximize our rewards and minimize costs. We seek relationships and continue in these if the rewards exceed the costs and therefore yield a profit (Kelley, 1979; Kelley & Thibaut, 1978; Rusbult, 1980).

I also know that if you love someone you want to be with them as often and for as long as possible and you want them to be a part of every day. My cell phone is 678-358-6160

Called, “The Gold Standard of body language experts” by the Washington Post, credited in the New York Times with bringing body language to the national consciousness, Patti does several national media interviews a week.

She is the author of eight books she speaks to and consults with Fortune 500 companies, law enforcement organizations, Hospitals and groups like ours.


You can see her regularly on The Today Show, CNN, Good Morning America, Fox News, PBS, The Discovery Channel, and The History Channel as well as in publications such as Psychology Today, Bloomberg Business Week, Fortune, Esquire, Oprah, USA Today, the Wall Street Journal, and many more. She has been the National Spokesperson for many products such as Wrigley’s gum and Pup-Peroni Dog Treats.


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.

Should you tip hotel housekeeping staff and if so how much should you tip and how. Nonverbal Communication Expert tips!

I am an expert in nonverbal speaking and consulting in the hotel industry and train hotel staff on nonverbal communication and guest interaction.
I know how hard the housekeeping staff works. It is really backbreaking work all day long.
Though modestly priced motels and hotels staff don’t expect you to tip, you can.
If you are staying at mid-range and or higher priced properties and you are pleased with how nice the room looks and or if you receive turn down service or extra service such as more towels leave a tip.
Calculate a percentage of your bill before the tax.  Tip 5 percent  for everyday customer service and going higher for exceptional service. Or simply tip them what you would your bellman.
You can fold the tip into the hotel stationary where you can say thank you and or leave it folded or placed nicely near the glasses or bottled water so they know you left it for them. 
Also I know the staff appreciates it when you say hello and make eye contact in the halls with them. Often we pretend the housekeeping staff is invisible. Your day and their day can be nicer by saying hello.Don’t hesitate just because you are not sure if they speak English. Everyone can see your kind nonverbal behavior even if they don’t understand the words. 

USA Today

Wall Street Journal

Meetings and Conventions Magazine

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 to give an Elavator Speech

Here are excerpts from my book. ”Going UP how to create and give a great elevator speech.”
Know that elevator speeches serves multiple purposes, it is not just about getting business it’s about having great conversations. Preparing and giving the speech can affect not just your opportunities but your personal credibility as well as the reputation of your company. Elevator speeches can get you through those awkward social interactions so you know what to say when someone asks you what do you do? If you’re thinking,” Speaking is not my favorite thing to do and I don’t want to sound canned.” Remember, though it’s called an elevator speech the goal should be to have a good interaction and form a contact and or relationship not really give a route pitch.


  • How much should I say? Remember it’s called an elevator speech for a reason. You may only have 60 seconds to say what you do. Make it brief. You want to have three sentences for a short three floors of elevator time travel at the ready for brief meeting and networking interactions and a two minute going up in the elevator at the empire state building version of your speech at the ready for longer interactions such as plane rides networking events and dinner parties.
  • Should I memorize it? You don’t need to memorize your elevator speech word for word. In fact, that may make it sound insincere. You want to know what you want to say and rehearse different responses so that you can be confident enough to deliver it with gusto and spontaneous enough to make any changes in the moment. Again it’s to inspire interaction; it’s not prepping for a test or a job interview.
  • What impression do you wish to make?  As a body language expert people often ask me how to form a good first impression? One thing I teach is to think ahead of time of how you want to come across. The elevator conversation content and the delivery of the content should match that impression. Do you want to look savvy, smart, hip, techy, or funny? Think about the words you would use in your elevator speech and the nonverbal cues you would use in your delivery to convey that impression. Do you want to be fast paced, self-assured voice, high energy voice and energetic gestures or do want to be calm and cool?   

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.

Effects of Toxic Relationships - A Body Language Expert's Insights


Three nonverbal effects of a toxic relationship and how being in a toxic relationship affect your body language and your health.

There are many costs of being in a toxic relationship that are caused by the toxic partner’s body language. A healthy partner can be contaminated by an unhealthy partner’s body language by matching and mirroring his or her body language. They can do this matching and mirroring subconsciously or consciously.

Research on Isopraxism (matching and mirroring) shows that when we are with someone in a bad mood or who has any strong negative emotions his or her behavior has a pulling effect that can make us feel bad as well. If you have ever had to work in an office with someone who is in a bad mood you know you can catch that mood like you do a cold.  This is a scientifically verifiable phenomenon.
Our mirror neurons see the person’s body language and if it is emotionally strong and or if we care about them we mirror their behavior and begin to feel what they are feeling, so in the case of toxic body language we can feel bad as well. I have a paragraph describing the “bottom up” scientific process that occurs with mirror neurons that shows we can do this matching consciously or subconscious. Another possible harm that occurs in a toxic relationship that has a nonverbal communication link is equally as stressful for the healthy partner. We have an angry, dangerous or sick partner sometimes we CAN NOT mirror to empathize with them or we can come to harm. For example, typically we can’t match anger with a very angry person or we escalate the emotion. We can’t mirror a more powerful person’s body language as we may threaten their alpha status and escalate the emotion. Lastly a dangerous behavior from a partner can make a healthy partner go into a stress response, or a combination of stress responses. They can freeze in place or tension and his or her limbic brain response prepares them to flee fight or feel faint. That heighted stress response can do things like keep cortisol levels high and make the person feel exhausted and sick.


Solid empirical evidence
that suggests that our brains are capable of
mirroring the deepest aspects of the minds
of others-intention (at the fine-grained
level of a single brain cell). This process is
effortless, or what’s called “bottom-up” (just
knowing), rather than “top down” (having
to consciously figure it out). In a “bottom
up” process there is no need to draw complex
inferences or even think about it. Instead,
we use mirror neurons to know.
Further studies of mirror neurons have
indicated that when a mirror neuron is
activated, it also will activate motor neurons
that in turn activate muscular activity in the
viewer. In other words, when our mirror
neuron system perceives a physical (e.g.,
grasping) or emotional (e.g., happiness)
intention of another, it will activate the
same muscles in the observer that are being
activated in the subject sending the message.
This is important to know, because the
latest findings in the neurosciences suggest
that the way we know we are having an
emotion is by first identifying a change in
our body. The prefrontal cortex specifically
identifies bodily changes and labels them
as happy, sad, angry, etc., a “bottom-up”
process. 

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.