How You Become a Body Language Expert by Patti Wood

This nice interview with me about my background was in a client's magazine.

The Magazine
Patti Wood –

Cues for success

Body-language expert Patti Wood shares the secrets of her superpower:

how to read people – and be read – accurately for better business

            Since she was a child, Patti Wood had always had what some might call a superpower: She could read people. She knew when they were telling the truth and when they were being disingenuous. She knew how they were feeling, regardless of what they were saying. But she wasn’t reading their minds; she was reading their body language.
            But it wasn’t until as a college student she took a nonverbal communications class, and Wood realized her superpower was actually a skill, and an actual science, So she began to, and earn degrees in it, conduct research on it, teach it at University level, write books about it, speak on it around the world and eventually become known as one the media experts in the field. “When I began in this field, reading body language was relatively unknown – I used to have to explain what it was,” Wood remembers. “Now, people are much more familiar with it; many even know some of the basics. But the depth of this field, its intricacies and its possible applications out in the world are endless.”
            Our conference members members will dip a proverbial toe into that nonverbal communications well when Wood presents Successful Signals – Body Language in Business at the group’s 2014 National Conference & Trade Show next month. Chances are, Wood will begin where we all do: first impressions.
            “Nonverbal communication has 4.3 times the impact of just a word message,” notes Wood. “And first impressions are formed in a tiny fraction of a second in all situations, including sales and business. In the first minute of interaction with a new person, we can exchange up to 10,000 mostly subconscious cues, and within three minutes, it’s a done deal – our first impressions of one another have been set.”
            According to Wood, these thousands of cues feed into four first-impression factors: credibility, likability, attractiveness and power. “And there are proven ways to consciously up those factors at any point in your interaction,” Wood attests.
            In an interview scenario, the same four factors are at play for both the hiring interviewer and the job candidate. Wood says research has found most hiring decisions are made within the first ten seconds, then the interviewer spends the rest of the time confirming their initial decision.
            “I recommend having more than one person conducting interviews,” states Wood. “There is a strong bias to hire people like yourself, but having a company full of people who are all alike may not be best for business. So have people of different personality types interviewing together, and you’ll get a more complete and accurate ‘read’ on candidates.”
             Out on the sales floor, first impressions can make all the difference – and they begin before the customer is even past the store’s threshold.
            “First impressions can be formed from quite a distance and before someone even speaks,” Wood affirms. “So potential customers are already ‘reading’ your salespeople as they stand at the threshold of the door and, depending on the perceived cues, the customer can decide whether they step forward into the store or turn around and walk back out the door.”
            In addition to learning how to create a positive first impression, participants at Wood’s presentation can expect lessons on connecting with millennials, serving vs. building selling relationships, reading cues that tell you when to go for the close, empowering your physical presence, and looking strong and confident.
            “Understanding body language better helps you give and receive impressions accurately – so your interactions and relationships can become more authentic,” concludes Wood. “When you can see how someone is really feeling, you can support them better, solve problems faster, just be a more effective human being.”

Patti Wood

Title:                                 Body Language Expert & Certified Speaking Professional
Media:                              :: Television includes The TODAY Show, Good Morning America, The Talk, ABC & FOX
                                          :: Publications include The Washington Post, USA Today and The Wall Street Journal                                           :: Communication consultant for Us Weekly, featured twice monthly
                                          :: Author of seven books
Latest book:         SNAP: Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language & Charisma
Hometown:          Atlanta, Georgia
Tidbit:                              She loves Sherlock Holmes, and especially the current BBC series, Sherlock.

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