The art of decoding body language

with Martin Brooks

Our guest today is Martin Brooks. Martin is a top communications coach, author and speaker who specialises in how to use your body language more effectively when communicating.

Our nonverbal behaviour or body language affects how others see us. But it may also change how we see ourselves, and therefore how we use our bodies can have an impact on our minds. Learning to decode nonverbal communication can help us understand other people’s thoughts and feelings, and it can help us make ourselves better understood, too, whether it’s friends, family, colleagues, or strangers. There is a wealth of meaning in the body language of those around us, and most of us aren’t even aware it exists.

Martin discusses his approach to decoding body language, and how to open up a world of understanding and communication, by being able to gauge more easily what a partner, client or colleague is genuinely thinking or feeling.


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Martin once said: “It is my mission in life that people should be rewarded in line with their potential, not just how well they can communicate.” Why is this a driver?

  • The quietest people in the room often have the most value to share
  • It’s about creating a level playing field, where everyone’s voice is heard


The most common instances where poor body language holds people back

  • Human beings are visually orientated
  • First impressions are particularly important
  • To recover from a bad first impression, it takes on average twenty-two good second impressions after that


How to recognise that your body language is sending off the wrong signals

  • Consider how you look and sound
  • Low level of self-awareness 
  • Record yourself and watch without sound to review how you come across
  • Define what effective communication looks like
  • Awareness, assessment and application


Is body language a cultural construction?


Micro expressions


Is there a link between high emotional intelligence and reading body language?


Learning to communicate with his daughter


How can we communicate more confidently?


Martin’s biggest influences


Which part of Barack Obama’s body language is innate versus learned?


The most effective forms of body language to use in the business world


The Body Language Decoder card deck


How to interpret gestures


On deception


Is the virtual world having an impact on our body language?