Mar 8, 2018

Inside the oft-derided, colourful world of body language experts

Yes, body language experts know exactly how they are perceived.

Bhakthi Puvanenthiran — Associate editor

Bhakthi Puvanenthiran

Associate editor

Of all the media industry cliches, getting a body language expert to comment on a situation is perhaps the strangest. Major international relations talks? Let’s get the body language experts onto it. Reality television finale secrets? Get a body language expert here stat.

These oft-derided experts may well be worthy of mockery but here at Crikey we wanted to know a bit more about how the so-called industry worked before we jumped to conclusions. We approached Australian voice coach and body language expert Dr Louise Mahler for what turned out to be an informative and colourful right of reply.

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9 thoughts on “Inside the oft-derided, colourful world of body language experts

  1. Steve

    “Lillian Glass, an American self-help writer and body language expert, has developed training courses for the subject. “She’s very protective about the area; anyone who doesn’t have the course she doesn’t consider a legitimate practitioner,” Mahler said.”
    Sounds legit.

  2. paddy

    Interesting article. Ta Bhakthi

  3. zut alors

    There’s clearly a market for this, it’s a fascinating subject which is under- investigated.

  4. 124C4U

    Mahler has a different background ” than ” other body language experts.
    SIC HER! AR and other English speakers.

    1. MJM

      May a thousand blessings shower upon you. I, too, learned “different from” and find at least one example of “different than” in the press each day, causing me to narrow my eyes, grit my teeth and call down curses upon the writer’s head.

      1. Woopwoop

        “Than” is American.

    2. AR

      You beat me to it.
      It hurts. It burns.

  5. graybul

    Start throwing, or protecting . . .Now!
    Body language is no more, no less than observational awareness, intuition, life experience and a capacity to vizualize behavioural possibilities. Plus an essential reality. Acknowledging importance of the “space and content” where communication takes place and from which observer draws his/her conclusions. Context is critical to understanding.
    If one get’s it wrong in situ, such as on the street in midst of high tension and loaded aggression . . . a whole range of outcomes are possible. Have worked over decades; trained many, many individuals and groups in ‘art’ of interpreting body language. Both training environment and in situ. The first is essentially controllable and directional. The latter, is reality. Get it right or; know when to quit early on. It comes down to two words . . . cerebral and intuition. Both environments contribute to a broader language reality.
    As for Trump . . . a small part of his ‘body language’ has startling similarities to Mussolini don’t you think?

  6. AR

    Both Customs & Immigration, as were, spent many a torpid arvo ‘meeting’ with butcher paper and kiddie crayons, performing meaningless exegesis on Pearse.

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