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Body Language The Hidden Language
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Body Language The Hidden Language


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As designers, we are lucky enough to get to interact with many different types of people during the course of our work. We observe people using technology and proposed design solutions. While working …

As designers, we are lucky enough to get to interact with many different types of people during the course of our work. We observe people using technology and proposed design solutions. While working on our projects, we collaborate directly with our team, clients, and stakeholders to bring a solution to life. All of this interaction exposes us to lots of body language. The language of the body offers up many hints and insights into what people are thinking and feeling. It’s been said that our bodies tell what is really on our minds, and it’s important to know not only what others might be telling you but what you could be telling them.

It’s important for designers to have a fundamental understanding of body language and what are key signs to look for when interacting with users or project teams. There are key patterns that, when observed correctly, can tell you if someone is supportive of your idea, hiding their true feelings, or simply sitting back and daydreaming the meeting away.

Observing non-verbal communication cues is only one side of the coin, though—the other side being your own body language. Inherently knowing the patterns and signs of the body opens your eyes to the messages you might be giving off. The ability to manage your own body language is something that can be learned and mastered, helping you become a better collaborator and communicator.

Participants will walk away from this session with basic knowledge of how to read and respond to common non-verbal communication patterns and learn how to better manage their own non-verbal communication. They will be armed with additional resources to continue on their path of mastering the language of the body.

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  • 1. Body Language The Hidden Language Brad Nunnally UX Solution Architect | Perficient XD @bnunnally IA Summit 2014 #IAS14
  • 2. @bnunnally IA Summit 2014 #IAS14 Gone Hollywood
  • 3. @bnunnally IA Summit 2014 #IAS14 Glimpse The Soul
  • 4. @bnunnally IA Summit 2014 #IAS14 State of Mind
  • 5. @bnunnally IA Summit 2014 #IAS14 Albert Mehrabian found that the 
 total impact of a message is about 
 7 percent verbal (words only) and 38 percent vocal
 (including tone, inflection, and other sounds) and 
 55 percent nonverbal.
  • 6. @bnunnally IA Summit 2014 #IAS14 A Reflection of Self
  • 7. @bnunnally IA Summit 2014 #IAS14 Express Feelings
  • 8. @bnunnally IA Summit 2014 #IAS14 Decisions SCIENCE shows that a decision is made up to 7 seconds before the decision has been verbally communicated.
  • 9. @bnunnally IA Summit 2014 #IAS14 Predictions
  • 10. @bnunnally IA Summit 2014 #IAS14 Why Should Designers Care?
  • 11. @bnunnally IA Summit 2014 #IAS14 Research Methods
  • 12. @bnunnally IA Summit 2014 #IAS14 Observational Data
  • 13. @bnunnally IA Summit 2014 #IAS14 Seeing Signals ‣ Allows you to ask smarter questions ‣ Aware of sensitive topics ‣ Predicting when you might risk breaking trust
  • 14. The Client Co-Workers Peers
  • 15. @bnunnally IA Summit 2014 #IAS14 Collaboration
  • 16. @bnunnally IA Summit 2014 #IAS14 Present Yourself
  • 17. @bnunnally IA Summit 2014 #IAS14 Bad News…
  • 18. @bnunnally IA Summit 2014 #IAS14 Disagreement…
  • 19. @bnunnally IA Summit 2014 #IAS14 Agreement
  • 20. @bnunnally IA Summit 2014 #IAS14 Voiceless Participants
  • 21. @bnunnally IA Summit 2014 #IAS14 What are the signs?
  • 22. @bnunnally IA Summit 2014 #IAS14 Hands
  • 23. @bnunnally IA Summit 2014 #IAS14 Open ‣ Acceptance of an idea or person ‣ Signal of openness and trustworthiness ‣ Coupled with touching ‣ Fondness ‣ Familiarity ‣ Offering up something
  • 24. @bnunnally IA Summit 2014 #IAS14 Closed ‣ Agressive ‣ Defensive ‣ Seeking Dominance or Control ‣ Seeking Resolution ‣ Uncomfortable ‣ Attempting to reassure oneself
  • 25. @bnunnally IA Summit 2014 #IAS14 The Handshake ‣ Attempt to dominate other person ‣ Signal submission to other person ‣ Determining social status or equality
  • 26. @bnunnally IA Summit 2014 #IAS14 Arms
  • 27. @bnunnally IA Summit 2014 #IAS14 Open ‣ Showing trust ‣ Presenting their “core” ‣ Feeling agreeable ‣ Making presences feel known ‣ Showing excitement
  • 28. @bnunnally IA Summit 2014 #IAS14 Crossed ‣ Protecting their “core” ‣ Feels threatened ‣ Disagreeable ‣ Tense and closed off ‣ Feeling anxious or rejected
  • 29. @bnunnally IA Summit 2014 #IAS14 Legs
  • 30. @bnunnally IA Summit 2014 #IAS14 Crossed ‣ Feeling closed off ‣ Desires some privacy ‣ Get distance from others ‣ Showing a sense of insecurity ‣ Close minded
  • 31. @bnunnally IA Summit 2014 #IAS14 Spread Out ‣ Confidence in oneself ‣ Showing interest if directional ‣ Desire to move if directional ‣ Standing one’s ground
  • 32. @bnunnally IA Summit 2014 #IAS14 Face
  • 33. @bnunnally IA Summit 2014 #IAS14 Eyes ‣ Pupils signal honesty or deceit ‣ Direction indicates if they are using memory or imagination ‣ Corners show authenticity ‣ Blinking shows level of comfort
  • 34. @bnunnally IA Summit 2014 #IAS14 Nose ‣ Flaring shows discomfort or displeasure ‣ Coloring indicates emotional state ‣ Pinching or rubbing are signs of doubt ‣ Or needing to sneeze ‣ Wrinkling conveys a sense of distaste
  • 35. @bnunnally IA Summit 2014 #IAS14 Mouth ‣ Pursed lips signal displeasure or frustration ‣ Biting lips or cheeks is a sign of anxious feelings ‣ Twitching indicates cynicism or disbelief ‣ Smile, mixed bag of meanings ‣ Full, Half, Smirk, etc
  • 36. @bnunnally IA Summit 2014 #IAS14 The Body
  • 37. @bnunnally IA Summit 2014 #IAS14 Cowboy ‣ Sizing up another person ‣ Generally an aggressive stance ‣ Looking to establish their presence
  • 38. @bnunnally IA Summit 2014 #IAS14 Hands & Head ‣ Ready to “take the floor” ‣ Disengaged from current conversation ‣ Broadcasting a sense of confidence
  • 39. @bnunnally IA Summit 2014 #IAS14 Edge of Seat ‣ Passionate or excited about what’s going on ‣ Ready to take action
  • 40. @bnunnally IA Summit 2014 #IAS14 Cultural Differences
  • 41. @bnunnally IA Summit 2014 #IAS14
  • 42. @bnunnally IA Summit 2014 #IAS14 Universal Signs
  • 43. @bnunnally IA Summit 2014 #IAS14 Different Meanings
  • 44. @bnunnally IA Summit 2014 #IAS14 Physical Expressions
  • 45. @bnunnally IA Summit 2014 #IAS14 Game Time!
  • 46. @bnunnally IA Summit 2014 #IAS14 Charades!! ‣ 1 Host ‣ 4 “Guests” ‣ Host needs to guess each Guests general demeanor ‣ Guests can only communicate non-verbally
  • 47. Happy Sad Giddy Tired
  • 48. @bnunnally IA Summit 2014 #IAS14 Charades!! ‣ 1 Host ‣ 4 “Guests” ‣ Host needs to guess each Guests general demeanor ‣ Guests can only communicate non-verbally
  • 49. @bnunnally IA Summit 2014 #IAS14 So What?
  • 50. @bnunnally IA Summit 2014 #IAS14 Take Aways ‣ Reading body language is a good soft skill for designers and researchers ‣ Context MATTERS! Sometimes someone might just be a little cold ‣ Don’t focus on a single signal, but focus on all of them
  • 51. @bnunnally IA Summit 2014 #IAS14 How Do You Practice Reading?
  • 52. @bnunnally IA Summit 2014 #IAS14 Watch Yourself
  • 53. @bnunnally IA Summit 2014 #IAS14 Watch Others
  • 54. @bnunnally IA Summit 2014 #IAS14 Ask… If Appropriate
  • 55. @bnunnally IA Summit 2014 #IAS14 Mimicking
  • 56. @bnunnally IA Summit 2014 #IAS14 Read Up
  • 57. @bnunnally IA Summit 2014 #IAS14 Start Acting
  • 58. Thank You! Brad Nunnally UX Solution Architect Perficient XD Email - Twitter - @bnunnally Site - Designing The Conversation Techniques for Successful Facilitation ! Find it on Amazon