“This Is The Best Way To Read Body Language Secrets Better” – Negotiation Tip of the Week

“The knowing of a secret lacks value when the secret’s value remains unknown.” -Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator & Body Language Expert (Click to Tweet)

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“This Is The Best Way To Read Body Language Secrets Better”

People don’t realize; they’re always negotiating.

As she spoke about her desires, she stammered for a nanosecond as she began to pronounce the letter’ b,’ before shifting the word to millionaire. And at that moment, he heard her thoughts changing, even though she’d not said the word, billionaire. So, he asked why she’d altered her perspective based on her word change. She said becoming a millionaire was a lot easier than becoming a billionaire, and that’s what prompted the modification. Then, she asked how he knew she was thinking of the word billionaire. He said, “I read body language. And that ability allows me to uncover someone’s secrets, even when they start to utter one word and change it to another.”

There’s an aspect to reading body language that consists of more than noting what someone says when they speak, and the manner they carry themselves. Deciphering someone’s body language also consists of observing the actions they emit and the utterances they make when speaking. To unlock their secrets, you should also be aware of the emphasis they place on certain words and their pace of speech – noting in particular when it changes. You can uncover lots of secrets based on someone’s body language if you’re aware of what to observe and recognize what you’ve detected when it occurs. And the way to accomplish that is what you’re about to discover.

Listening Closely

Did you hear what she did? If the question was about something said by someone, instead of their actions, at first, that might sound like an incoherent question. Did you hear what she did?

But when it comes to reading body language, you must attune your hearing to the words someone speaks. Even more important, you should listen to what someone says after they alter what they were going to say. And thus, when the lady in the opening section began to make the ‘b’ sound in billionaire, before changing it to a millionaire, the escaping ‘b’ sound revealed her thoughts.

Since a person emits words from their mouth, and that’s a part of their body, while not a standard gesture in the traditional sense of reading body language, word emittance bears witness to disclosing someone’s thoughts. And that’s the value born from listening carefully to what and how someone makes pronouncements. At the slightest indication of a word change, the thrust behind it is a change in thought. The reason for the change is what you should note.   


Did you see what she said? Not only should you listen to what’s said, but as stated, you should also pay attention to how and what someone says. A secret can ride inside of their message based on how they pose their statement or question. In the question, “did you see what she said,” that person is speaking from a visual modality. With that insight, if you chose to bond with that individual, you’d speak from the same perspective (i.e., using words that conveyed a visual context.) That would increase the probability of them revealing secrets.

Based on how someone makes a statement, it can sound like a question. And if someone intends to convey a strong sentiment, pronouncing it in almost an inaudible tone or one where the tonality lifts at the end, it’ll sound like a question, which will weaken it. Little insights like that can assist you in uncovering someone’s secrets based on the small verbal gestures they emit when speaking. Pay attention to such gestures, and you’ll become rewarded with incredible foresight. 

Word Choice

While the word choices someone uses to represent their thoughts don’t fall directly under reading body language, it does leave clues to that person’s thought process. Even if their word choice conveys a slightly different meaning, the nuance in the slightness can allow you the opportunity to sight the difference in their mind and mood.

As an example, if a person said, “I’ll try to keep up. I don’t want to be left behind,” they’re conveying a different sentiment than if they’d said, “I’ll keep up. You’re not going to leave me behind.” In the last case, the person is displaying a definitive state of mind versus the first statement indicating that they’ll try to keep up, which sounds like they’re unsure of their ability to do so. Again, it bears stating, by observing the word choices that people make, you gain insight into their thought process. And that insight can give you an advantage when dealing with them.  

Pace of Speech

The pace that someone speaks is governed in part by their geographical area, the topic discussed, and how that person feels, stressed/nonstressed, while speaking. Thus, as an indicator, when someone’s speaking pace becomes altered, the meaning they’re conveying is slightly changed too. You might note that action when someone is attempting not to reveal a secret, or when they’re in the process of concocting a story that’s not the truth. They’ll slow the pace of their speech to allow more time to think about what they’re saying before they speak.  

Therefore, if you’re attentive to when someone increases or decreases their speaking pace, and note if it stems from just excitement or dread, you’ll have more information to assess the cause of the change. And once you’re aware of that, you can hone in on the purpose of that person’s alteration. While your assumptions may not be conclusive, the insight will give you an additional perspective from which to build a greater understanding of that individual.


When reading someone’s body language, you still must look at a cluster of actions to accurately assess the meaning of their acts. That means, you must take into account when they speak while covering their mouth (i.e., holding back their words), the degree they focus on you versus the surroundings, what’s done with their feet while speaking, and the signs that indicate whether they’re stressed or calm. That cluster of actions will give you a peep into their inner thoughts.

But, to make that process more complete, and to unveil someone’s secrets, you must incorporate the ability to discern a deeper meaning of their thoughts. You can do that by listening more extensively to the word choices someone uses and when they alter the pace of their speech. That will give you a greater depth from which to uncover their secrets, which will also enhance your body language abilities. And everything will be right with the world.

Remember, you’re always negotiating!

Listen to Greg’s podcast at https://anchor.fm/themasternegotiator

After reading this article, what are you thinking? I’d like to know. Reach me at Greg@TheMasterNegotiator.com

To receive Greg’s free “Negotiation Tip of the Week” and the “Negotiation Insight” click here https://www.themasternegotiator.com/greg-williams/

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