First, Some wise words...

Fake it ‘til you become it.
— Amy Cuddy

And now a Confession...

I was once an awkward person.
— Sophie Zadeh

I was once a very shy awkward person that would barely say 'boo' to a goose. I'd rarely speak to people unless I knew them well and most of my weekends were spent hanging out with my Chihuahua–training her to jump through hoops, or hanging out in photo booths. I loved interacting with animals–no awkwardness there!  

My permanent smile would get me in trouble with strangers for things that goody two shoes me would never dream of doing. I was pointed out and publicly shamed in the school assembly by a guest speaker who spoke about the hazards of the ice-cream van (road safety talk). I wasn't smiling at the thought of being run over, I was smiling because it was my usual expression. I was actually very moved and concerned by what he was saying–I just wasn't showing it.

One lunch-time I was dragged out in front of the entire school by our new Headmaster and made to eat a stale cookie whilst standing, facing the wall, for committing an unthinkable offence–talking–no wonder I barely spoke! Of course, it wasn't me talking, but I had the permanent grin that made people believe I was up to no good. My nonverbals were way off the mark. 

And I was always so scruffy- if this is how I looked for the annual school photo, I hate to think what I looked like day to day–check out my tie! My appearance* left a lot to be desired and I had no idea that it mattered. 


And I remained somewhat awkward! At college I'd never raise my hand to answer questions (I hated any attention), there was no need to answer–our psychology tutor would eventually give the answer if no one else did. Once, when all attempts to answer had been exhausted, the biggest extrovert in the class looked me in the eye, from across the room and said, "You know the answer don't you?" (attention...shame!). My nonverbal's had given me away–my secret was out! At university, I remember trading with my peers on a project we had to deliver. I proposed that I'd do ALL the work if they presented it–win/win–it worked perfectly! I'd do anything to get out of public speaking–I even managed to avoid my university graduation ceremony! 

* As well as body language and tone, nonverbal communication also includes 'ornaments'–the way we dress, wear our hair, our jewellery, tattoos, make-up, etc. It really does matter!


I discovered the power of body language, some really neat tricks to make me feel (and appear) confident and more relaxed- and a curiosity to learn more. It's a good job really, as at the same time my career evolved from training smaller groups to presenting from a stage to hundreds of people. Not only was I able to feel good about doing this, but I was also able to use nonverbal communication to reinforce my message, engage my audience and create the impression that I wanted. When I look back over the journey of my life and compare the before and after- it really was a transformation.

I've taken it a step further since then and I now coach, train and speak about the thing I'm most passionate about–the thing that helped me in my personal transformation–nonverbal communication science. I'd love to share my knowledge with you and assist you in your transformation–contact me to learn more about how I can help you with your personal journey. 

As Amy Cuddy's words "Fake it 'til you become it", resonate so deeply with me (as that's exactly what I was empowered to do) I'd like to share her famous TED Talk with you as your first step in learning more.  


Body language affects how others see us, but it may also change how we see ourselves. Social psychologist Amy Cuddy shows how "power posing" -- standing in a posture of confidence, even when we don't feel confident -- can affect testosterone and cortisol levels in the brain, and might even have an impact on our chances for success.