Mastering Body Language

George Stephanopoulos

Lesson time 09:13 min

Knowing how to actively listen and read body language is essential to building respect and increasing understanding in your communications. George teaches you how to spot cues and read faces to steer your own conversations.

Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars

Topics include: Mastering Body Language * Read the Room * Look for Clues * Addressing the Elephant in the Room


[MUSIC PLAYING] - In any situation you're in where you're going to have a difficult conversation or important conversation or you have to give a speech, it's important to take in the whole environment. What time of day is it? You know, is it just before lunch, the people are going to be a little more anxious to get out of the-- get out of the room more quickly? You might trim your presentation just a little bit. You're halfway through, and you can see in people's eyes that you've kind of lost the thread or they've lost the thread, so you say, let me go back and clarify something in case you missed it. Pay attention to what people are telling you with their eyes, with their body language, and react to that in the moment. You know, before any interview, I try to have a good sense of what the person wants to say and what they don't want to say and what they're communicating, not only with their words but with their body language and with their facial expressions and with their entire manner. And only by putting all that information together can you be an effective interviewer. The breaks right before that 30 seconds before an interview can be-- sometimes it can be very educational. It's almost always awkward, especially if you know you're going to be having a tough conversation. Generally, I'll just, you know, say good morning, ask how you're doing, not say all that much more. There are times, though, when you want to warm somebody up if you're simply having a conversation to inform or have fun or have fun with someone, and you have to know the difference between the situations. I believe it would be false tact overly friendly in the minute before an interview that everybody's going to be tough-- everyone knows is going to be tough. And in fact, there have been times before a tough interview, where I actually say that. I say, listen, you know what my job is right now, and these are going to be some tough questions. And sometimes for me in that moment, that feels like the most honest and appropriate thing to do. [MUSIC PLAYING] So many people that I interview are very well trained not to give anything away. They're very controlled. They speak in perfect sound bites. They only say what they want to say, and that makes it even more important when you were doing an interview to pay attention to everything that's going on. To be alert to everything that's going on. A hesitation, a pause, a sigh, anything that might give you a clue as to what they're really thinking. Even a look in their eyes, where you can tell someone wants to say more than they've just said, and it's important as an interview, not only listen to what people say, but to watch what they do. And sometimes, you can make news if you do. Here's an example with an interview I did with the NIH director Dr. Francis Collins. You say it's past time for people to get vaccinated. Is it time for more vaccine mandates? - Well, that...

About the Instructor

Legendary interviewer and broadcaster George Stephanopoulos has navigated challenging interviews for more than 30 years—as former White House communications director and presently as co-anchor of Good Morning America. Now he’s teaching you how to project confidence under pressure and draw the best value from your own professional and personal interactions, becoming a stronger, more intentional communicator.

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George Stephanopoulos

Award-winning interviewer George Stephanopoulos teaches you his techniques for producing authentic, meaningful conversations.

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