114: Vanessa Van Edwards - On the Science of Presenting

Vanessa Van Edwards - scientist and speaker - joined me for a conversation about how to present yourself... or, as I almost titled this episode: How Not to Be Awkward. Why is Vanessa the expert on this topic? As a "recovering awkward person" herself, she approached the soft skills of presenting, love, and influence - studying it like she studies science. And through that she has been able to bring to light some key lessons for all of us on the science of influence, charisma and presenting ourselves with confidence and credibility.

Here's the nitty gritty of this amazing guest:

Vanessa Van Edwards is a Huffington Post columnist and her groundbreaking work has been featured on NPR, the Wall Street Journal, the Today Show and USA Today. She has written for CNN, Fast Company and Forbes. Her science of people approach has benefited both readers and corporations as Vanessa has consulted for multiple Fortune 500 companies including American Express, Clean and Clear and Symantec.

Heyo! Let's do this.


On the show, we talked about:

  •  Vanessa's TED research project, after watching a couple thousand hours of talks! 3 lessons from their study:
  • "Purposeful hand gestures"  - what those really are
  • What vocal charisma sounds like
  • What fear looks and feels like for a speaker
  • How Vanessa shifted from a self-identified awkward person to a sought-after speaker and confident networker
  • And how pride can be the thing that helps us move through our fear.

#Speakers, take note of Vanessa's mindset to deal w her fear: "I have a tip in my purse!" ~@vvanedwards on @ThisMovedMe


#Speakers: "Speak like you're their smart older sister." ~@vvanedwards on @ThisMovedMe


Aw, people. Sometimes YouTube is just bull of bologna. And sometimes people capture the big moments that are happening all around us all the darn time that some of us forget about. When people die at an old age, it's sad - of course, it's sad - but it's also somehow beautiful. This couple, who's been together 73 years, got to say goodbye to each other with a song. It's a heart-wrencher, and so sweet. It moved me.



Vanessa did some research on happiness that reminded her to not just say no to the fun stuff in order to get more work done. That our happiness depends on us saying yes to fun stuff, too! And, in fact, we are not only happier, but we'll get more done when it's really time to get stuff done. Creativity depends on some down time.

YES. Now, let's go move this world.