I Only Need a Short Elevator Ride to Describe My Book

Here I go, jumping into the Author Blog Challenge. While I’m a bit late in starting, that isn’t dampening my enthusiasm.


DISCLOSURE:                  My book is not yet published.

BIGGER DISCLOSURE:    My book is not yet finished and ready to print.

Now that I’ve gone public with those two big issues for me it will be easier to connect and participate in this blog challenge. The “whys” that answer the questions posed in those disclosures are a topic for another day’s blog.

To kick off the blog, which is focused on marketing and publishing, our writing prompt Day 1 is:  Having a hook is one of the keys to successfully marketing your book. What is your 30-second elevator pitch? And whom would you most like to give it to?


My best elevator pitch is really short – it is for the one-floor elevator ride or escalator ride.

You never get a second chance to make a first impression

The receiver of my elevator speech would ideally be a businessperson who wants to ensure that the organization’s “people brand” projects the desired image and that interactions with individuals result in delighted and loyal customers.

Is this for a specific industry niche? Definitely not! Educators, health care professionals, retail establishments, home repair and maintenance service providers, lawyers, nonprofit volunteers are just some of the business areas where I have provided business body language advice.

dreamThe dream recipient of my elevator speech would be a regional organization that is growing and looking to enter its new markets with employees who have fantastic business body language that will draw customers to the organization.

I’ll keep looking and let you know who I find.

Keep reading my posts during this blog challenge to learn more about body language and my journey to writing Business Body Language: Your Visual Business Card. 


Watching the Body Language of People Attending a Business Body Language Presentation

Phoenix Publishing and Book Promotion

Watching the Body Language of People Attending a Business Body Language Presentation

by Barbara Chatzkel

I have the opportunity to watch a lot of people get surprised about what, exactly, their business body language can communicate.

As I present workshops and overviews of Business Body Language, one of my favorite things is to observe the reactions of the attendees to what they are hearing and seeing. There is a uniformity in people’s reaction to and awareness of their own body language. I am treated to a predictable and entertaining nonverbal display as participants move down the predictable path.

I like to arrive at a presentation site early because it allows me to get comfortable with the space and have plenty of time to set up. And, it provides me with the opportunity to observe the participants in their natural state – being themselves and unself-conscious about their body…

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Is There a Lot of Material on Business Body Language? Only 150 years’ worth!

BBL COVER - VERSION 3AGreetings and welcome to my Day 11 post in the Authors’ Blogging Challenge. Today’s prompt asks “Describe the research process for your book. Did you interview people? Travel? How prominent a role did the Internet play? If you didn’t do new research, how did you learn what you needed to know to write your book?

There are many books published that touch on body language. The first body Julius Fast booklanguage book I read was in the mid-1970s and there were NO drawings or photographs to illustrate the point. Julius Fast’s Body Language, published in 1970, covered significant chunks of the body language field – all in text.

My collection of body language books has continued to grow and took an exponential increase in the last year as I delved deeper to obtain original sources whenever possible. Today, I have 50+ books and several hundred articles. Each day my Google Alert adds several new articles to the mix. One of the problems is to find the gems among all the noise in the system.

Charles DarwinThe oldest book I’ve read is Charles Darwin’s The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals. It was published in 1872 and contains both illustrations and photographs. The body of knowledge is almost 150 years old and is getting more robust by the day.

Individual interviews are a key part of the book. Professionals describe what body language they look for when observing individuals and what body language gestures they find helpful in their business.

Please support another Author Blog Challenge participant by checking out Simone Fortier’s blog at A Pain-Free Life Now.

Regards, Barbara

The Body Language Pro

“The Head Bone’s Connected to the Neck Bone” – Organizing the Book


Greetings and welcome to my Day 10 post in the Authors’ Blogging Challenge. Today’s prompt asks “Describe your process for outlining your book. What do you do to stay organized?”

body_language_gesture I keep a small wooden mannequin, like those that artists use for drawing practice, on my writing-table. This three-dimensional figure provides the structure for outlining and organizing the book.

Dem bones 1The first section describes five broadcast centers of the body in descending order of importance – face, legs & feet, arms, torso , arms & hands. Yes, the parts are discussed separately, but my first lesson learned in writing this book is that each part of the body is connected to all others through body language.

The second section focuses on “special broadcasts” specific to a situation. These include Women’s Business Body Language, Men’s Business Body Language, Virtual Body Language, and Conditions Affecting Body Language. The conclusion has interviews with a range of professionals discussing how they use body language as well as what body language they make sure to observe.

Here is where the organizing becomes more difficult – all the books and many of the articles I’ve researched discuss more than one body feature. The transcript of a TED talk given by Amy Cuddy in 2012, “Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are” has multiple references to eyes, arms, legs, torso, feet, handshakes and posture. Additionally she discusses power, dominance, low power, mirroring, risk taking, women’s issues, and how thoughts can change your body language. So how do you classify that??

Library catalog 1

I’ve tried several ways but have not found the “one.” My current process is Folders for each chapter and to put articles in the folders that apply. The beauty is that I am still paperless.

If you have suggestions for organizing reference material, please post in the comments section to help us all. 

Tip of the Day

Even though we examine discrete, individual body language movements, don’t draw a conclusion based on ONE item. Look for verification from at least two other body language indicators.

An example – you see a colleague standing in a group that you are speaking with and his arms are crossed in front of his torso. Is he closed off to what you are saying? You look at his face and he is maintaining eye contact and moving his head up and down in a “yes” motion. What’s going on?  You colleague may be cold and it trying to warm himself up by enveloping himself.

123 fingersSo, remember, to look for One – Two – Three body language actions for validation.

Please support another Author Blog Challenge participant by checking out Simone Fortier’s blog at A Pain-Free Life Now.

Regards, Barbara

The Body Language Pro

My Ah-Ha Moment was Watching a Handshake


Greetings and welcome to my Day 9 post in the Authors’ Blogging Challenge. Today’s prompt asks “Describe how the idea for your book first came to you. Where were you? Who was the first person you told? How did they respond?”

Business group portrait - Six business people working together. A diverse work group.People watching is a favorite pastime and body language is important in my work as an executive coach and consultant. I provided clients with feedback on body language as part of the coaching process but only intermittently. The information just hung out in space with no way to reinforce behavior and no way to connect the feedback.

Lightbulb The ah-ha moment was at a conference while I watched individuals meet and greet others. Most of the greetings were body languages “misses” — awkward exchanges with no good information sharing. The nightmare interaction was the handshake moment – hands extending and no returned hand, grappling with how to connect, too long, too short, too vigorous, too much like a dead fish.

Returning home, I decided it was time to write the book that would describe and illustrate good business body language principles. My husband was the first person I told and he was very supportive, encouraging me to move ahead. I also shared the idea with a group of women from a professional organization and they also were supportive and provided some great feedback.

That was in 2013 and I am committed to complete and publish this book soon. Watch here for progress reports.

Tip of the Day

There is an “ideal handshake” that is the standard in business. It can make or break a hiring or buying decision.

I share it here with you with the hope you will share it with those just entering the business scene.Handshake

  1. Look the person in the eye and smile
  2. Extend hand perpendicular to floor, thumb to the sky
  3. Connect with a snug, semi-firm handshake and three to five pumps, then let go

Field workPractice your handshake and see the reactions from your partner.

Observe people shaking hands in a business setting.  How did they do?

Please support another Author Blog Challenge participant by checking out Simone Fortier’s blog at A Pain-Free Life Now.

Regards, Barbara

The Body Language Pro

Stop, Look and Listen – The Art of People Watching


Greetings and welcome to my Day 8 post in the Authors’ Blogging Challenge. Today’s prompt asks “Who is your favorite literary character?

As a nonfiction writer, I looked at this question through the lens of my book, Business Body Language: Your Visual Business Card.

anyone anywhere anytime 1Anyone and everyone is my favorite character. People watching is a favorite pastime. It takes no advance planning, no expensive equipment, and no admission fees. It can be done solo or with others and no travel is required. It is cross-cultural and educational.
Where do I people watch? In a coffee shop while I am waiting for a companion to arrive, everywhere at an airport, in a large gathering or meeting, in a small meeting, sitting in my seat waiting for a symphony performance to start. The list goes on and on.People crossing a street

Why do I people watch? I learn so much about human interactions by observing. When individuals don’t know they are being observed, they are just themselves. I never “spy” and if the situation seems to be very personal or heated, I stop watching that interactions.

Tip of the Day

Stop, look and listen

Stop, look and listen is more than a reminder to look before you cross. In body language learning, it gives you access to many opportunities to observe and learn.

Stop look listen 1f you will be going into a new situation where you don’t know the people or the behavioral norms, try to get a glimpse of how people interact before your go to the session. Going to the venue the day before and walk around, if possible. Or arrive at the designated place 30 minutes early and take in all you can see. You will see and hear “the real deal” in the restrooms, the break room, or the cafeteria. Observing the nuances of day-to-day life gives you a lot of information that may be helpful in your session.

Please support another Author Blog Challenge participant by checking out Simone Fortier’s blog at A Pain-Free Life Now.

Regards, Barbara

The Body Language Pro