RENO, Nev.— People’s pants are on fire around you all the time, and you haven’t even noticed, Traci Brown, body language expert, said during Monday’s Keynote address at STN EXPO Reno.
Of course, she meant figuratively, though she laughed about how different the world would be if people’s pants actually caught fire when they lied.
Brown’s session, “Liar, Liar Pants on Fire,” walked attendees through the fact that people lie every day. Regardless of if those fibs are small or large, they still happen. For example, how many times, she asked, have you clicked the “I’ve read the terms of the conditions,” box on a form without actually reading it.
Brown, who’s ranked as the No. 3 body language expert in the world, according to globalgurus.com, recently released her fourth book “How to Detect Lies, Fraud and Identity Theft: Field Guide.” She is also the executive producer of the forthcoming TV Show: “Truth, Lies & Coverups.”
She showed the audience several video clips of famous people lying (or not) and pointed out the indicators of how to tell they were lying. “Pay attention or pay with pain,” she said, adding that the pain in the pupil transportation industry is a loss of time, money and energy.
For example, videos showed Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex during an interview with Oprah Winfrey, former NFL quarterback Tom Brady at a pre-conference about the deflate-gate, and Lance Armstrong discussing his use of performance-enhancing drugs. Brown, a former competitive cycler, raced against Armstrong at one point.
Brown broke down the types of lies: fabrication, exaggeration, omission, minimization, and deceptive denial. A new kind of kind of lie, she noted is now called alternative facts. Are employees really sick when they’re calling out? Are their timecards actual versus how many smoke breaks they took? Were they not at fault in accident investigations?
She noted that words might not be true, but the body can’t lie. Brown walked through several body language techniques such as what one’s blinking rate means, licking lips, and mismatching in words with body language.
She also noted that there’s a difference between someone trying to convince someone and someone trying to convey something. Convincing equals deception and conveying equals truth, Brown explained.
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She added that people also have patterns and the tendency to give the same tells when they’re lying. Other tell-tale signs include hiding one’s hand, backing up from the conversation, tightening the lips and a long pause.
She asked the audience to play the game two truths and a lie with each other. They shared two truths with each other and then one lie. Each person was asked to detect the lie by using the techniques she shared.
Yvonne Carpenter, transportation field staff supervisor from Seattle Public Schools in Washington, said she’ll be taking the tips and tricks back to her district.
“You have be able to catch that and get the truth out of them,” she said.