Behind the Scenes with Expert Body Language Keynote Speaker Janine Drive

Nov 22 2021

The 2021 Fenestration and Glazing Industry Alliance Hybrid Fall Conference was looking to garner more information on the secrets of communication from a body language keynote speaker. They found the perfect guest in keynote speaker Janine Driver.

Driver dispelled common myths about body language in her presentation, “You Can’t Lie To Me: Five-Second Fixes.” She also gave many helpful tips and methods for recognizing when someone is uncomfortable with a subject or hiding information. Driver also discussed how to use these tips at work and at home and how to handle anger in tough situations.

According to Driver, one of the most common body language myths is how to interpret someone's crossed arms.

"Crossed arms are believed to be confrontational or defensive, but it actually connects both sides of our brain, right and left," she said. "It can help us solve a difficult task or problem. It shows someone is thinking. Crossed arms get a bad rap."


Pacifiers, according to Driver, are things people do every day that they do not notice but can reveal what they may be thinking. She claims that the larger these actions appear, the more they reveal.

"The higher the pacifier, the higher the stress and anxiety," she said.

Other examples include:

·       Shrugging: A shoulder shrug suggests uncertainty or information withholding. "A shrug shows discomfort," said Driver.

·       Elbows Out: Someone pointing their elbows out and placing their hands on their heads could signal something shocking has occurred, she said.

·       Face Touching: We undergo a cognitive and emotional reset when we touch our faces. According to Driver, it recharges your batteries from whatever is stressing your brain.

·       Lip Pursing: When we do not like what we see or hear, we shut our lips. Driver explained that this is stress and anxiety.


Using Body Language in the Workplace

Understanding body language can be a useful tool for navigating office environments and other places of work. Investing the time and paying attention can pay off.

"People give us a lot of data, but we tend to only pick up on three or four things. We are missing details about the human beings around us, but the data is there," said keynote espeaker Janine Driver.

She also stated that, while intimidation was a popular management style in the 1980s and 1990s, it is not effective.

Managing Anger

Driver also gave some advice on how to resist reacting with anger in stressful situations. Driver said that anger is just the result of someone having a goal that is being hindered. Or, that there is a belief that it is being withheld. According to Driver, anger can be a secondary emotion to something else, such as fear, anxiety, or grief.

Driver suggests recognizing anger for what it is and responding with understanding, empathy, and kindness. "Do you want to be right, or do you want to be effective? Climb down the mountain and meet people where they're at. When people feel like they matter and belong, cooperation will be strong. We need to do things differently than we used to, or we are going to miss out on opportunities."


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