Communication Excellence Institute Interviewing Skills, Speaking Training, Effective Nonverbal Communication

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Ever wondered why…

  • Some speakers have such enormous impact on their audiences, while others leave them uninspired and unmotivated?
  • Some business presenters go way beyond the average PowerPoint-driven info dump to build huge credibility and career advancement?
  • Some interviewees just keep on nailing the great jobs?
  • Some attorneys always seem to have the most trustworthy witnesses and win the big cases?
  • Some executives constantly create great work teams with a minimum of conflict?

Why does this happen? A lot of it is about…

Nonverbal Communication

In our word-based culture, we spend a huge portion of our time focusing on expressing our ideas and gauging our impact at the verbal level. When we prepare for presentations or interviews, we mostly think about what we’ll say rather than what impression we’ll be creating by body language: gestures, facial expressions, rate of speech, etc. If we interview or are interviewed for employment, we’ll plan out what we’ll ask or reply, but spend no time thinking about the kinds of body language we’ll be using.

Our clients, who diligently devote so much time to the verbal side of their work, are shocked when they learn that only 7% of their impact comes through the words they choose. The rest of their impact, 93% of it, is tied up in two additional nonverbal features: body language (55%), of which 27% is facial expression. The last factor is paralanguage (38%), the vocal aspects of speech accompanying the words (rate of speech, volume, inflection, etc.).

Drs. Janet and Neal Larsen Palmer, the principals of Communication Excellence Institute, bring many years of specialized study in nonverbal communication to make our clients’ nonverbal communication as impactful as possible. Using the latest technology in video, they detect the features of each client’s nonverbal behavior—the ones that are serving them and the ones that aren’t—and methodically work to create the best possible effect, without the sensation of the client being “coached.”

Our work in nonverbal communication centers around these activities:

Signature Speeches

"BEYOND WORDS: Building Your Personal Credibility
Through Nonverbal Communication"

In this popular presentation, the Palmers go into depth on the most critical features of nonverbal communication. Armed with a vivid collection of PowerPoint slides, illustrating everything from overall body posture to warm inviting eye contact, to features of speech that make anyone more persuasive and dynamic, they leave audiences with a “vocabulary of nonverbal communication,” allowing them to use effective body language and voice deliberately, rather than by chance. The result is better rapport, trust, and credibility with individuals and groups.

“Reading People Between Their 'Lines'”

People have been interested in “reading” other people for a long time. And in many situations, some high-stakes outcomes have been on the line. A big sale, a big job, a big trial—any place where someone is being evaluated and there's a lot to win or lose.

If you’re an employment interviewer, you’re sizing up candidates, one or more of whom you could be living with for a long time. You want to be able to read them accurately for “fit,” their ability to get along interpersonally as well as to do the job. You also want to convey the correct impression to the candidates of what it will be like working for you. Nonverbal cues give you the best chance of achieving the best match.

In this intriguing and informative talk, the Palmers explore how subtle nonverbal “tells” reveal another person’s level of comfort and honesty. Through PowerPoint images and demonstrations of gestures and expressions like mouth- and eye-covering, feet twitching, barriers, and pacifying gestures, audiences leave with new techniques for observing and “sizing up” others.

To learn more about these and other presentations by the Palmers and to view a demonstration of the Palmers in action, click on

To see the content of these two speeches as a half-day workshop, click on

Presentation Coaching

Gone are the days when professionals could spend weeks, months, or years learning how to speak in public. To keep pace with the fast-moving world we live in, the Palmers have developed a short-term method for coaching business people and other professionals. In a few hours, they increase the effectiveness of their business and public presentation style by 100 to 500 or more percent. And if you suffer from stage fright, IT’S GONE in short order!

As in all their presentation training activities, the emphasis is on managing and improving clients' nonverbal communication. The Palmers make highly effective use of video to reveal clients’ use and misuse of body language and voice and lead them to develop a new and exciting range of communication styles.

For more information on CEI’s presentation skills training, click:

Presentation Coaching Program™ for one-on-one presentation skills training.
Million Dollar Minutes: Presentation Coaching and Consulting for the Construction Industry for team presentations to owners of major construction projects.
Executive Media Coaching for meeting the unique challenges of media presentations.
Group Video Coaching for developing groups or teams of presenters.

Job Interview Coaching

If you’re preparing for a new position, you’ve done your homework. You’ve polished your resume, gathered your references, done your Internet research, and crafted answers to the tough questions. Have you spent as much time on managing your body language and vocal presence?

Drs. Janet and Neal Larsen Palmer are nationally recognized experts in communication who specialize in helping candidates for mid-and top-level positions get their nonverbal communication working for them. While, of course, getting you ready for every aspect of the search process—from redesigning your resume, to simulating the interview, to preparing strategic answers to tough questions—the Palmers show you how to harness the power of good body language to "sell" yourself skillfully in job interviews. You even learn how to read your interviewer to gauge where you stand with him or her during the interview.

From your first impression to your last and everything in between, they’ll show you how use gestures, facial expressions, eye contact, posture, movement, appearance, and vocal quality to give you the best shot at a successful interview.

For more information on CEI’s interview skills training, click:
Interview Coaching Program™ for one-on-one skill building in all aspects of career interviewing.
Candidacy Coaching Program™ for interviewing and career strategizing in higher education.

To read about a speech by the Palmers on using nonverbal communication in professional interviews and to view a demonstration of the Palmers in action, click on

Witness Preparation

In this highly specialized area, being tuned to nonverbal communication can have everything to do with the successful outcome of a trial or deposition. To pass the “witness test,” a witness has to be seen as competent, trustworthy, and likeable. Most witnesses strain under the testifying process, and it shows in their nonverbal communication. Belligerent, or withdrawn, or unlikeable witnesses can cause a lot more emotional impact and damage to a case through their nonverbal communication than even the words they choose. Smart lawyers prep their witnesses’ words but rarely focus on their body language and speech delivery.

The Palmers have brought together two career lifetimes in communication study and research to help attorneys enhance the effectiveness of their witnesses’ delivery and impression.

For more information on their witness preparation services, click:
Witness Preparation for Trials and Depositions

Conflict Resolution

The Palmers are particularly adept at resolving interpersonal conflicts among professionals and business executives by bringing deep knowledge and experience in applied nonverbal communication. They are known for resolving long-standing conflicts within days or even hours.

For more information on their conflict-resolution activities, click:
Conflict Intervention and Mediation

There’s an old expression:

“People may forget what you’ve said. They may even forget what you’ve done. But they will never forget how you made them feel.”

Your use or misuse of nonverbal communication will leave a lasting impression of you and what you represent.

The bottom line is this: be as prepared nonverbally as you are verbally.

For more information on these programs and all of CEI’s communication services, please call us at 800-410-4CEI (4234).

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