(This article was written about Jeff Thompson. It appeared in the Tweed Daily News on March 19. 2011 and was written by Ellisha Puglia.)
FROM hairstyles to handshakes, non-verbal communication can say a lot about what a person is thinking or feeling.
US-based mediation expert and New York City Police Department detective Jeff Thompson will reveal the secrets of non-verbal communication at a public seminar at Southern Cross University's Gold Coast campus in Bilinga today.
Mr Thompson, who is doing his PHD with Griffith University Law School, said non-verbal communication applied to everything.
“I have an acronym for non-verbal communication, it's METTA - movement, environment, touch, tone and appearance,” he said.
“They say 80% of first impressions are made before you even open your mouth.
“In the case of body language, I encourage people to ask themselves if they really know what messages they are sending, and give tips on how to observe and decode gestures to determine if others agree with them or not.”
Although Mr Thompson admits non-verbal communication is not an exact science, he said it provided greater insight into what someone was thinking.
“If you are having a conversation with someone, and lean in and smile and nod, it shows that you are interested and listening,” he said.
“If you are nodding robotically or ferociously, leaning back, playing with your wedding ring, or twisting your hair, it could show you are disinterested or uncomfortable.”
Mr Thompson's speech is on level 2, room 2.14 from 11.30am- 1pm.