Body Language Buzzwords De-Buzzed

Part 1 of a "GIF-tionary" of Nonverbal Terms

Body Language Buzzwords De-Buzzed.  There’s nothing more frustrating than listening to someone talk about an interesting subject while at the same time having no idea what they’re saying.  The reason you don’t understand?  They’re using words and terms you’ve never heard before.

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So I thought it would be a good idea to clear up some of the confusion by giving you a short list of some terms you probably hear quite often when Body Language is discussed in podcasts, blogs, and articles.

Let’s think of this list as a small “GIFtionary” of Body Language terms so to speak.  We’ll start with the basics in this post and later I’ll do more as we go deeper.  What Body Language Buzzwords are you familiar with?

Keep in mind, most of these are not the specific “Scientific Terms”.  They are the terms you probably hear most often when someone is discussing Body Language and Nonverbal Communication.  So, here we go. 

First, the big stuff…

Illustrators:  The hand, arm, eyebrow, head, leg, foot, and finger movements the brain uses to emphasize specific words and/or phrases when a person speaks.  Scott Rouse - Body Language Expert - Keynote Speaker - President Trump - Illustrators - Presidential - Body Language Buzzwords


Adaptors:  The adjustments and movements a person makes to help get rid of built up tension, stress, or nervousness.

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Manipulators/Regulators:  The gestures used when controlling a conversation.  Speeding it up, slowing it down, directing, stopping etc.

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Affects Displays:  A combination of facial expressions and gestures.

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Now The Smaller Stuff

Micro Expressions:  Small versions of full facial expressions that are “leaked” when trying to hide an emotion.

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At times they are almost imperceptible if you don’t know what to look for.  Their speed and size can sneak right by the best decoders if they aren’t focused and observing properly.

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Can you think there any “Body Language Buzzwords” you’d like me to define?  Think about it and let me know for Part 2.  @ScottRouse3