Sunday, May 27, 2012

Where did you hide the body?

I received this request for an interview which I granted:

Hi Thomas,

As you know, I am the writer and co-host of the website I hope you don't mind me contacting you but I thought you might be interested to know that we have launched an expert interview section on our website.

Each interview is published on an individual page, with links to their website, book or anything else that would be of interest to our visitors. In addition to inclusion on our latest website, the interview will also be featured on The All About Psychology website. This website alone receives over 70,000 visits per month and has established itself as a preeminent online information resource for psychology. With this in mind, the expert interviews will provide a great opportunity for anybody seeking to promote anything connected with body language and/or psychology.

Details of each interview will also be featured through all our social media channels, for instance, my co-host's psychology Facebook page, which has over 64,000 followers (

I know that our visitors would benefit greatly from learning more about your expert knowledge so I sincerely hope that you will consider becoming one of our featured expert interviewees.

Kind Regards,
Craig Baxter

If you scroll to the bottom, you can see the interview questions and my answers. Here is the point of today’s technology blog: how do you read “body language” when there is no body?


I have always been fascinated by the science of body language, and I have used it (to my advantage) my entire career. The concept of micro-expressions, the “tell” in poker, the way that someone who is trained in body language can tell the truth from fiction - I find this quite amazing.  We have all heard that 90% of all communication is nonverbal. Social media has exploded in the past five years. Facebook and Twitter are the ultimate examples of this communication revolution. Email, texting, audio, web and even videoconferencing is verbal. You can read a text message or a tweet, but you cannot "feel it".

What would you rather do, be on a videoconference, or meet someone for coffee? High gas prices might force us to have more and more online meetings, but there is something in the limbic brains of humans that just wants “the tribe” to sit around the campfire after the hunt and tell stories. Heck, I sell this technology stuff, and even I don’t want to be on a videoconference! Even HD Video is not the same as being there. Tele-Presence is not really "presence". It's fake, just like a copy of the Mona Lisa is not the same as the original.

If the majority of human communications is nonverbal, and if the majority of today’s global communication is the opposite of how our brains work (and growing exponentially) something’s gotta give!

Technology has caused this problem, ever since the invention of the telephone, the telegraph and the radio. Long before television, people would sit around the radio and listen to stories - their imagination would fill in the rest. The most interesting radio programs of the day, made you pay close attention - there was no entertainment value if you were not paying close attention. You had to participate in the radio broadcast (via your mind and your imagination) or there was no point of having the radio turned on. Today, you can find old radio programs online, and listen to them as podcasts. It is worth your time to do this; it is a great example of how human communications has evolved in the last 100 years.


Technology has caused this phenomenon, and technology will most likely solve it. Lie detectors are becoming more and more accurate. But, we cannot carry a lie detector around with us to our meetings. I see a day in the future, where there will be an app for this; if you have a phone conversation on your iPhone it will have a “BS Meter” that turns red when the other person is telling a whopper.  *Thank God for me, as I look very good in red.....

As the world becomes more and more flat, we will have more and more virtual friends. Since texting and tweeting is so hot, the next big thing in social media will probably be the sarcasm font.  Or the “smart ass” font, or the “I am rolling my eyes” font, or the “I am throwing my drink in your face” font.....

I had a big grin on my face as I wrote that last paragraph... but you would not know that, would you?

Your has serviced 300+ of the Fortune 1000 since 1983 – What’s the secret of your long term success?
[Thomas A. Capone] Find what you would do for free – and then figure out how to make money by doing it.  I have been in love with technology all my life, so finding a career in telecom and technology was my destiny. If you surround yourself with what you love, your competition does not stand a chance. I have not worked a day in my life, since 1983. I have been having too much fun. If it is not fun, you are doing it wrong.

What does your webpage offer its visitors?
[Thomas A. Capone] The world is flat and getting flatter.  Everything is now about distance learning, not just higher education. Everything is about remote work, tele-work, file sharing, virtual classrooms, virtual work.  Even virtual play! Look at the world of video games and virtual reality technologies.  The NYDLA brings not only the technology – but the smart people – the subject matter experts to the people who must master this new world of global distance learning to be successful.  If the future of our world is to be a global marketplace, then it only makes sense to master the technologies and the distance learning techniques of this new world.

Who was your inspiration to pursue a career in telecommunications?
[Thomas A. Capone] Honestly?  James Bond!  When I was young, I loved the James Bond gadgets and gizmos.  How the technology saved the day – the real hero in those movies was Q, not James Bond.  One of the first car phones that I ever saw in my life was in a James Bond movie.  This was in the 60’s and I was hooked ever since.  I bought my first car phone in 1983, all thanks to Bond, James Bond.

You have been in business for 29+ years, what the secret to successful face to face negotiation?
[Thomas A. Capone] Listen twice as much as you speak.  And by listen, I mean all of the communications, especially the nonverbal.  The eyes tell everything; the facial expressions, the stance, the body language is my secret weapon.  It is not just knowing if someone is telling the truth.  It is to know if the person truly cares; it is the knowing if the person is truly interested in your product, your service, your solution. How many times will people be polite in business, saying one thing but then doing the complete opposite?  The ability to read the body language is such an asset to anyone in business, much less someone in sales. If you can get to the truth, the rest is just details.

When public speaking, what is the best way to encapsulate your audience?
[Thomas A. Capone] Credibility is everything.  Time is so precious, if your audience does not feel like they should be right here – right now – listening to your presentation, you are lost.  The key is to make your presentation more valuable than anything else that they could be doing at that moment.  The need to FEEL what you are saying, much more than hear what you are saying.  If you connect with your audience, it is magical and memorable.  The key is to respect their time – they could be doing anything at this moment, and they are here, listening to you. Why? If they don’t feel it, you just wasted their (and your) time.  Respect their time, and you will earn their trust, and their business.

What body language do you look for when selling a product?
[Thomas A. Capone] Eye contact and eye movement.  While you are speaking what are they looking at?  Are they looking at you, the product, their iPhone, or are they looking out the window? What are they looking at, and why? For me, it always starts with their eyes.

Where do you see your communications business in 10 years?
[Thomas A. Capone] Telecommunications and technology has changed the world, and it is not slowing down anytime soon.  Just look at Facebook, Twitter, iPhones, iPads, YouTube, etc. - they have all changed the world forever. Texting and email have become 90% of all human communications.  Teenagers today only text, rarely do they use the phone. And yet, we all know that 90% of all human communication is nonverbal.  Is Facebook not one big virtual communication medium?  You will never meet in-person 99% of the people that you know via Facebook. Social media is anything but social, and yet it is the biggest thing in the world of business.  I find this fascinating. I see MTP remaining focused on the human side of technology. Until the day comes when robots are talking to robots, we need to address the human aspect of telecommunications and technology. Technology Based Learning Systems is the future of all business, and I will be very busy for the next ten years, I can assure you. There are plenty of jobs and wonderful careers in this space, and the world economy will rise or fall on these new technologies, and how they are put to use. Facebook did not exist ten years ago – what will the next ten years bring? I met you Craig, through Facebook, yes?

What have you planned for the rest of 2012?
[Thomas A. Capone] I shall be focused on expanding the as the premiere online distance learning organization in the USA. Every day there will be new technologies, new services, and people will be forever looking for help in navigating these uncharted waters.

1 comment:

  1. Another way to read body language over tele-communications is using the DISC behavioral profile.
    D - will be impatient, rude, demanding
    I - will want to chit chat
    S - will wait for you to speak
    C - will have 50 questions

    The problem with Body Language (BL) experts that they are only and consistently getting half the story. You have decided after observing BL that someone is not being truthful or forth coming, what do you do then. Accuse them, not do business or how about persuading them to move towards your position.

    Tim Davis