Interesting Fact »
Judi James ran The Judi James School of Modelling where she trained Naomi Campbell among others.
"When you speak use eye contact but look down and to your left for intelligent, reflective-looking thinking in between bouts of direct gaze"
Body Language »
Feature by Jamie Miller
Judi James is so good at reading body language, you may be forgiven for thinking she possesses mind-reading abilities! As the UK's leading expert on body language and behaviour, she has appeared on BBC and Sky News as well as countless TV shows, including Big Brother and The Paul O'Grady Show.
Judi James is also the author of over 16 non-fiction books, including 'The Body Language Bible' and six novels!
I am delighted to interview her on what we can all do to make ourselves seem all that more smarter!
Interview with Judi James
1. What ways can a person appear more intelligent, for example when attending a job interview?
* Make a good entrance. Pause before you go in, pull up to full height, relax your shoulders by pushing them back and down, relax your eye expression by blinking hard then opening your eyes with a soft, smiling expression and be prepared to givew good shake! A good handshake using eye contact and a smile will imply a degree of intelligent confidence even when you’re feeling nervous.
* Repeat ‘I feel calm, confident and in control’
* Always sit with your elbows on the arms of the chair and your legs crossed.
* Use emphatic hand gestures but keep your hands below shoulder height. Any higher looks fun but lacking in intelligence.
* When you speak, use eye contact but look down and to your left for intelligent, reflective-looking thinking in between bouts of direct gaze.
* When your interview is over, stand but pause before thanking them. Never dart out of the room.
2. I mention in my book some of the reasons an enhanced general knowledge can be appealing to others. But from your experience, what do you think is it about intelligence that makes a person seem more appealing?
* It can have Alpha appeal. Alpha animals are usually the strongest, not the smartest but in human society brain is the new brawn. However it usually needs a degree of social intelligence as well.
Some people are intellectually smart but unable to project their cleverness to others. Others can use signals that imply arrogance, which is hugely unattractive.
Brain plus humour is probably the most attractive blend which is why the intellectual comedians clean up so well!
3. A lot of people forget facts when they get nervous, for example when taking an exam or being quizzed on a game show. Do you have any tips for when this happens?
Yes, this is exactly the same as drying on stage. You know the info but you can’t access it. The worst thing to do is panic and start beating yourself up. Performers know that if they pause and think of nothing for a moment the fact is more likely to pop up like a cork in water.
When I appeared on Celebrity Weakest Link my brain walked off out the door waving goodbye the moment the show began. I had to focus on achieving a level of indifference. I did it by mentally answering all the other questions so that I could allow my brain to ignore the fact that my own turn was any different. This worked well until I got so smart I was the strongest link, meaning I went first. I was completely rubbish after that.
The key phrase when you do dry, forget or slip up is one all performers use: ‘Cancel and Continue’. The point is to move on, rather than focusing on the question you got wrong. Getting hooked on an error is fatal, it stops you focusing all your thought on the next question.
4. If you were on quiz team, what would your FUN specialist subject be?
Or Tony Blair’s body language techniques from his first job in the cabinet to present day.
or Japanese/Korean ghost movies, 1970 to present day.
I could also trounce almost anyone on Topshop/Primark fashions from conception to the present season!
When I’ve had a couple of glasses of wine I’m also unbelievably brilliant on the 70’s soap Crossroads!
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Judi James latest book is the excellently titled 'The You Code: What Your Habits Say About You'
It is available from Amazon here:
The You Code: What Your Habits Say About You
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