"It's critical that people understand that if you really want to have your voice heard. You need to find your voice."

Richard Newman

Unlock the secrets of powerful communication with Richard Newman, the voice behind the transformative "Lift Your Impact." Richard unveils the intricate dance of influence and connection, guiding us through a post-pandemic landscape where resilience and effective communication reign supreme. From his beginnings with Tibetan monks to coaching global clients, Richard's insights into non-verbal cues, storytelling, and the hidden strengths of his late-diagnosed autism lend a rare depth to our understanding of interpersonal dynamics.

Follow Richard @richardnewmanspeaks

Follow Chase @chase_chewning


In this episode, Richard explains...

  • Mindful pauses enhance communication by showing importance and encouraging critical thinking

  • Authenticity in communication is key to revealing individual essence and personality

  • Effective listening involves understanding words, tone, and body language to connect deeply

  • Strategic questioning leads to better understanding and impactful conversations

  • Non-verbal cues, like gestures, significantly influence engagement and message clarity

  • Power phrases can motivate action by engaging survival instincts, imagination, and logic

  • Mindset resilience is essential for personal growth and influencing others positively

  • Understanding personal communication styles, especially with autism, can lead to breakthroughs in connecting with others


Episode resources:

EFR 770: Maximizing Your Impact Through the Unspoken Elements of Persuasion and How to Ask Better Questions to Master the Art of Communication with Richard Newman

Unlock the secrets of powerful communication with Richard Newman, the voice behind the transformative "Lift Your Impact." Richard unveils the intricate dance of influence and connection, guiding us through a post-pandemic landscape where resilience and effective communication reign supreme. From his beginnings with Tibetan monks to coaching global clients, Richard's insights into non-verbal cues, storytelling, and the hidden strengths of his late-diagnosed autism lend a rare depth to our understanding of interpersonal dynamics.

Follow Richard @richardnewmanspeaks

Follow Chase @chase_chewning


In this episode, Richard explains...

  • Mindful pauses enhance communication by showing importance and encouraging critical thinking

  • Authenticity in communication is key to revealing individual essence and personality

  • Effective listening involves understanding words, tone, and body language to connect deeply

  • Strategic questioning leads to better understanding and impactful conversations

  • Non-verbal cues, like gestures, significantly influence engagement and message clarity

  • Power phrases can motivate action by engaging survival instincts, imagination, and logic

  • Mindset resilience is essential for personal growth and influencing others positively

  • Understanding personal communication styles, especially with autism, can lead to breakthroughs in connecting with others


Episode resources:


00:03 - Speaker 1 Richard, good morning from my end of the world. Thank you so much for coming on Ever Forward Radio! Let's give the audience a little insight into where you are, please.

00:11 - Speaker 2 Sure, so I'm coming in from sort of northwest of London. If anyone's ever watched Harry Potter, some of Harry Potter it was filmed in the woods that are just behind my house. There's about 500 acres of woodland there called Burnham Beaches, which is sort of ancient nature reserve incredible old sort of huge trees everywhere. So, yes, I've got plenty of space around to walk the dog and get the kids to be worn out. It's a beautiful part of the world.

00:40 - Speaker 1 He's dropping some Harry Potter bombs and I hear I was getting excited with you before we were recording talking about my visit to Richmond, right outside of London, for Ted Lasso. So you've got some Ted Lasso, you've got a little bit Harry Potter man. That's some great things in your backyard. I love it.

00:54 - Speaker 2 Yes, good place to be.

00:55 - Speaker 1 So I want to talk about your work in recent book, lift your Impact and, as I've kind of dived into it in your content, I really do think that that's why we're here today, you know, because what you do resonates so much with living a life ever forward and helps the audience move forward. I want to ask you directly you know how does your work and what you do, how do you think it helps someone move forward? How can help the listener right here today move forward in their life?

01:21 - Speaker 2 Yeah, so I mean, I wrote this book specifically to help people move forward from where things have been over the last few years. So I've been teaching clients for 23 years now, and for the first 20 years of that from the year 2000 to 2020, it's really focused on communication and public speaking presentation skills. And then things shifted in terms of what clients were looking for from us over these last three years, based on going through the pandemic, the lockdowns, virtual working and all the challenges that have come up politically and economically for people facing, and so we've suddenly realized that there's this big need that people have right now, which is, firstly, around working on mindset. We've had much more requests for mindset from people than we ever had before, and so you know, imagine that people have got these days. They've got so many more pressures on them where I laughingly say to people when I'm working with them now do you remember the days back in, like 2019, when you used to have, if you had three meetings in a day, that was a busy day because you had to drive from one meeting to the next. You think, oh, am I going to get around these three meetings? And then maybe you stop for coffee and you check your four emails and so on, and then these days, an average day might look like 12 teams meetings in a day which are back to back to back to back, and if you have five minutes to take a breath between them, you realize you've got 4,000 emails. There's less people working in the company, you've got higher KPIs, everything's been streamlined, and so the pressure is huge on people, and so we've been really working with people to make sure they can be the best version of themselves, so that I call it being the rock in the storm, so that, no matter what is going on around you, you can be the very best version of you.

02:57 And then, beyond that, the next stage that people have been asking us for is okay, well, when I've worked on myself, that's great, but then I interact with other people and it all goes wrong. So then we put people into that stage of the second piece is needing to be able to influence people positively. So the amount of interactions we've all had with each other face to face are rapidly going downhill, where, you know, with social media and with mobile phones and so on, people are having less face to face time, they're having more looking at face time on their phones, and so that ability to interact with someone successfully has gone down. There's less people standing around the coffee station or standing around a water cooler in an office, and so we are less connected with each other and less less well skilled, less well practiced with communication. And so, once you've worked on your mindset, you then need to work on what impact and influence my having on the people around me through storytelling and questioning and listening skills and all those pieces, and then, beyond that, the third stage that we wanted to help people with, particularly on that theme of ever forward, is, once you've worked on your mindset and you're having a tremendous influence on the people around you, where are you actually heading?

04:03 What is the point of all this? What's the legacy? And a lot of people have said over the last few years, they've really questioned their purpose. You know they're showing up maybe at the same steel and glass building, thinking I don't even know why I'm here anymore. I feel like I'm a cog in a machine that I don't really understand, and so I wanted to make sure that people can have a great mindset, influence people and then create a legacy that they're really proud of. So they're heading towards a future that they care about, they believe in, where the journey feels worthwhile.

04:31 - Speaker 1 Beautiful, so well said. I think I could cut that and make a little mini podcast. Absolutely, but you know I understand a lot of your work is around these groundbreaking communication techniques to help more or less professionals. You know people in the workforce to nine to five, but you know anybody doing their own thing as well. I think could benefit from this to help them increase their impact and influence. Is that the kind of secret sauce there's? Our communication technique, or lack thereof, what's keeping us from reaching our greatest potential professionally?

05:07 - Speaker 2 Yeah, there's so much to be said about communication these days and so much that people need to work on, because you know, people will often break this down into body language, voice and your words being important with communication. But it's also more than that your listening ability, it's the design that you have on slides and documents, anything that you're using to communicate with the outside world. And so if you think about it this way, people will sometimes say to me hey, this, this idea is so good, it speaks for itself. Or this product so great, it's going to sell itself. And it won't. You have to speak for your ideas. You have to sell your products, or you need to sell your initiatives to your teams.

05:42 And sometimes I work with leadership teams where they go across to like a leadership offsite. There's 200 of them there. They brainstorm stuff, they write things on whiteboards, they feel so excited and then they come back into their organization and nobody's interested and they say well, it's nice that you've had fun out of the office for a couple of days. We've been doing real work here and the initiatives fail and they wonder how to move forward. So it's critical that people understand that if you really want to have your voice heard. You need to find your voice. You need to understand how to use your body language and tone of voice in a way that will amplify your message.

06:13 Then you've also got to work on that message, to make sure that you're not just spouting ideas, but you understand the structure of a message that can allow you to take anything, no matter how technical or complex it might be, and explain it in a way that is truly compelling for the people who are listening, where they care about it, they know what they need to do about it and they want to take action on it.

06:31 And then also making sure that people are not just great at expressing themselves, but they're really good at the two-way conversation. So, as I was mentioning there back in the day, people used to come to us for public speaking and presentation skills, and now they're having a lot more focus on what is that one-to-one interaction like, where, if they are speaking to an employee or a member of their team or their leadership or their stakeholders, making sure that they've got a much deeper connection and understanding of each other. And that comes from great questions, but also really finely tuned listening, so that people are deeply listening to understand rather than just listening to think okay, I'm going to reply to this at some point. So there's so much that I like to work on there because I'm just so passionate about making sure that people are effectively connecting and communicating with each other, because that's the secret source to life really making sure that you've got that fantastic communication and connection with other human beings on the journey of wherever you're going.

07:27 - Speaker 1 You kind of a hit on a little bit and I want to get there in a second talking about these nonverbal communication aspects. But what you just said kind of sparked a question for me what has been recently for you, maybe on a podcast or in your work, what has been a question that you were asked that really kind of had you taken aback? Oh, I haven't had no one's ever asked me this before. I haven't had this ass in a long time or such a unique question for what we're talking about. What's been maybe something, if you can recall that really kind of had you scratch your head. That was also a powerful question and you could utilize for the situation.

08:02 - Speaker 2 I think, to be honest, the one piece that really comes to mind. I was on the podcast with Erica Kohlberger she's doing really well, she's blowing up on TikTok and she asked me a question. She said can you tell me what you taught in the very first session where you ever taught communication? What was in there? And this is going back 23 years ago and it was an interesting question because I've never actually really thought about it that much and what happened was with my first ever teaching session on communication, just to give people some background around, this is that, to give the short story on this, when I was 18 and all my friends were going off to university, I went to go and live in a monastery in the foothills of the Himalayas up near Darjeeling where I was living with these Tibetan monks for six months who didn't speak any English.

08:50 - Speaker 1 So an average path outside of leaving the nest for the first time. Was it expected that?

08:56 - Speaker 2 Exactly. Yes, I wasn't expecting it, nobody around me was expecting it, and in fact, there was a bet on how long it was going to take me to come back. The longest bet anyone had made was 10 days, and so when I got there and I was really overwhelmed by the situation, I thought I'd just have to make it 11 days. I'm going to win this bet, no matter what. And so I ended up staying with the monks there for six months, sort of cut off from the outside world, with this incredible experience of being with these amazing monks, with this beautiful spirit and amazing approach to life, and living with them and teaching them English through the use of body language, because they didn't understand how to speak English when I got there, so I had to communicate entirely non-verbally while I was there. I loved the whole experience. I loved the independence of it being 18 and just travelling by myself. And then, when I came back to the UK, I then studied acting for three years in London at an amazing London acting school, learning how to sit, stand, move, breathe, walk and gesture in a way that would bring a story to life, bring a character to life, and I was fascinated by all these things I was learning. It was really all about pursuing the path of communication. And then I happened to be in my hairdresser's salon getting a haircut as a young actor, and my hairdresser said wait, what do you do again, who are you? And I said, well, I'm trying to make it as an actor and I lived with these monks and I went to acting school and he said, hey, if I give you a free haircut, will you come in here and teach my hairdressers how to communicate? And initially I got scared and I said sure, and then I thought I need to find a new hairdresser because I'm never going to do that. That sounds terrifying. But then I came back in and he gave me another haircut and I went to teach them. And so that was my first ever teaching session on communication was for four London street-wise teenagers who came into the session with a bit of an attitude looking at me like what could this person possibly teach me? And I did this two hour session for a free haircut and my whole business grew out of there. And now that's 23 years later and we get booked about 2,000 times a year to travel around the world.

10:51 But it started with that free haircut. And so she said to me well, what did you teach in that session? Clearly it must have been good stuff, because otherwise the success wouldn't have happened. And I said to her initially what we were doing is I was teaching these hairdressers how to be confident and more professional around, how they would greet people and that sort of thing.

11:11 But then we really dove into the nuances of nonverbal communication. So I was teaching them things about handshakes, gestures, because if you imagine, imagine sitting in a hair salon in a chair and some young teenager comes up, looks like they've never given anyone a haircut before and you say to them Okay, I want to get the latest image, and maybe you show them a celebrity in a magazine, and they look like they have no idea how to do this and their body language is giving off this message of sure, yeah, we can make this happen, nothing to worry about. And you look at them, think this is never gonna happen. I'm leaving before you get the scissors out because I'm not sure I trust you putting a razor near me. So I was then teaching them about that sense of being centered, being calm, using strong palms down gestures to show reassurance, palms up to generate a good conversation with somebody we talked about, in looking someone in the eye when you're walking towards them. It was a whole bunch of these things and essentially it was really practical. They were getting up doing things with me, doing things with each other, and they loved it and they said come back again. When do you next need a free haircut? And so I kept on going back to them and then I actually ended up training their whole chain of hairdressers. So I forget how many, how many hair salons they had in the end about 50. Then we're training the management team that the truck, we're training the install trainers.

12:25 And then one day I got a phone call From the head of an engineering company and he said hey, I just have my haircut. Today my hairdresser says that you're this amazing in communication coach. Could you come and teach an engineering company? How much do you charge? And I was thinking well, I charge a free haircut. I'm not sure. I'm not sure if you can give me some free engineering. How's that gonna work? So, but I then I called him back, I offered a price and he said sure, we'll pay that. So I then coached about 30 engineers who are about to do an engineering Exhibition where they're gonna be standing on their stand and sort of trying to generate some business, and they loved it as well. And then I got a website and business started to flourish and and here we are, 23 years later. But yeah, that was that was the question sort of threw me where I thought no one has actually ever asked me, and I have to say there's one or two things I talked about first ever session that I'm still teaching today.

13:14 - Speaker 1 I Love that story. That was incredible. Thank you so much for sharing that. I want to piggyback off that, if I can. What do you think is a unique question that we can keep in our back pocket for, let's say, a podcast interview for a job and or well, maybe not a job interview, but to engage in unique and meaningful conversation, and we want to enhance our communication skills. If you have a go-to question that you keep in your back pocket, what? What can we do to kind of like Jump on that? What is that question?

13:47 - Speaker 2 so I'll give people maybe a framework for questions so they can think about, because Needs to be to be really unique and to really be powerful in a moment, it needs to make sure that it is tailored to that specific situation. But there's three levels of questions that people can look at that will allow them to be guided towards a really powerful conversation. So the first level of questions that most people tend to ask each other are fact and data questions. So they're asking people about what happened, when did it happen, how did it happen, which date was it, and so on. We have these questions all the time. Very transactional. It's the kind of way that you might deal with someone if you go into a shop. You're just asking fact and data questions. But we also get this at work these times, even with people we've known for a long time, we feel like they, they know facts and data about us, but they don't know us, and so it just doesn't feel like it's meaningful and when they say, hey, do you want to go for a drink, you think not. Really it's gonna feel like an interrogation because it's just gonna be fact and data questions. So facts and data questions are important because they help gather information. So even on podcasts, you know you often get people asking at the beginning tell me about your background, where did you come from, how did you get into what you're doing? That sort of thing to give context. We need that.

14:55 But the second level of questions that's important to get into that actually some people don't even get this far is Asking people about their thoughts, feelings and opinions, and strictly not facts. For how do you feel about the facts? What's your opinion on the fact? That sort of thing. That's when you can get down a little bit further and that's what our our friends and relatives and colleagues that we get on well with will tend to start with. Second level question, such as how you feeling right now. You know, what your thoughts on this that they actually want to know you not not just the facts and data that you know. So that's important if you're moving in that direction.

15:25 But if you want to get to a really powerful question, it needs to be going down to the third level, which is where you'd ask someone more about their drivers and their motivations.

15:34 So this is where you're asking people really about what are the core values that drive what they do day to day and and when you understand someone, I often say to some of my clients you never really know someone until you know their values, because your, their values will tell you which direction they are heading in, what is their true north, and if you understand what that is, then you can see how they approach every major decision that they're going to make, and Therefore it's a much better predictor of understanding. You know in difficult situations which direction is somebody likely to go in, and so it's a great way to understand someone is to get down to those Deeping, deeper driving, drivers and motivations, so that if I know my values, you know your values and we share them. Then we feel like we we've known each other for years, maybe because I can understand how you would approach your life up until this point and how you'd approach it going forwards.

16:23 - Speaker 1 I Love that. Thank you so much for sharing that framework, and if I can throw anything else in there for you know you, but also the listener it is that over the years. You know I've been podcasting for almost seven years now and I really do credit a lot of why I think this has been Kind of second nature, not to say it's not work, but why I feel so comfortable and have so much enjoyment doing it is because of the years that I spent before as a coach. I was a health coach for many years and so I'd sit one-on-one with many people or groups and the best ways that I helped have transformation with my clients and their health, their wellness, their life Was not trying to come ready with an answer.

17:07 All the time Was but to be as present and listen as much as possible so that I could extract out the right things, to feed back to them the right questions, the right answers that they themselves were saying but maybe didn't quite realize what they were saying or how powerful or what solution they were actually bringing out loud, and I would just kind of voice it back, mirror it back. I feel like the best way to ask the best questions is to learn to be as good of a listener first as possible, would you agree? And if so, how can becoming a better listener help us be a better question? Asker?

17:50 - Speaker 2 Communication has got to be about really hearing what the other person is saying and bouncing back and forth. People who you enjoy having conversations with, you feel that they are truly listening. They are not listening because they think I want to jump in next and say something. They are truly listening to hear you so you feel seen, you feel understood by them. This is something I learned from being with the monks. Imagine me being there in a place where I was cut off. This was back in 1995. This was before Sky TV had reached out there. There was no Wi-Fi, no text messages, no WhatsApp. If someone wanted to contact me, it would take them six weeks. If they wrote a letter from the UK, it would take six weeks for that letter to arrive. If I replied the same day, it would take six weeks for them to get their reply. It was three months for someone to hear a reply from me. We were very much cut off.

18:42 I had to try and build some kind of connection with these monks to have a back and forth. When I was starting to teach them English, we got a few months into this experience when I got to the place where they were understanding my English. If I asked them a question where I knew they knew the words and I knew they would know how to answer. They would still sit there like this and I'd finish speaking and they'd go hmm, hmm, hmm. They'd sit there for probably 30 seconds and initially I was thinking did I make sense? Did I ask them a question? Do they know there was a question? Are they enjoying eating something? Is that why they haven't answered yet? But they were just really sitting on the information before they would come back with a very mindful, very considered response. I really enjoyed and appreciated that, because you can see these days in conversation that some people they really aren't listening to you. As soon as you start saying anything, they think, oh, I've got something that I want to say. So you can feel that they're about to jump on top of you rather than them hearing everything that you had to say and digesting those elements.

19:50 And I talk to people about three levels of listening as well, because sometimes people struggle with listening. We're so used to having phones pinging everywhere and emails coming in and so many different channels going off that we just get our attention dragged in every direction. So I talk to people about three levels of listening to say if you're truly listening. You've got three areas you're looking at. Which is you want to truly understand the words, listen to each and every word, because those words will give you vital clues to the stories and the meaning that's going on in someone's head.

20:18 The second thing is you want to listen to the tone of the voice when they say those words, so that you understand what emotion is connected to each of the words.

20:26 Is it going in a different direction to the word or the same direction as the word? That tells you something else? And then you separately listen to the body language, which sounds like a strange thing to say, but you listen with your eyes, if you like. So you listen with your eyes to what that body language is doing and then you can think to the body language actually match the tone of voice or not? And does it match the words or not? What am I getting as a complete picture here? Because if I get that whole picture, I'm going to really understand this person and what's going on with them. So when I next ask a question or I enter anything into this conversation, I have some sense of who they are, where they are right now and where this conversation might go, because I've truly listened to all of the elements that are coming out from them before I then go in with a response.

21:09 - Speaker 1 A couple of things they're sending out to me and I've heard this advice from other people that I want to really drive home here Never underestimate the power of a pause.

21:20 I think that is so crucial, especially I actually received that advice from a family member talking about negotiations in a professional setting.

21:31 You know, getting hired or I think it was a pay raise situation and I think, a lot of people going into especially a job interview you really want to have an answer ready. You want to seem like you're on when you get asked a question. You want to be able to just spit fire back and show them that you're, you know, capable of delivering, always have the answers. But she was really just reminding me of how to make sure that whatever comes out of your mouth next is maybe not the right answer, but your best answer and can show them that you're capable of critical thinking and not just telling them maybe what they want to hear. Never underestimate the power of a pause and, to her credit, even especially in negotiations, you know I would say, hey, we're going to offer you this, we want that kind of thing. Never underestimate the power of a pause, and kind of hearing a little bit of that in the monk story, you know, it seemed like they had a really great pause, you know, to really kind of process it, mull it over.

22:27 Maybe they were actually trying to still translate a couple things, you know from English but that's incredible as well and I think that, just you know, pause is very uncomfortable for a lot of people. We think if we pause or we take too long to respond or take too long to come up with the next thing to say, the next question to ask, it's a poor reflection on our capabilities, maybe our intellect, or maybe they think we weren't paying attention. I think this day and age that stands out even more because we're so used to getting immediate input from our devices, from our email, from our notification, you know, always having somebody ready to just fire something back. How much more is that going to stand out in that conversation, in that communication piece, when there's a pause? Because I think when we have a pause that that's going to make the person lean in more Like, oh, why is no one talking? What's going on? I think that brings a level of presence to that conversation that might have been lacking as well.

23:22 - Speaker 2 It really does, and you can see the power of a pause being used on TV. If people on TV want to grab your attention, there's different directions they can go in. They can shock you, they can wow you with graphics, or they use a pause, and they'll do this on the shows like America's Got Talent or the Voice or these different sort of shows where there's singing contests and so on. And when they're about to announce who is who's one or who's going through to the next round, what do they do? They say and the person who has won the competition is oh they do a huge pause.

23:52 They do a huge pause Ever 45 seconds and everyone's like leaning in, going tell me the information and suddenly what they're doing is that they are showing that whatever comes next is important and you need you will mentally give it more value because there's been a pause. I don't think you should over exaggerate it as much as they do, but by by giving a pause, it says what I'm about to say is worthwhile you paying attention to. So I'm just going to give a bit of space, then I'm going to say it and if it's really matters a lot at the end of it I will pause as well. And now you know that what I just said was really important. It's just just by putting those pauses in. So it's very much worthwhile to do that and, like you say, in negotiations it's worthwhile. I see great podcast hosts doing this as well. I've been watching a lot of. Have you seen Diary of a CEO? You familiar with that?

24:41 - Speaker 1 Stephen Bartlett, right, yeah, yeah, I watch a lot of his stuff for inspiration on podcasting.

24:46 - Speaker 2 Yeah, I think I think he's done so well. I'm really impressed with you, know he's he pauses quite a bit and he pauses a lot. I'll notice that sometimes the guest is looking at him like I finished talking.

24:57 - Speaker 1 He's off the other side of the table.

25:01 - Speaker 2 And then they come out with something you think, wow, they never would have said that if you hadn't have paused. Wow, what a genius thing that you just did, yeah.

25:09 - Speaker 1 I'll say also that's another great technique.

25:10 If you're a podcast or listening or just in conversation, we oftentimes feel like we have to carry the conversation, have to carry the interview, have to carry that back and forth, especially if there's more you want out of the other person.

25:28 Let's say it's, you know, an interview for a job, or in a podcast or just banter. If we want more and maybe we're struggling to think to come up with a question. If we just give that pause, I think there's a certain level of awkwardness for lack of a better term that will then kind of get the other person to start talking again. Now you might actually be pausing because you want to really take the time to think about what to say next, but I think here's another great little tactic is just don't reply or take a little bit longer in your reply to get them to start saying more, because most people don't like that uncomfortability and feel like a pause, even though it's maybe half a second, a second, three seconds, which is nothing. That feels like an eternity when you're in conversation with somebody, and so they're most likely going to begin to say something else next.

26:22 - Speaker 2 To get out of that awkward sensation, yes, so so true, and there's a real variation. You can see this in in TV chat show hosts, where they so commonly these days that there's these sort of hilarious and brilliant, very talented chat show host like Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel and all the Jimmies, I guess and what they do is they ask questions and you can see what they're doing. They'll ask maybe four questions before they see their guests, not their head, like I'm ready to speak to you, so say so. Hey, you know, the movie's coming out and you got this fantastic thing, and there's Brad Pitt and there's a story about the volcano. We'd love to know about the volcano, but what about the skydive that you did? And they're just waiting for the guest to go.

27:01 I'm ready to speak now, because they don't want even half a second of pause, and so they'll let that happen, and then the person jumps in, whereas there's another style of chat show host where they will, they'll put the pause in, particularly, and this is what Larry King great, great, great Larry King used to do all the time. He was famed for the two or three word question where somebody would sit down in front of them, in front of him, and he would say so, the movie and that's his question. And you see them go what it?

27:28 - Speaker 1 wasn't even a question.

27:29 - Speaker 2 Tell you everything I can think about, about the movie and, because he's so short with it, just be sitting there going huh, huh, huh. Brad Pitt. And that's the question they go. Okay, I've got to tell you my story about Brad Pitt, so you know. They then are diving into much more information than you might get if you're feeding them everything you know all the time. I do love those chat shows where they're hilarious and they have a lot of energy around them, but it is also worthwhile just to have those slower questions. Bit of a pause, a couple of words and then see what the person says next.

27:57 - Speaker 1 You know. While we're on the subject here, larry King, this reminds me of a recent clip I saw on social media of a past guest of Everford Radio, actually Alex Benayan. He's the author of the Third Door. Are you familiar with him? Yeah, yep.

28:11 So he's one of a few people actually who have been obsessed with Larry King. You know, as they should. He's a legend and long story short and his story kind of rising up. As a young teenager he met Larry King literally, like, I think, ran him down through a grocery store or something, was so obsessed with trying to connect with him. Anyways, he's really intriguing in how he analyzes people and how he looks to people. The whole concept behind the Third Door is there's like the front door where everybody tries to wait to get in. There's kind of the back door if you know a guy. But then there's like the third door where it's like the secret, secret elite of the elite. You know, you got to really know how to get your way in there, kind of thing, and that's what he's after and that's what he feels like Larry King does.

28:53 And he had this clip about how so many people look to Larry King, so many people look to Oprah Winfrey, so many people look to these. You know all the jimmies, like you said, on how to craft the best interview, the best question, the best be the best podcaster, how to be the best host in whatever situation. And people try to emulate these other people because they see, oh, larry King does this, larry King is successful, oprah Winfrey does this, oprah Winfrey is successful. And he drove home this amazing point about how they do that, because that's not the secret sauce, that's not the way to reach that status on that platform. They did that because they were the most comfortable doing it that way. Larry was so comfortable being just relaxed, leaned in asking those one, two-word questions if they technically are really a question.

29:43 Oprah is like you get a car, you get a car. She's like jumping for joy and all these crazy things. They show up the most comfortable way that they can and tap into that power and I think that's another great point here for the listener is that it's good to extract lessons and value maybe tips or ideas from other people. But the moment we try to emulate other people is probably the first step towards failure on our own, because we're not going to be those people, we're not going to have that level of success, we're not going to be able to upkeep it, because that's not us. Rather, maybe taking lessons and focusing on how best we show up and how we best naturally think of things and want to ask questions and make our own hybrid model there. That's how you're going to have sustainability and be truly unique in the process and maybe be the next Larry King or Oprah.

30:29 - Speaker 2 Yeah, I talk about this under the framework of.

30:32 I often refer to tennis because it was the only sport that I was really all that good at when I was younger. And I say to people, if you look at the top 10 men and the top 10 women from any country in the world playing tennis, they all do forehand, backhand, serve and volley. You can't win the game of tennis without doing those four things. But if you look at them, they all play the game differently. They all have their different style. They have the different personality that they bring to it and that's what makes it so fascinating to watch. I mean, it'd be so deadly boring to watch tennis if everybody actually just did it the same way and they think well, the way that Serena Williams plays is the way that I must play. What we have to look at is to understand this is how I've processed communication. To teach it to my clients is to understand what's the forehand, backhand, serve and volley that everybody needs in order for communication to be effective. Then how do you combine that with the essence of you, your personality, your way of showing up in the world? Because that's what's really unique, that's what's going to fascinate people, that's where people are going to say I want to be around you, I want to be led by you, inspired by you, I want to book you to be on my stage Because they're seeing an essence from you they can't get from anybody else, while it's using elements that are fundamental to the success of everybody. So much like we all need food, we all need drink, we all need oxygen, we all need sunlight, we all need those things, but we're all going to be different versions as we show up. So when I'm working with people on communication, I'm always keen to say you've got to be you from the inside out, understanding certain elements of communication that are going to help you get there, but make sure that they are your version.

32:04 And to give you an idea about putting this into action, I sometimes get people to read out political speeches or story books and so on, and every single time anyone reads one of those out, they read it differently. So I've got some speeches. I might get them to read a JFK speech or an Obama speech or something like that. That's a well-crafted speech and I get them to read it, not trying to emulate that person, but just getting them to understand how to let their own voice out in certain different ways, faster, slower, physically expressing themselves. And sometimes they'll turn to me and say, yeah, but that's just because I'm pretending to be that person.

32:41 I say to them actually, no, you're not, because I've done it for 23 years, showing people that speech and saying let me just see what you do with it. And every single time it's different. Every time it's different and because there's an essence within you that is coming out that is connecting with those words, connecting with your body. That's the path that you've got to follow. All I'm aiming to do is open up another part of you, another part of your potential. So that's what I love doing Still decades after I started doing it is seeing this little spark of magic within them come to life that I'd never seen before.

33:13 - Speaker 1 That's the best, when you can just kind of look in and go, there, you are there, you are there, you are. Let's keep bringing that to life and I love that aspect of the analogy of tennis. Everyone needs that. We've got to have that framework right. We need the back and forth. That's what most people are expecting, and we do need a fair amount of assumptions and expectations going into communication so that the other person kind of knows how to volley as well. But having your uniqueness show up, to be that curve ball, to be that whatever, that's really where you're going to stand out the most and, I think, have the most meaningful takeaways from both sides in that experience. Is this kind of what you talk about here? Are you kind of getting to the core of your work, your main components of lift yourself, lift your message and lift your mind Is that what you're talking about in the lift yourself component? If not, can we start there and walk us through these three components with lift yourself?

34:05 - Speaker 2 Yes. So the whole concept of lift from behind the book is I've been studying communication for such a long time and sometimes people say to me what is the essence of it? What is it that you actually need to do to be successful at communication? And so I come at this from a background of being. I was very shy as a child. I'm highly introverted, which people sometimes don't expect, and I was also recently diagnosed as being autistic. And that was a huge surprise to me and people around me saying, wow, really, what does that mean? Because the label of being autistic generally says this is somebody who can't communicate well with neurotypical people, because it's a different style of communication, it's a different way of processing the world, and so for a very long time I've been studying communication of neurotypical people through an outside lens, thinking what is it that this person is doing that is making this interaction successful? What are they? What's working here?

34:54 So as an example of this, I would look at people doing banter, sort of friendly banter, going back and forth and not being neurotypical myself. I would essentially see two people who are insulting each other and then laughing in each other's faces and I go OK, and they look happy about that. They're building a friendship out of it. And then I'd go and try it and people want to punch me in the face and I think, what? How, in a second? What have I done wrong? I just insulted you and laughed in your face. You didn't like it. Other people are doing it. I genuinely wouldn't understand it for a long time and then I realized, oh, hang on a second. There's an intention here. The person is intending to lift the other person. They're hoping that by the end of this interaction, the other person is going to feel lifted. They'll move them from a negative or a neutral state to a positive or a more positive state. Their intention is lift, and so I put that intention through this book that if you have the intention of lift when you go into any communication, then you can make sure that you're lifting yourself. Then, lifting the people around you, you can lift your message, you can lift your own mind. So that's where this whole idea of lift, your impact, comes from. So, in terms of lifting yourself, this is where I started off talking to people over the last few years. We've been doing it for many years, but much more so the last few years around. How do you get your mindset and yourself to a place where you're ready to be the best version of you in front of other people around you. So what can you do in terms of simple things to prime your mind before you go into an event and during an event that would allow you to be the best version of you? And there's various pieces that I talk to people about there, such as the inner voice, the monkey mind that we have. That's sometimes working against us.

36:30 Breathing techniques that you can do in order to enhance your state, and that's something actually, the breathing I was taught as an actor. Going back to my work as an actor in London, where I remember doing this very clearly with one of our acting coaches, where somebody was saying to her I don't understand how to do this play, because in this scene I am supposed to be laughing like it's the best day of my life, and then I go off stage and 10 seconds later I'm supposed to be crying like I'm completely devastated and it's the worst day of my life. How am I supposed to do that? And she said breathing. We all said what do you mean breathing? She said well, just think about it. Your breath is connected to your emotion. So if you get surprised, you gasp, or if you get depressed, you sigh. The breath is connected to your emotion. So you change your breath, you change your emotional state. And she would talk to teachers how to laugh on cue, how to cry on cue, through changing the breath. And so I brought that into coaching my clients, where they'll sometimes say, look, I'm feeling really panicked about this event coming up. Or they'd say to me you know, I'm feeling overwhelmed with a stage fright around this, I'm just generally anxious. And so I'd work on their breathing so that they could get to the place where they'd lifted themselves, ready to be in front of an audience such that they're truly able to be present and to connect with people. So that's the kind of the lifting yourself piece.

37:48 Then, in terms of lifting your message, this is where I'd say to people again your ideas, don't speak for yourself. You've got to understand the fundamentals of storytelling. And when people hear storytelling they think, okay, I get it. You're saying I should tell people about my weekend, or I should tell them about that holiday I took last year, or I should tell them about a historical anecdote that will plant my dear in their mind. And I say to them no, you want to talk to them about a spreadsheet, but using the power of a story. So if you understand how storytelling connects with the human mind and it connects with the survival mind, the emotional mind, the logical mind, and it does so in that order and if you can do that, then you can lift your message and lift the people around you to take action on your message.

38:27 And then the final piece that I talk about with people is about lifting your future. When you've done those pieces of lifting yourself, lifting your message, you then want to think about, actually, where am I heading long term and how do I make sure that my future is elevated beyond where it is today? What can I do? In those pieces? So it was really about giving people that lifted state themselves and generating a feeling of lift around them. So that's because I think there's so much online at the moment which is all about hustle, just hustle everything and just slam the competition into the ground and off you go and you can be the best. And I wanted to put out that message of, actually, if you're a lifted person and you lift the others around you, then actually you get a lifted future. So I think that's a better direction for people to head in.

39:09 - Speaker 1 I love that. Can you go back and just say that last part again?

39:14 - Speaker 2 Sure, I think if you lift yourself and you lift the people around you, then you end up with a lifted future, which is a much more worthwhile outcome.

39:21 - Speaker 1 I love that. Thank you for sharing that again In your work. I took a couple of notes here of things that I think are really important to take home for the listener, some things maybe that we could be doing really right or really wrong when it comes to nonverbal communication. You really talk about how your hands can help or hinder you. Can you walk us through maybe one of the biggest ways that speaking with your hands could be hurting our communication process could be hurting that engagement, that interview, that transaction, and what are some ways maybe that we can really think about using our hands to elevate, to lift what we're saying?

40:00 - Speaker 2 What are we doing, right or wrong? So I think in all the time that I've been working with clients all around the world, one of the biggest challenges I've come across is people saying I've been told by my boss or I've been told by someone that I mustn't use my hands, because if I use my hands I look like I'm just flapping around, so I never use them and so I refer them to a study. There was a whole series of studies done by Dr Susan Gold and Meadow, who was in the University of Chicago and she was studying the impact of gestures on our thoughts, and in one of these studies I believe I'm quoting this correctly they took a group of mathematicians and they took the people who were the highest scoring mathematicians in the class and they gave them an oral exam and they said we want you to sit on your hands and answer these math questions. And they answered them and they ended up getting the lowest scores of people in the test. Then they took the lowest scoring mathematicians in that class. They brought them in and they said we want you to move your hands as you're answering these questions, these math questions, and let's see what happens. And they ended up getting the highest scores, and so they found that there is there's a link between moving your hands and the speed of cognitive processing. So there's so many nerve endings going from the hands into the brain that if you are moving your hands while you're speaking, then you're speeding up your thought process.

41:16 Another interesting study that was done on this is if you take a look at TED Talks now, you can find TED Talks on exactly the same subject, with almost the same title, but one of them could have 10 million views and one of them only has a thousand views, and so there's some analysis done on this. What can you see that people are doing that makes some sort of impact, and they found that the ones that had more views on the same subject, putting everything else as equal is that the person would be doing around about two times as many gestures, and so we're very visually impacted as human beings. The largest nerve anywhere in the human body is the optic nerve, through which everything that we see is going in, and so if we see someone doing gestures that are congruent, that are useful for their message, then we get more engaged by what they're doing, and if you just look at a movie, you'll see that they'll change camera angle every three seconds to visually engage us, and so if someone is gesturing in a way that's useful, then we're more engaged, we're more likely to watch to the end and forward that video to somebody else. So, going back to your previous point, it's not just that you should just suddenly gesture all the time, because that's not going to work. It has to be congruent with your message, has to be useful with the message. Then, to come back to it like a specific skill on this one and this is my favorite one to teach, the sometimes blows people's minds where they say I have never heard that before and I'm so glad that I did. And we teach this to sales teams for various reasons, and we teach it to speakers as well, which is, very simply, if you think about, if imagine that that you were looking at a graph I always forget if we're married on here, but I'm going to do it the way that I think that you're going to see it on screen.

42:48 So if you, if you were to look at a graph on screen, on the left side of the screen, imagine, imagine you go to graph. If you think about which side of that graph would there be a zero, and which side would be 100. Just imagine there's a graph on the screen. You would imagine that on the right hand side of the screen is where the hundred is and the left hand side is where the zero is. And also, if you to see a graph where there's January on one side of the screen and December on the other side of the screen, where's the January going to be? The January is going to be on the left and the December is going to be on the right.

43:18 So what we know is that people see time. People see that the things that are on the left hand side of their vision are in the past and the things on the right hand side of their vision are in the future. And as I'm doing that, I'm gesturing the opposite way around, so I'm having to use my right hand to talk about the past and my left hand to talk about the future. What most people do is that they do the opposite, where they will say look everyone, the numbers are going in the right direction and you think, are they? That looks like it's going down. This is going to be a bad years, because they're sort of gesturing in the direction that looks right for them and it's not mimicking that their words.

43:54 If you take that into a context of a conversation, if you want to talk to people about your vision for the company, let's say then you can talk. Talk about using your right hand. You can say this is where we were in the past, that's what's been happening. You gesture in the middle and you say this is where we are right now. Then you use your left hand and say this is where I'd love us to go in the future. What you're doing there is painting such a clear visual picture. They are much more likely to buy into what you're saying because it feels congruent. Their brain says that looks right, that matches up.

44:24 - Speaker 1 I believe more of what this person has to say, because we have to really be conscious here of like switching left and right while we're delivering these impactful moments so that they land the way that we want them to. So it's just like we need to think about real life being in Zoom, or even on Zoom, because everything's going to be mirrored right.

44:42 - Speaker 2 Yes. So it's one of those things that when you are face to face with people, it's important to make sure that you're practicing it all the time. For me, out of all the techniques we teach, this one took the longest for me to master. Probably took me about 10 days of back and forth conversations and teachings I was doing with clients to get to the point where I now always think of my right hand as the past. I always think of my left hand as the future, and it's really powerful too for the priming people and influencing people towards an idea, because you can put negative things in the past and positive things in the future and they're more likely to make sense of it and believe in your ideas and move in your direction as a result.

45:20 - Speaker 1 Speaking of influencing people, I heard that you have this power phrase, power phrases. You recommend and teach people to have these power phrases to influence people, of what if, and this is how it works. Can you walk us through those two and how are they power phrases?

45:37 - Speaker 2 Sure, there's one more that I'll add to that as well, which is if nothing changes. So there's three key areas of the mind that you want to truly engage if you want to get somebody to understand the concept and want to take action on it. The first thing is you're talking to the survival mind and wanting to engage the pain aspect of the way that we think. And so if you say, look, this is what's happening right now, describing a problem, and you say to them if nothing changes? And suddenly what you're doing is you're taking whatever pain, they feel like a sabertooth tiger that's off in the distance and you're placing it right in front of them and saying if nothing changes, you're going to get eaten by this sabertooth tiger. And suddenly the survival mind says we've got to pay attention to this, tell me what we're going to do about it. Then you can have the phrase what if? What if it was possible for us to be able to head off in this direction, away from that sabertooth tiger, to achieve these things? And suddenly what you're doing with the phrase what if? Is you spark up the imagination and people can't disagree with you because you can't disagree with your own imagination. So they're just thinking yeah, I can see that in my imagination. That sounds fantastic. What if we could do this? Sounds great.

46:40 Then the logical mind perks up and says hang on a second. How do we even know this is going to happen? What am I supposed to do about it? Give me some evidence. And you say OK, you've gone from. If nothing changes, we're here. What if we could do this? This is how it works. And the logical mind says great, I'm getting what I need as well. This is amazing. The three main areas of the brain you want to light up have been lit up, and you've done it with three key phrases If nothing changes, what if? And this is how it works.

47:06 - Speaker 1 I want to ask one more question before we get to the final question, if I may. You hit on it earlier about how, at 44, later in life, you learned that you had autism. You were diagnosed with autism. What new information, I'm curious. What new information did this provide for you personally, for how you navigate your nonverbal communication and influence, if any at all? I feel like at 44, you're probably pretty set in your ways. It sounds like you've been very much on your path to understanding, teaching, learning, all these things and just life, 44 years. Did this really change anything for you at all? Or what kind of new light did this shine for you, especially in the nonverbal world?

47:45 - Speaker 2 Yeah, I think for me it really shone a light on why I'd been so fascinated with communication for so long and why I was able to look at things in a way that other people weren't, where I was able to come up with a study that I put forward a few years ago that got published in the Journal of Psychology, which was at the time one of, if not the largest study of its kind on communication. It made sense of why wasn't I able to come up with this piece where I could see something that was so clear to me that was not clear to other people, because sometimes the way that I'm viewing communication it's a bit like looking at Goldfish in a Goldfish bowl and I'm on the outside going, oh okay, that one's going over there, that one's doing this thing. If you're a Goldfish in the bowl, you're just swimming around, you're just doing it. You don't even think about it. So I remember when I went to it was Professor Adrian Fernum, who's the head of psychology at UCL in London. I said I want to do this study and he said look, that study's never going to work and it's just probably never. It's going to take us forever and it's just never going to get published. We spent 18 months designing it and we put it forward and he said just so, you know, this study is probably going to prove nothing, and if it does prove something, it might prove that what you think is true is actually false. And I said that's fine, I just want to see if this works. And then he sent me the paper and it was teamed and I made some changes to it and one of their team came back to me and said this will never get published because you've made these changes. And anyway, what probably happens? It takes like three or four months and they're going to review it and then they'll come back. They'll want some changes. It might be nine months before we even know if we're getting published or not. And it was about three weeks later that we found out we'd been published with no revisions.

49:20 And so I remember the head of statistics, who I'd worked with on this, who'd been working on statistics for studies like this for over 30 years. He came to me when we created these results and I was in a coffee shop in London and he passed me this piece of paper with our statistics and his hand was shaking and I said are you OK? Like what's happened today? What's going on with you? And he said look at these statistics. And I looked at it. It was just a page of numbers. I said this doesn't even mean anything to me. And I said why are you so excited? And he said in order for this to be a good study, you need a number on this page that's above one. You've got a 16. I've never seen that in my career, and to me what we proved was obvious, but to other people it was breakthrough information, and so I think that when I got diagnosed, it was.

50:06 - Speaker 1 Was he referring to statistical significance there? I'm curious. It was yeah, exactly.

50:10 - Speaker 2 So, in order for our results to be statistically significant, it had to be above one, and we'd managed to get a significant number, which is crucial.

50:16 - Speaker 1 Anybody looking at a study. That's one of the things you should be looking at first, so you're not just hearing extracted information about what they want to publicize. That is huge, it's amazing.

50:25 - Speaker 2 Yeah, and we generally didn't expect to get the results that we got, but it was huge, the results that I was aiming for. I thought I know that this will work, but I don't know how powerful it will be. And to give people some idea on this, one of the pieces we showed is that you can be the same person, wearing the same clothes, saying the same words, but if you made a couple of shifts that we looked at in this study, you can increase the number of people who vote for you in an election by 59%. Same person, same words, same clothes change a couple of behaviors. 59% more people vote for you in elections. So this could change the course of which direction a country goes in. And to me, the things we were teaching. I thought, of course, but it wasn't until when I got the autism diagnosis. I thought, oh, this is why I'm looking at communication through such a different lens.

51:13 - Speaker 1 It didn't change anything, Just gave you kind of a oh, that's why.

51:18 - Speaker 2 Exactly. That's why and I think actually in other ways, know myself more with understanding. Sometimes I go through a state of sensory overwhelm where I need to step back from a situation. I never really understood what that was about, but it's because I'm processing so much information at a level that other people aren't.

51:37 It's a bit like if I'm in a shopping mall and so on. I'm hearing all the information there, dialed up. So any volume that's around, any chatter, a coffee machine, people talking, the information coming off the radio is three or four times louder to me than it would be to somebody else. So when I'm processing all of that, that's a lot. What's helpful, though, is when I'm coaching a client one-on-one everything that's happening, every little nuance of what they're doing, facial expressions, the words, the tone of voice, what's happening on the screen, how they're moving back and forth. I'm able to process a lot of those things, take it in and share with them little changes that they could make. That would make a big difference, which has always been a blessing to work with them in those situations.

52:16 - Speaker 1 That sounds like a superpower. It really does. Well, richard, to bring it home, bring a full circle in the beginning of the podcast, ask how your work helps people move forward. Now I want to kind of bring that question home to you. How do you live a life ever forward? What does it mean to you, those two words ever forward?

52:34 - Speaker 2 So to me, what I always aim to be is the very best version of myself and moving forward on the journey that I have, and in my ever-forward journey, I have something as a pattern of what I do. I've got these yellow notebooks I carry with me everywhere. I've always used them. I've got a massive pile of them up over there. Oh, you've got a yellow notepad too. I never actually checked the data on this one, but I trust it. It was back in the 1990s.

52:58 I learned that if you write notes down on a yellow piece of paper you are much more likely to remember them than if it's on a white piece of paper.

53:04 So I've used yellow notepads ever since.

53:06 But every time I open a new one which is five or six times per year in the front of it, on the front page, first page of the notebook, I write down a story about where I am right now, where I would love to be, what that journey looks like and what action I'm going to take towards it.

53:20 And so I'm continuously on that journey ever-forward. And then I'll do visualizations and meditations a few times a week where I might go for a walk in the forest I mentioned earlier about these Harry Potter forests behind my house. So I go and conjure up my own magic by walking in there and imagining this story and what's going to happen and how I'll bring this all to life. And so I'm continuously thinking how do I need to grow, what part of me needs to come to life in order for this journey to happen? And being committed to that for me means that I feel purposeful in every single day, that I'm always moving forwards towards that greater future, in whatever way that may be. But it's always about growing me, because if I grow me, then I know that I'm going to grow the presence I have for other people, the father I'm able to be, the boss, that I'm able to be that sort of thing Amazing answer.

54:13 - Speaker 1 There's never a right or a wrong one, but I'm curious, after this episode, if we're going to see a spike in yellow notepads or yellow journals. That's a powerful stat to share. Thank you. Well, of course, we have everything listed down on the show. I know it's video notes for everybody, but where can they go right now to connect with you, learn more about what you got going on in the world?

54:31 - Speaker 2 Sure, so the website for most of the work that we do is ukbodytalkcom, so people can find out more about the coaching and speaking stuff that I do. People can find me on LinkedIn Richard Newman Body Talk, and we have a website for my book, liftyourimpactcom, and if people are on Instagram, then it's at Richard Newman Speaks.

54:51 - Speaker 1 Beautiful, Beautiful. Thank you so much.