What Every BODY is Saying Summary

What Every BODY is Saying Summary
  • Book Name: What Every BODY is Saying
  • Author Names: Joe Navarro and Marvin Karlins
  • Publisher: William Morrow
  • Published Date: March 15, 2008
  • ISBN: 978-0061438295
  • Format: Paperback, Hardcover, eBook, Audiobook
  • Pages: : 272
  • Language: English
  • Genre: Non-fiction, Psychology, Body Language
  • Subjects: Nonverbal Communication, Human Behavior, Body Language Interpretation

Book Summary: What Every BODY is Saying by Joe Navarro and Marvin Karlins

What Every BODY is Saying Summary: “What Every BODY is Saying” by Joe Navarro and Marvin Karlins is a captivating non-fiction book in the psychology and self-help genre. Drawing upon Joe Navarro’s expertise as a former FBI counterintelligence agent, the book offers valuable insights into the art of nonverbal communication and body language interpretation.

In this eye-opening guide, Joe Navarro and Marvin Karlins shed light on the often overlooked language of the body. They reveal how our gestures, facial expressions, and postures can convey hidden messages and provide valuable clues about people’s thoughts, emotions, and intentions. By understanding and interpreting these nonverbal signals, readers can enhance their communication skills, improve relationships, and gain a deeper understanding of human behavior.

Discover the untold language that shapes our interactions and learn to decode the unspoken messages hidden in every gesture. In “What Every BODY is Saying” by Joe Navarro and Marvin Karlins, you’ll unlock the secrets of nonverbal communication, gaining a powerful advantage in understanding people’s true intentions and navigating the complex tapestry of human interactions. Get ready to uncover the fascinating world of body language and revolutionize the way you perceive and engage with the people around you.

What Every BODY is Saying Plot Summary

Chronological Overview of Major Events:

  • Introduction:
    • The book introduces the concept of nonverbal communication and emphasizes its importance in understanding and interpreting people’s thoughts, feelings, and intentions.
    • Navarro, a former FBI agent, shares his expertise and insights on reading body language effectively.
  • The Basics of Nonverbal Communication:
    • Navarro discusses the fundamental principles and components of nonverbal communication, including facial expressions, body movements, gestures, and vocal cues.
    • He explains how these nonverbal cues can convey emotions, attitudes, and hidden meanings.
  • Reading Facial Expressions:
    • The authors delve into the various facial expressions and microexpressions that can reveal a person’s true emotions, even when they try to conceal them.
    • Navarro provides guidance on identifying specific facial expressions and understanding their underlying messages.
  • Decoding Body Movements and Postures:
    • Navarro explores the significance of body movements and postures in nonverbal communication.
    • He discusses the implications of different stances, gestures, and body positions, revealing insights into a person’s level of comfort, confidence, or discomfort.
  • Understanding Vocal Cues:
    • The authors focus on vocal cues, such as tone of voice, speech patterns, and volume, as important indicators of a person’s emotional state and attitude.
    • Navarro provides strategies for analyzing vocal cues to gain a deeper understanding of individuals’ intentions and feelings.
  • Detecting Deception:
    • Navarro shares techniques for spotting deception through nonverbal cues.
    • He explores behaviors associated with lying, such as facial expressions, body language, and verbal inconsistencies, and provides tools for detecting signs of dishonesty.
  • Applying Nonverbal Communication Skills:
    • The authors discuss practical applications of nonverbal communication skills in various contexts, including personal relationships, professional settings, and negotiations.
    • Navarro offers advice on how to use nonverbal cues to build rapport, enhance communication, and improve overall understanding.
  • Conclusion:
    • The book concludes by emphasizing the power and importance of nonverbal communication in everyday interactions.
    • Navarro encourages readers to sharpen their observation skills and develop their understanding of body language for more effective communication and improved relationships.

Key Plot Points:

  • Major Conflict: The major conflict centers around the challenge of accurately interpreting nonverbal cues and understanding their underlying meanings in various social and professional contexts.
  • Turning Points:
    • The introduction of the significance of nonverbal communication sets the stage for readers to recognize its importance and seek to improve their understanding.
    • The exploration of specific aspects of nonverbal communication, such as facial expressions, body movements, and vocal cues, represents turning points where readers can gain practical knowledge and skills.
  • Climax: The climax occurs when the authors delve into the techniques for detecting deception through nonverbal cues, providing readers with tools to assess truthfulness and evaluate honesty in their interactions.

Subplots/Secondary Storylines:

  • The book incorporates real-life examples and case studies to illustrate the principles and techniques discussed.
  • Navarro’s background as an FBI agent and his experiences in reading body language and nonverbal cues provide additional context and credibility to the book’s teachings.
  • The authors explore the impact of cultural differences on nonverbal communication, highlighting the need for sensitivity and awareness when interpreting body language across diverse contexts.

Themes and Message 

The main themes or messages explored in the book “What Every BODY is Saying” by Joe Navarro and Marvin Karlins are:

  • Nonverbal Communication: The book focuses on the significance of nonverbal cues, such as body language, facial expressions, and gestures, in conveying meaning and understanding others.
  • Reading People: The book provides insights and techniques to interpret and understand the nonverbal signals people display, enabling readers to better assess emotions, intentions, and truthfulness.
  • Self-awareness and Presentation: The book emphasizes the importance of being aware of one’s own nonverbal communication and how it can impact interactions and perceptions of others.
  • Enhancing Communication and Relationships: The book offers practical strategies to improve communication skills and build better relationships by being more attuned to nonverbal cues.

Examples or evidence from the book to support each theme or message:

  • Nonverbal Communication:
    • The book delves into various aspects of nonverbal communication, including facial expressions, body movements, postures, eye contact, and hand gestures.
    • It provides specific examples and explanations of how different nonverbal cues can convey emotions, intentions, and attitudes.
  • Reading People:
    • The authors discuss the importance of baseline behaviors, clusters of nonverbal signals, and context in accurately interpreting nonverbal cues.
    • They provide case studies and examples where the analysis of nonverbal behavior has helped identify deception, discomfort, or hidden emotions.
  • Self-awareness and Presentation:
    • The book highlights the significance of self-awareness in managing one’s own nonverbal signals and how they can affect others’ perceptions.
    • It offers tips and exercises to improve self-awareness and align nonverbal communication with desired intentions.
  • Enhancing Communication and Relationships:
    • The authors provide strategies for improving active listening skills, empathetic responses, and building rapport through nonverbal cues.
    • They explain how understanding and responding to nonverbal signals can help foster trust, resolve conflicts, and strengthen relationships.

The significance or relevance of these themes in the context of the book:

“What Every BODY is Saying” is a comprehensive guide to understanding and utilizing nonverbal communication for enhanced interpersonal interactions and communication skills.

The exploration of nonverbal communication is significant because it accounts for a significant portion of human communication. By understanding and interpreting nonverbal cues, readers can gain a deeper understanding of others and their intentions, improving their ability to connect, collaborate, and communicate effectively.

The focus on reading people’s nonverbal signals offers practical tools to assess credibility, honesty, and emotions accurately. This can be particularly useful in professional settings, negotiations, or situations where understanding underlying emotions or intentions is crucial.

The emphasis on self-awareness and presentation highlights the importance of aligning one’s nonverbal communication with desired intentions and perceptions. By being aware of their own body language and nonverbal cues, individuals can enhance their personal impact and create positive impressions.

The strategies provided to enhance communication and relationships through nonverbal cues are highly relevant in various contexts, such as personal relationships, professional interactions, or leadership roles. Being attuned to nonverbal signals can help foster better understanding, empathy, and connection with others.

“What Every BODY is Saying” provides valuable insights and practical techniques for decoding and utilizing nonverbal communication effectively. It empowers readers to become more observant, empathetic, and skilled communicators, ultimately improving their relationships and interactions with others.

Writing Style and Tone

Joe Navarro and Marvin Karlins’ “What Every BODY is Saying” adopts a straightforward and informative writing style. The authors present their knowledge in a concise and accessible manner, making it easy for readers to understand and apply the concepts discussed. The book’s style emphasizes clarity and practicality, focusing on delivering actionable insights rather than embellishing the prose with poetic or descriptive elements. Navarro and Karlins prioritize conveying information effectively, ensuring that readers grasp the nuances of nonverbal communication.

The tone of “What Every BODY is Saying” can be described as educational and instructive. Navarro and Karlins approach the topic of nonverbal communication with a seriousness that reflects their expertise and the importance of the subject matter. The tone is neither light-hearted nor suspenseful but rather thought-provoking, as the authors delve into the intricacies of body language and its impact on our interactions with others. They aim to empower readers by providing valuable insights into deciphering nonverbal cues and improving their communication skills.

One of the unique narrative techniques employed by Navarro and Karlins in “What Every BODY is Saying” is the integration of real-life examples and anecdotes. They draw from their extensive experience in the field of nonverbal communication, sharing stories that illustrate the principles discussed in the book. These anecdotes help readers visualize and understand how body language manifests in different situations, reinforcing the practical application of the concepts.

Additionally, the authors utilize visual aids such as illustrations, diagrams, and photographs to complement the text. These visual elements enhance the learning experience by providing visual references to the nonverbal cues being discussed. By incorporating visuals, Navarro and Karlins cater to different learning styles and reinforce their explanations, ensuring readers grasp the subtleties of body language more effectively.

In summary, “What Every BODY is Saying” by Joe Navarro and Marvin Karlins presents a straightforward writing style that prioritizes clarity and practicality. The tone is educational and thought-provoking, as the authors aim to provide readers with valuable insights into nonverbal communication. The book employs narrative techniques such as real-life examples and visual aids, enhancing the learning experience and facilitating the application of the concepts discussed.

Book you may also like

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  • “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion” by Robert Cialdini – Cialdini delves into the principles of persuasion and the psychological triggers that influence human behavior, shedding light on how body language and other cues can be used effectively to persuade and influence others.
  • “Emotional Intelligence” by Daniel Goleman – Goleman explores the concept of emotional intelligence, emphasizing the importance of self-awareness, empathy, and social skills in understanding and effectively communicating with others.
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What is “What Every BODY is Saying” about?

“What Every BODY is Saying” is a book that explores nonverbal communication and body language. Joe Navarro, a former FBI counterintelligence officer, and Marvin Karlins provide insights into how people’s body language can reveal their true thoughts, feelings, and intentions. The book offers practical guidance on how to read and interpret nonverbal cues in various social and professional contexts.

Why is nonverbal communication important?

Nonverbal communication plays a crucial role in our daily interactions. It can convey emotions, attitudes, and intentions that may not be expressed verbally. Understanding nonverbal cues allows individuals to better interpret and respond to others, enhance their communication skills, and build stronger relationships. “What Every BODY is Saying” helps readers develop this awareness and improve their ability to understand nonverbal signals.

Does “What Every BODY is Saying” provide practical examples of nonverbal cues?

Yes, “What Every BODY is Saying” provides numerous practical examples of nonverbal cues. Joe Navarro draws from his experiences as an FBI agent to illustrate how different body language gestures, facial expressions, and movements can indicate specific emotions and attitudes. The book includes photographs and descriptions of nonverbal cues to help readers recognize and interpret them effectively.

Can “What Every BODY is Saying” be useful for personal relationships?

Yes, “What Every BODY is Saying” can be useful for personal relationships. The book’s insights into nonverbal communication can help individuals better understand the thoughts, feelings, and intentions of their loved ones. By recognizing nonverbal cues, readers can foster more effective communication, build trust, and deepen their connections in personal relationships.

Can “What Every BODY is Saying” help individuals become better lie detectors?

“What Every BODY is Saying” provides insights into nonverbal cues that can indicate deception or hidden emotions. However, it is important to note that accurately detecting lies is a complex task, and nonverbal cues alone are not foolproof indicators of deception. The book offers guidance on recognizing inconsistencies and clusters of behaviors that may suggest deception, but it is not a comprehensive guide to lie detection.

Is “What Every BODY is Saying” accessible to readers without a background in psychology?

Yes, “What Every BODY is Saying” is written in a clear and accessible manner, making it suitable for readers without a background in psychology. Joe Navarro and Marvin Karlins present the information in a practical and understandable way, using relatable examples and avoiding technical jargon. The book’s focus is on providing practical insights and tips rather than delving into complex psychological theories.


“What Every BODY is Saying” is a book that explores nonverbal communication and body language. It provides insights into how our bodies unconsciously convey thoughts, emotions, and intentions, covering topics such as facial expressions, gestures, postures, and microexpressions.

The book has a significant impact as it uncovers the hidden messages behind body language, enabling readers to better understand human behavior and enhance their communication skills. By decoding nonverbal cues, readers can improve their interpersonal relationships and become more effective in their interactions.

I highly recommend reading “What Every BODY is Saying” to gain valuable knowledge and practical techniques for interpreting and utilizing body language. Whether you want to improve your social or professional interactions, this book offers valuable insights. If you have read the book or have thoughts on the summary, I encourage you to share your experiences and engage in discussions about the power of nonverbal communication.

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