Expert: Secret to tell if a politician is lying is in their non-verbal cues

CLEVELAND - Many think that as soon as a politician's lips move it means lies are coming out. But one of the nation's top executive coaches said the secret to who's telling the truth may be in their non-verbal cues.

Former NewsChannel5 anchor Connie Dieken, now president of Influence, Inc., said facial energy influences voters as much as, if not more than, words.

"The face is the most expressive part of the body and hardest for the ego to control. Facial energy is crucial in debates," explained Dieken.

The number one clue a politician may be lying? Their mannerisms, things they do that they aren't aware of.

Take Bill Clinton for example. He always wiped the corner of his nose when asked if he was having an affair. It was something he didn't even realize he did, Dieken said. "It showed he wasn't being completely honest with his answer."

On the verbal side, utterances or place holders and sounding too scripted can also be signs someone isn't completely telling the truth.

"If you don't sound authentic, you either overrehearsed, are scripted or you're lying," explained Dieken.

Repetitive words and putting the other candidate down to divert attention is another tell-tale sign of lying.

So, what is a politician to do? Dieken said it's all about the "magic move" -- how you position two muscles on the outside of your lips.

Put your index fingers at the corners of your lips and lift them up. Move your fingers away and that makes for the correct facial energy. Dieken again used Bill Clinton as the example, this time to illustrate he perfected this "magic move."

"You look like you're interested even if you're not," Dieken explained.

But vocal energy is equally important. "It's how you'll be looking at these candidates tonight. You don't want to have a dead voice."

When you use the "magic move," Dieken said it also enhances your voice, "making you sound alive."

"People get executive presence wrong all the time. Your presence is not what you look like, it's how you make people feel, and facial energy is part of that," explained Dieken. "You have this energy field all around you and people are experiencing you in different ways. It's not just what they think of you, it's what they think you think of them."

And because people experience you in a very different way then you intend, getting the right energy is vitally important.

"They think you're either angry, disinterested, totally disengaged. And you're told all the time that you're supposed to smile. But, the truth about your smile is it can do more damage than it does good if it's disingenuous."

As you watch tonight's debate, make sure you also voice your opinion by participating in our live web chat. NewsChannel5's John Kosich will be joined by Peter Lawson Jones (Democratic analyst) and Lee Weingart (Republican analyst) to discuss the conversation between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney.

You can participate in our web chat from 9 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. online, on your smartphone or tablet by downloading our app.

Dieken is the author of the book, "Talk Less, Say More," which lays out a three-step method to become more influential in your leadership.

Print this article Back to Top