Expert Q&A With

Joe Navarro

Joe Navarro spent 25 years at the FBI, working both as an agent and supervisor in the areas of counterintelligence and counterterrorism. Through his work he was able to study, refine and apply the science of non-verbal communications. His acumen in this field and his success as a spy-catcher, led Joe to begin training FBI agents and the intelligence community.

Today Joe Navarro is recognized as one of the world’s foremost authorities on reading non-verbal communications and is regularly interviewed on programs such as NBC’s Today Show, Fox News, ABC’s Good Morning America, CBS’ Early Show, and for publications such as The Washington Post and Psychology Today.

As an author, Joe Navarro writes regular monthly columns for a variety of publications. His books include Advanced Interviewing Techniques, co-authored with John Schafer and currently used by the FBI’s counterterrorism division, Hunting Terrorists: A Look at the Psychopathology of Terror, Read 'Em and Reap written with Marvin Karlins, and most recently What Every Body is Saying, also written with Marvin Karlins.

What does your website offer its visitors?

My website is a useful portal for events that I am participating in as well as the products that I have personally produced in the area of nonverbal communications or behavioral assessment. It is also a good landing place for ordering books for those who are interested be they from law enforcement or business.

When you were studying non-verbal communication in the FBI, which researchers helped you hone your skills?

We were blessed to have a very robust training budget. Obviously we read everything we could going back to Herodotus and his ethnography, and Diaz Barnal in the Americas as well as Ibn Batuta in the Middle East. In more recent times we read Darwin all the way up to Paul Ekman and his early work. We were able to train under Paul Ekman, Bella DePaulo, Judee Burgoon, David Givens, Joe Kulis, Mark Frank and numerous others who helped to shape our training. But in the end we found that practical experience also educated us. There is nothing like sitting two feet away from a spy or a psychopath and doing multiple interviews; no lab can replicate what you see there nor the smells.

What does your online Advanced Speed Reading People Course involve?

A lot of work. It is a very intense course which takes about 9 months to complete and a lot of writing on the part of the students. I take on only 20 out of every 100 applicants because it entails so much work from me also so I take on only those who will work hard.

Are there any universal tells that indicate someone is bluffing in Poker?

Poker Bluffing Tells

(Photo Credit: mensatic)

Yes, there are over 200 of them, some more accurate than others. For instance ventilating behaviors are extremely accurate in letting us know a person is under stress). For those who are interested they should check out, "200 Poker Tells."

Why are there so many myths associated with lie catching?

Because so many people think they are experts or they have see a behavior or heard about a behavior and they pass it on. People still believe if you touch your nose or look in a certain way you are lying and it is pure rubbish. The fact is that there are very few people in the world who are true experts. I think to be truly an expert you have to do the research, years of study, and then sit down in real cases with career criminals, psychopaths, anti-socials, con artists, terrorists, and spies to be able to call yourself an expert.

Your first fiction work "Enemies" is available on kindle, what was your inspiration for this book?

Enemies by Joe Navarro

I get several emails a week asking me to write about my experiences catching spies. I decided because for now I can't, I would write a short story based on one of my cases and how it all went down. I wanted to see if I could write it and if anyone was interested and apparently they were because I am writing another one.

(see following link for more details)


How does having an adept understanding of body language affect your private life?

It affects everything how I see the world, how I communicate with others, what others really mean is very clear to me, I can see intentions in advance of others and frankly it has kept us safe from con artists and used car dealers.

What have you got planned for the rest of 2012?

I lectured earlier at the Harvard Business School, at BMW in Germany, and in Bucharest, I was at the Wayne State University School of Medicine, and I have a Discovery Channel special coming up and I will do about 20 more lectures this year.

Learn More

Click Here to follow Joe Navarro on Facebook.

Click Here to follow Joe Navarro on Twitter.

Learn How to Spot a Liar & Avoid Getting Scammed

Essential Reading

What Every Body is Saying Joe Navarro

Book Details:

Read this book and send your nonverbal intelligence soaring. Joe Navarro, a former FBI counterintelligence officer and a recognized expert on nonverbal behavior, explains how to "speed-read" people: decode sentiments and behaviors, avoid hidden pitfalls, and look for deceptive behaviors. You'll also learn how your body language can influence what your boss, family, friends, and strangers think of you.

You will discover:

The ancient survival instincts that drive body language.

Why the face is the least likely place to gauge a person's true feelings.

What thumbs, feet, and eyelids reveal about moods and motives.

The most powerful behaviors that reveal our confidence and true sentiments.

Simple nonverbals that instantly establish trust.

Simple nonverbals that instantly communicate authority.

Filled with examples from Navarro's professional experience, this definitive book offers a powerful new way to navigate your world.

See following link for full details.

What Every BODY is Saying: An Ex-FBI Agent's Guide to Speed-Reading People

Go Back To The Main Body Language Expert Interviews Page

Go From Joe Navarro Back To The All About Body Language Homepage


Michael Jackson

Interesting Psychology

Body Language

Criminal Profiling

Psychology Student Guide

Behavioral Science