Vanessa Van Edwards

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Founder of Science of People and Bestselling Author

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4 Video(s) By This Presenter

About Vanessa
Motivational Keynote
Speaker Reel

9 Programs By This Presenter

Better communication skills pay dividends in every conversation for the rest of your life. There are no downsides to becoming a better communicator, but the upsides may be more powerful than we know. Studies show that people with high interpersonal intelligence (PQ) perform at higher levels, have higher salaries, have better immune systems, and help generate more revenue for companies they work for. In this research-based and reflective keynote, Vanessa Van Edwards teaches attendees powerful communication strategies based on new science that they can apply at work and in their personal lives. Pulling from her bestselling books Captivate and Cues, she shares the latest research on behavioral psychology and how it can be used to improve professional relationships, make positive and lasting impressions, and better connect with co-workers and customers. Audiences are left with a better understanding of their own communication pitfalls and the knowledge and confidence to apply new tools to become more authentically charismatic in their interactions.

Key learning objectives include:

  • Improving communication across teams and organizations by understanding the hidden signs and signals embedded in day to day interactions, whether internal or external.
  • Why warmth and competence cues are the keys to balanced and successful communication.
  • The pitfalls of using the wrong cues and why they slow down productivity and strain relationships.
  • How to strike the right balance between trust and power, likeability and productivity, collaboration and capability.
  • The (surprising) science of charisma and how to use it to make memorable first impressions, craft a confident presence, and improve communication with colleagues, clients, and customers.
  • Mastering the art and science of engagement across all communication modes.
  • The new science of conversation and how to talk to anyone without falling into the pattern of using tired social scripts, making for more captivating conversations.

Great leadership boils down to influence earned through moments of connection. Communication is the vehicle of influence. Being an effective communicator is more than speaking eloquently. It’s the ability to engage the uninspired, win trust, gain credibility, assuage worries in every interaction, and develop relationships through intentional communication. In this keynote, Vanessa Van Edwards explores the behavioral economics of leadership. She reveals how powerful communication tactics and specific learned personality strengths can supercharge our influence, equipping us to be more successful leaders. Attendees learn about the charisma scale, an effective tool for mastering balanced communication, and other applicable leadership tools that accelerate the connectedness of teams, improve individual productivity and outcomes, strengthen company culture, and ultimately advance business performance. 

Key learning objectives include:

  • The fascinating neuroscience that sets great leaders apart. 
  • Developing and maintaining a captivating presence, both virtually and in-person. 
  • The leadership principles that extend to all areas of life and how to effectively apply them in a personal and professional capacity.
  • The verbal cues of powerful communicators and how to practice inspired communication.
  • Successful verbal and non-verbal techniques to project warmth and competence. 

Did you know that people have unique work personalities? Understanding our individual and collective work personalities can help develop quick connections with colleagues and business partners alike. As workplaces become more collaborative, effective and symbiotic work relationships are needed now more than ever, yet connectedness has become more elusive with the rise of hybrid and virtual teams. High-functioning teamwork does not happen accidentally; it is cultivated and improved by unlocking and understanding the Five Work Traits. In this presentation, Vanessa Van Edwards shows attendees how they can supercharge their people skills with their teams and in business by understanding the five science-based aspects of personality. Participants will be able to apply these concepts to nurture their collaboration, build a culture of trust, and unlock innovation that only happens with greater openness and understanding. This keynote provides an avenue for teams to reset, build rapport, and cultivate shared language and ideas.

Key learning objectives include:

  • The five important traits inherent to every personality: openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism.
  • Understanding how openness affects a team’s willingness to consider new ideas.
  • Learning about how team members’ conscientiousness affects individual efficiency and group productivity.
  • Fostering better ways to connect by understanding extraversion levels.
  • Understanding how increasing team agreeableness supercharges collaboration and creativity.
  • Better ways to prevent and work through difficult tasks and conversations by understanding team neuroticism.


Warmth and competence are two of the most important qualities of effective sales communication. Some people naturally appear warm and competent. For those who do not, the good news is these qualities can be nurtured. In this keynote, Vanessa Van Edwards shares the new research behind the science of people that helps salespeople, agents, advisors, sales support, and project managers approach any sales situation strategically and with confidence. Attendees learn how to read people, anticipate and overcome objections, make people feel comfortable voicing concern, tactically use verbal and nonverbal cues to their advantage, and ultimately create buy-in from customers. Participants will walk away with a deep understanding of how people open up and commit to relationships, ideas, products, and services, and the practical techniques they can implement immediately that will set them apart on their sales journey.

Key learning objectives include:

  • Which body language cues instantly increase trust and charisma.
  • Which vocal cues make us sound more confident and influential.
  • Which verbal cues to use in our communications and emails to increase trust (and generate excitement about the interaction).
  • How to detect emotions to gauge a person’s interest, anticipate objections, and create a sales environment that’s comfortable for the customer. 

Cues are all around us. The best cues are strategically used to elicit desired emotions from their intended audience. Understanding how to identify and creatively use the best cues in our marketing, ad campaigns, and social profiles leaves a lasting imprint on audiences. In this presentation, Vanessa Van Edwards breaks down her analysis of the cues that marketers can use to target the right customers and amplify campaigns. Audiences are equipped with the latest research on behavioral psychology so that they can approach organizational messaging, branding, and campaign strategies with proven psychological strategies. 

Increasingly, employees say they quit their managers, not their companies. Effective leadership has never been as important for employee satisfaction and retention as it is now. In this workshop, Vanessa Van Edwards shares the qualities needed in effective leaders, whether they are new managers or C-Suite executives. She dives into the practical communication tools that help motivate, inspire, and build trust with in-person, hybrid, and virtual teams. When implemented, these tools lead to happier, more collaborative, and more productive teams. 


Our desire for community and connection doesn’t end at work. While connection with colleagues looks different from purely personal connections, having authentic and healthy connections in the workplace is one of the main determinants of productivity and workplace satisfaction. While the increase of virtual mediums presents an added challenge, creating meaningful connections is possible. In fact, there’s a science-based blueprint to fostering connections quickly and maintaining them with professional intention. In this presentation, Vanessa Van Edwards teaches the three levels of connection that build trust and rapport. These principles can be applied at work, within teams, at conferences, and while networking, with colleagues and customers alike. Each level builds on the next, providing insight and tools on how to deepen relationships. Along with gaining a deeper understanding of the levels of connection, attendees will learn the practice of creating a safe space for vulnerability and ideas. 

Key learning objectives include:

  • How to start a conversation with anyone and build immediate rapport using the conversation blueprint. 
  • Conversation starters that break down barriers and social scripts, encouraging openness and trust. 
  • The powerful psychological concept “The Swan Effect” and how it helps stimulate connectedness through openness and vulnerability. 

Did you know that oxytocin, the hormone that stabilizes mood and makes us feel connected, still fires over virtual mediums? That means that video calls, email, and chat–when used effectively–can positively influence our moods and others’ reactions to us. Just as we can learn to master in-person communication, we can learn how to transform our digital communication skills to improve relationships, promote connectedness, and develop trust. In this keynote, Vanessa Van Edwards taps into her years of research on human behavior to teach individuals how to master virtual mediums. Through digital mastery, attendees are equipped to set the tone for each interaction, run productive meetings, and connect in deeper ways once thought unimaginable when not in-person. 

Key learning objectives include:

  • How to use research-backed verbal and nonverbal cues to maintain charisma on video calls, phone calls, email, and chat.
  • How to run productive and engaging digital meetings (and avoid awkwardness traps).
  • How to successfully engage with different work styles on digital platforms.
  • How to use digital communication strategies to prevent video fatigue and burnout.
  • The best tips and strategies for effective video call setups.


Did you know that at least 60% of human communication is nonverbal? Yet we spend most of our time agonizing over what we say, rather than how we say it. By understanding and using nonverbal cues, we become more effective communicators virtually and in-person. Whether we’re aware of it or not, humans send each other hundreds of nonverbal signals in every interaction. Learning to control and decode these signals gives us a huge communication advantage. In this talk, Vanessa Van Edwards dives into the science of nonverbal communication. Attendees will learn how to leverage body language cues to improve their charisma, presence, and confidence, as well as vocal power–a hidden, but essential aspect of nonverbal communication. They will be equipped with people reading skills and communication strategies that will help them become adaptive, relatable, and persuasive, no matter the situation. This keynote can be delivered with a focus solely on digital communication or a mix of all communication modes–email, video, in-person, chats, phone and text.

Key learning objectives include:

  • The key cues to use in every interaction.
  • How to read people, uncover hidden emotions, and which body language cues can instantly increase trust and charisma.
  • The external cues to use to project confidence and trust.



That was fabulous – thank you!! We had people on the live stream from all across the world. I saw people in India, Costa Rica, Egypt, Spain, and our different offices in the U.S. Your energy was excellent – everyone was completely engaged – there were so many comments in the chat and people were sharing lots of great information. It really built an amazing feeling of community and connectedness.”

— Principal Strategic Communications Leader, Amazon

The session is super informative and helpful. It’s also impressive that a remote webinar could be so interactive and engaging”

— Human Resources Wrangler, Automattic

Vanessa delivered a virtual workshop to our team focused on “Beating Burnout & Building Optimism in a Virtual Workplace” and it was a HUGE success. Vanessa’s method rooted in science and research really resonated with my team. She offered practical tactics and exercises that we’ve adopted on our team and put into practice on a daily basis. Her expertise, energy, and passion for the subject matter kept our entire team engaged and interactive. We received such high praise from the team that we’ll definitely be bringing Vanessa back to train us again!”

— Chief of Staff, Microsoft

RAVE reviews all around for the workshop with Vanessa”

— Medical Affairs Team, Dompé Pharmaceuticals

I wanted to say thank you for your talk at GLS and let you know how what an amazingly, wonderful job you did! I loved your warmth and vulnerability with how you shared your message and was so impressed with it. My husband attended GLS with his team and they had never gotten to hear you speak before. Most of them told him it was their favorite talk of the day… and they couldn’t believe I had been able to hear you in-person before! My team is currently reading Cues and just finished our talk on chapter two, and discussed how many applicable concepts there are, with some being freeing for the team in their personal lives. I would like to thank you for the impact you have had and are continuing to have in our lives.”

— Betenbough Companies

“Vanessa was phenomenal, and the highest rated speaker out of the three we had.”

— ‎President & Executive Director, ‎Independent Insurance Agents of Texas (IIAT)

Wow! Vanessa Van Edwards well exceeded any expectations we had going into our virtual engagement with her.  Her charismatic style and practical examples engaged our audience from start to finish of the 90 minutes we were together. While we were physically apart, we were virtually together as she pulled us in and got us involved through exercise and chat. The response from our group has been like no other in my experience of over 20+ years.  The unsolicited texts, emails and social media messages continue to come in raving about Vanessa.  We look forward to the opportunity of inviting Vanessa back to work with our team again”

— Director, Execution & Innovation, Insurance and Financial Services Company

When we considered who to have speak at our International Sales Kickoff Vanessa was at the top of our list.  And through the entire engagement she did not disappoint. In particular, Vanessa worked very hard to understand the unique challenges facing Winchester’s team and then leveraging her research and experience to help address those challenges.  Vanessa’s obvious commitment to making her subject matter relevant to the environment we found ourselves in made her presentation especially impactful.


To say that during the session with our team that Vanessa was enthusiastic, passionate and engaged is an understatement. Her dynamic style of presentation allowed her to fluidly incorporate questions and comments from the team and keep everyone energized. Perhaps the greatest compliment I can give Vanessa is that many elements of her presentation have made their way into the everyday conversation within Winchester months later.  “

— Director, Sales and Marketing, Winchester Interconnect

Vanessa moved mental mountains for me when I first heard her speak in 2015, so much so that I invited her to speak to my leadership team years later. I found her lessons on the science of people to be very real, tangible, and applicable to any situation in the workplace or at home. When she speaks, she strikes a balance between lightheartedness and sincerity that makes you feel from deep within that she’s being authentic and inviting you to do the same when connecting with others. I would recommend Vanessa for any event, where you wish to get your audience thinking differently about how to drive cultural change and create natural leaders.”

— Director, Strategy and Operations, Nike

Vanessa Van Edwards’ presentation at our annual conference was one of the most forward-thinking and engaging presentations I’ve seen in years. She did a great job of tailoring it to the osteopathic medical education community – everyone agreed they felt like she was speaking directly to them. That’s not easy to do, but she did it with grace and humor, a wonderful combination. She also offered numerous practical tips and exercises to build and enhance communication. In fact, I’ve used it to give feedback since the presentation, helping people to have a good balance of warmth and competence! We received such positive comments after her remarks that we will certainly be looking for ways to engage with her again.”

— President and CEO, American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine

I just wanted to let you know that all throughout the conference, people were talking about your keynote and how great it was. I also heard from many long time attendees that it was the best keynote we have ever had and that it was especially great that your message gave us all something to work on and try immediately during the conference.”

— Director of Personnel Services, Santa Clara County Fire Department

That was the fastest three hour presentation I’ve ever attended. Terrific!”

— Solutions Architect, Demand Solutions Group

The presentation was both interesting and valuable. I have received many compliments on you as a speaker.”

— Chief Operating Officer, Sussman Shank LLPs

Our time with Vanessa was amazing!  She is charismatic and engaging, and her research is as actionable as it is fascinating.  For a team tasked with generating over $1 billion of Univision’s annual revenue, we constantly look for tools that get us to the finish line faster and easier, and Vanessa’s insights are at the top of that list.  Highly recommend her”

— Head of Global Distribution, Univision

“The Science of People with Vanessa exceeded all expectations! She did a wonderful job tailoring the content to our training needs & providing relatable examples based on the information we shared prior to the session. Her energy captivated the audience and she sent everyone off with actionable takeaways that they could start applying in their day to day immediately.”

— Enterprise Customer Success Manager, Team Lead, Samsara
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