Peter Collett, Dr.

Psychologist, Body Language Expert and former Oxford don

"body language guru" - The Guardian

 

Peter is a former Oxford don. For many years he was a member of staff at the Department of Experimental Psychology at Oxford University, where he taught and did research. His interests cover a broad range of topics, including body language, culture, management style and television audiences.

Peter has made numerous appearances on TV – in various documentaries, on News at Ten, Newsnight and This Morning. He was a resident psychologist on Big Brother for the first four series.

His books include 'Gestures: Their Origins and Distribution' (with Desmond Morris), 'Driving Passion: The Psychology of the Car' (with Peter Marsh) and 'Social Psychology at Work' (edited with Adrian Furnham).  Peter is the author of 'Foreign Bodies: A Guide to European Mannerisms'. His latest book is 'The Book of Tells: How To Read People’s Minds From Their Actions', which has been published in nine countries so far.

This formed the basis of Body Talk, a two-part TV series that he presented on Channel4. The first programme looked at the body language of power, the second at the signals of courtship.  During the last general election he presented What They’re Really Thinking, a Channel4 programme about the revealing mannerisms of British politicians. His analysis of the relationship between Ian Paisley and Martin McGuinness formed the basis of The Honeymooners, which was shown on BBC Northern Ireland.

This year Peter co-presented an eight-part series for Sky 1, entitled How To Get What You Want. He was also the body language expert for Sky News during the election. He has written articles for several newspapers and magazines, including The Times, Telegraph, Independent, Guardian, Daily Mail and New Statesman.

Peter has given talks to a range of organisations, including the CIPD, ICA, The Royal Institution, Cheltenham Science Festival, the British Science Association, the MOD, TimeWarner, HSBC, Unilever, Deloitte and the BHBIA (where he won an award for the best presentation at their winter conference).

For several years Peter has provided consultancy and done research projects on communication and marketing.  His clients have included Euromedia, First Direct, Crown Paints, Intel, Barclays Wealth and a number of advertising agencies.  He has also run training workshops for several clients, including J.P. Morgan and Invesco Perpetual.

  • LOUDER THAN WORDS: This talk sets out to give you an enhanced understanding of body language and how you can harness it to your professional and personal advantage.
  • EMBODIED LEADERSHIP: We explore the competing demands on leaders to appear both dominant and approachable, and how these challenges can be addressed by both male and female leaders.
  • THE DEEP PSYCHOLOGY OF WEALTH: In this talk Peter shows how the behaviour of animals can help us to understand why people display their wealth, how wealth is linked to wellbeing and reproductive success, and why people go to such lengths to
    avoid the appalling consequences of poverty.
  • DETECTING LIES AND DECEPTION: In this talk, we watch video clips of certain public figures and convicted criminals who’ve lied in front of the camera, unpacking the various body language and speech clues that gave them away. Finally, we create a checklist of the sorts of things you should look out for whenever you suspect that someone is trying to pull the wool over your eyes.
  • FOREIGN BODIES: This talk offers an exciting, illustrated tour of unusual cultural differences in greeting practices, body
    comportment, uses of personal space, facial expression and hand gestures, which, if they’re not recognised and properly understood, can readily give rise to serious misunderstanding, which in turn disrupts international business.

"It was a real honor and pleasure working with Peter and the event was a real success. After the conference we have received very good feedback and this is a sign that Peter is very welcome in Romania and the topics discussed during the conference were extremely appreciated by the audience...He was absolutely fantastic during the conference and as you mentioned, I also believe that he has a lot of other interesting subjects to present." -  Cristine Costin, Exective Partner, Twelve Corporate

"Many thanks for your excellent presentation at our London Conference last week. It was delivered with great style and we received very favorable feedback. Of course, you have made us all very self conscious of our stance, method of walking, tilt of head etc. It is a fascinating topic and I will now try to pay more attention to the signals I receive when talking to people." - Martin Barnes, Chief Economist BCA Research

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