On any given day we’re lied to from 10 to 200 times, and the clues to detect those lie can be subtle and counter-intuitive. Pamela Meyer, author of Liespotting, shows the manners and “hotspots” used by those trained to recognize deception — and she argues honesty is a value worth preserving.

Pamela Meyer – How To Spot A Liar

Liespotting: Proven Techniques to Detect Deception

0:11 Okay, now I don’t want to alarm anybody in this room, but it’s just come to my attention that the person to your right is a liar.

0:20 (Laughter)

0:22 Also, the person to your left is a liar. Also the person sitting in your very seats is a liar. We’re all liars. What I’m going to do today is I’m going to show you what the research says about why we’re all liars, how you can become a liespotter and why you might want to go the extra mile and go from liespotting to truth seeking, and ultimately to trust building.

Pamela Meyer

Pamela Meyer

0:45 Now, speaking of trust, ever since I wrote this book, “Liespotting,” no one wants to meet me in person anymore, no, no, no, no, no. They say, “It’s okay, we’ll email you.”

0:57 (Laughter)

0:59 I can’t even get a coffee date at Starbucks. My husband’s like, “Honey, deception? Maybe you could have focused on cooking. How about French cooking?”

1:08 So before I get started, what I’m going to do is I’m going to clarify my goal for you, which is not to teach a game of Gotcha. Liespotters aren’t those nitpicky kids, those kids in the back of the room that are shouting, “Gotcha! Gotcha! Your eyebrow twitched. You flared your nostril. I watch that TV show ‘Lie To Me.’ I know you’re lying.” No, liespotters are armed with scientific knowledge of how to spot deception. They use it to get to the truth, and they do what mature leaders do everyday; they have difficult conversations with difficult people, sometimes during very difficult times. And they start up that path by accepting a core proposition, and that proposition is the following: Lying is a cooperative act. Think about it, a lie has no power whatsoever by its mere utterance. Its power emerges when someone else agrees to believe the lie.

1:57 So I know it may sound like tough love, but look, if at some point you got lied to, it’s because you agreed to get lied to. Truth number one about lying: Lying’s a cooperative act. Now not all lies are harmful. Sometimes we’re willing participants in deception for the sake of social dignity, maybe to keep a secret that should be kept secret, secret. We say, “Nice song.” “Honey, you don’t look fat in that, no.” Or we say, favorite of the digiratti, “You know, I just fished that email out of my Spam folder. So sorry.”

2:32 But there are times when we are unwilling participants in deception. And that can have dramatic costs for us. Last year saw 997 billion dollars in corporate fraud alone in the United States. That’s an eyelash under a trillion dollars. That’s seven percent of revenues. Deception can cost billions. Think Enron, Madoff, the mortgage crisis. Or in the case of double agents and traitors, like Robert Hanssen or Aldrich Ames, lies can betray our country, they can compromise our security, they can undermine democracy, they can cause the deaths of those that defend us.

3:07 Deception is actually serious business. This con man, Henry Oberlander, he was such an effective con man, British authorities say he could have undermined the entire banking system of the Western world. And you can’t find this guy on Google; you can’t find him anywhere. He was interviewed once, and he said the following. He said, “Look, I’ve got one rule.” And this was Henry’s rule, he said, “Look, everyone is willing to give you something. They’re ready to give you something for whatever it is they’re hungry for.” And that’s the crux of it. If you don’t want to be deceived, you have to know, what is it that you’re hungry for?

3:40 And we all kind of hate to admit it. We wish we were better husbands, better wives, smarter, more powerful, taller, richer — the list goes on. Lying is an attempt to bridge that gap, to connect our wishes and our fantasies about who we wish we were, how we wish we could be, with what we’re really like. And boy are we willing to fill in those gaps in our lives with lies.

4:05 On a given day, studies show that you may be lied to anywhere from 10 to 200 times. Now granted, many of those are white lies. But in another study, it showed that strangers lied three times within the first 10 minutes of meeting each other.

4:19 (Laughter)

4:21 Now when we first hear this data, we recoil. We can’t believe how prevalent lying is. We’re essentially against lying. But if you look more closely, the plot actually thickens. We lie more to strangers than we lie to coworkers. Extroverts lie more than introverts. Men lie eight times more about themselves than they do other people. Women lie more to protect other people. If you’re an average married couple, you’re going to lie to your spouse in one out of every 10 interactions. Now, you may think that’s bad. If you’re unmarried, that number drops to three.

 More from Liespotting: Proven Techniques to Detect Deception book below


People–friends, family members, work colleagues, salespeople–lie to us all the time. Daily, hourly, constantly. None of us is immune, and all of us are victims. According to studies by several different researchers, most of us encounter nearly 200 lies a day.

Now there’s something we can do about it. Pamela Meyer’s Liespotting links three disciplines–facial recognition training, interrogation training, and a comprehensive survey of research in the field–into a specialized body of information developed specifically to help business leaders detect deception and get the information they need to successfully conduct their most important interactions and transactions.

Some of the nation’s leading business executives have learned to use these methods to root out lies in high stakes situations. Liespotting for the first time brings years of knowledge–previously found only in the intelligence community, police training academies, and universities–into the corporate boardroom, the manager’s meeting, the job interview, the legal proceeding, and the deal negotiation.


Learn communication secrets previously known only to a handful of scientists, interrogators and intelligence specialists.

Liespotting reveals what’s hiding in plain sight in every business meeting, job interview and negotiation:

– The single most dangerous facial expression to watch out for in business & personal relationships

– 10 questions that get people to tell you anything

– A simple 5-step method for spotting and stopping the lies told in nearly every high-stakes business negotiation and interview

– Dozens of postures and facial expressions that should instantly put you on Red Alert for deception

– The telltale phrases and verbal responses that separate truthful stories from deceitful ones

1, 2  - View Full Page