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Pamela  Barnum

Pamela Barnum

Former Undercover Police Officer & Federal Prosecuting Attorney, Trust Strategist & Nonverbal Communication Expert


Imagine what it would be like to live as a different person with a different name, identity, and background. For months at a time, you’re living with a false identity, and your success depends on building trust and detecting deception with some of the most dangerous people imaginable. That’s precisely what Pamela Barnum did for years working undercover in the Drug Enforcement Section. She learned real-world techniques for building trust and interpreting body language. Read More >

When Pamela graduated from law school, she left policing and accepted a position as a federal prosecuting attorney. She spent countless hours in the courtroom, perfecting her proficiency as a trust strategist and body language expert.

Following a successful 20-year career in the criminal justice system, Pamela studied corporate negotiations in graduate school. Now, she shares her expertise with others, teaching them how to improve their communication skills to increase trust inside corporations, associations, and law enforcement agencies.

As a nonverbal communication expert and trust strategist, Pamela delivers techniques once thought of as a “secret second language” that participants can begin using immediately.

Take decades of experience, including working deep undercover in narcotics, followed by a rewarding legal career, and you get real-world strategies that help participants crack the code on trust and improve professional relationships using proven field-tested techniques.

Pamela shares her experience, research, and expertise with humor, candor, and energy, blending actionable strategies with memorable stories.

She is also a featured expert and contributor in print media, radio and television news programs in Canada and the United States. She has appeared in person in front of audiences ranging from 50 -12,000 and on countless virtual stages. Read Less ^

Speaker Videos

What Drug Dealers Taught Me About Trust | Pamela Barnum | TEDxCollingwood

Body Language Expert | Pamela Barnum

3D Strategies, Trust, and Collaboration | Pamela Barnum

Speech Topics

Crack the Code on Trust: Insider Techniques for Leaders

Studies show that the higher the level of trust, the more successful the outcome will be. Read More >

Nonverbal communication is a significant data source used to make decisions around trust.

Using insider techniques, Pamela will help you and your organization Crack the Code on Trust by learning to: Read Less ^

  • Accurately assess others' nonverbal cues (body language). Discover and learn strategies used to build trust quickly and easily with anyone, including demanding clients, difficult customers, and challenging stakeholders.
  • Behave in a way that communicates confidence and trustworthiness in every situation.
  • Develop nonverbal communication techniques that make people feel validated and appreciated.
  • Create an environment that fosters authenticity and trust - turning first impressions into winning impressions.

Conflict & Violence Reduction in the Workplace

Studies show that workplace conflict and violence continues to increase year over year and has become so commonplace that most fail to report it. The cumulative effect of violence creates burnout and contributes to organizational failure. Read More >

While enhanced security measures are one solution, the costs can be staggering. However, using what is currently already available in many workplaces and training employees to decode others' nonverbal cues for indicators of violence while using proven de-escalation techniques is a cost and time-effective solution.

Using insider techniques learned in law enforcement and the latest research, participants will learn how to: Read Less ^

  • Correctly interpret others' nonverbal cues in a dynamic environment that can shift toward violence at a moment's notice. When cues are recognized, you can react using strategies to de-escalate and limit exposure to violence.
  • Perform in a way that communicates calm control. Using nonverbal communication that displays confidence and empathy that makes people feel validated and appreciated will set the tone for a culture of safety founded on trust. Participants will be given several tools they can begin using immediately.
  • Design an environment that fosters safety and trust, thereby stimulating high confidence and performance in the people who work for and with them.

3D Trust in a 2D World: Innovative Approaches to Enhance Trust Virtually

Within milliseconds, people judge your confidence, competence, and credibility. Virtual events and meetings enhance the subtle nuances that either improve or destroy your trustworthiness. Read More >

Participants will discover: Read Less ^

  • The in-person communication techniques that do not translate to virtual meetings and how to avoid awkward moments and "Zoom fatigue."
  • Nonverbal techniques and platforms leaders can use to increase engagements during the meeting or event.
  • The top three nonverbal techniques that increase trust and the top three that damage trust during virtual events and meetings - and they aren't what you think.

Increase Trust While Navigating Change

Leading through chaos is a valuable skill for any organization. The military concept SMEAC, or the Five Paragraph Order, is an organizational concept Pamela learned as a police officer. She has modified it to include field-tested strategies and cutting-edge research your team can use to increase trust while navigating change. Read More >

Situation: The current truth.

What is the current reality concerning the change taking place? Get clarity on your situation using a short and straightforward exercise. Attendees will participate in an interactive or introspective activity dependent on your organizational culture.

Mission: The objective.

What do you want to achieve, and why do you want to achieve it? The mission of increasing trust will be woven into the custom presentation, ensuring the organizational goal is emphasized throughout the program.

Execution: The “how.”

What is the game plan for accomplishing the mission? Specific trust-building strategies will be outlined and practiced throughout the program.

Administration: The means.

What resources already exist, and what additional resources do we need? Every leader has underutilized talents and resources.

Communication: The key to trust.

How to display and decode trust-building communication cues? Nonverbal communication is the secret second language undercover officers use to establish trust. Receive practical tools to communicate trust while navigating unprecedented change. Read Less ^

Negotiation Techniques for Success: Understanding the Barriers that Derail Negotiations

Even when we carefully plan for a negotiation, a very different outcome happens because we get caught up in the "heat of the moment." Read More >

Why do our negotiation plans go astray, and how can we keep them on track? Have you ever wondered:

  • How to manage the influences that might derail you in a negotiation?
  • How to overcome the anxiety that you sometimes feel at the bargaining table?
  • How to interpret your counterparts' reactions during a negotiation?

In this session, participants will better understand how to keep negotiations from being sidetracked in ways we often fail to anticipate:

Strengths within ourselves: include our beliefs about our competencies and abilities, the effects of emotions on unrelated decisions, and the consequences of having an overly narrow focus when evaluating information and making decisions.

1. Forces from our relationships with others: These include our inability to put ourselves in others' shoes; how sharing superficial features with someone (such as having the same first name) colors our viewpoint and decisions; and how we are affected by comparing ourselves to others.

2. Influences from the outside world: These include the effects of irrelevant information on our decisions, why subtle differences in the way a question is framed can lead to different solutions, and how the structure of our environment can cause us to veer off track.

3. Even when we carefully plan for a negotiation, a very different outcome happens because we get caught up in the "heat of the moment."

Learn how to identify the tools and techniques for effective decision-making and maximize negotiation and persuasion skills to obtain desired outcomes. Read Less ^

Overcome the Confidence Gap

A growing body of evidence shows that a lack of confidence is devastating to our success. It turns out that confidence is equally as important as competence when it comes to getting ahead professionally. The problem is that demonstrating less self-assurance is what keeps us from achieving at the highest levels. Read More >

Participants will learn:

  • Nonverbal techniques to acquire confidence and overcome the "imposter syndrome" that is holding you back.
  • How men and women negotiate differently, and strategies that pull from the strengths of both.
  • The "asking advantage" and how to increase effectiveness with body language.

Although this content primarily focuses on women in leadership positions, it is instructive for anyone aspiring to be a more influential and effective leader. Read Less ^

Strategic Communication: “LIFE” Skills for Leaders

Studies show that the higher the level of trust, the more successful the outcome. Nonverbal communication is a significant data source used to make decisions around trust. Read More >

Using insider techniques, Pamela will help you and your organization enhance trust with innovative LIFE techniques. Participants of this workshop will learn to: Read Less ^

  • Lead with intentional communication and nonverbal cues.
  • Influence with the ability to recognize, understand and manage deception cues and how others perceive us.
  • Fascinate in a way that communicates confidence and trustworthiness in every situation.
  • Empower with empathy enabling us to engage in perspective-taking, which is critical to emotional intelligence.

Undercover Leadership: Trust Starts with You

Learn the secret second language that's been reserved for communication experts and law enforcement. Read More >

Using techniques developed as an undercover police officer and federal prosecuting attorney, Pamela will teach you and your organization how to use and interpret body language to negotiate better deals, improve essential relationships, and build trust in challenging circumstances.

Participants will receive practical tools that can be used immediately to: Read Less ^

  • Display trustworthiness and demonstrate that you're acting in good faith to improve and regulate how others perceive you.
  • Decode nonverbal cues that provide reliable feedback on how the other person feels - regardless of what they are saying.
  • Detect deception with a greater degree of accuracy using verbal and nonverbal techniques so you can respond strategically, influencing behavior.