Pamela Barnum – Trust Strategist & Body Language Expert

Former Undercover Police Officer and Federal Prosecuting Attorney

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 pretending to be a drug dealer, and your success and safety depends on building trust and detecting deception with some of the most dangerous people you could ever imagine.

Undercover Police Officer

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. Unfortunately, understanding body language didn’t help with her dance moves. In case you’re wondering, she still can’t dance.


Corporate Negotiations

In graduate school, Pamela studied corporate negotiations and applied those skills to the nonverbal communication techniques she learned over two decades while working in the criminal justice system.

Pamela has applied her experience and knowledge to teach others how to detect deception and interpret nonverbals in their personal and professional lives.


Pamela has spoken in front of audiences ranging from 50 to 12,000 in the United States, Canada, and Australia.

Her recent TEDx Talk, “What Drug Dealers Taught Me About Trust” was viewed more than 200,000 times in the first six months.

Federal Prosecuting Attorney

While working full-time as an undercover police officer, Pamela completed law school and accepted a position as a federal prosecuting attorney. She spent countless hours in the courtroom, perfecting her techniques in deception detection.

Observing witnesses, judges, and juries for years helped Pamela decode the clues of deception. Of course, being the mom of a teenager has also helped 😉

Professional Life

Police Graduation

All shiny and fresh. At this point, still believed that people told the truth to the police and that they never lied under oath.

Federal Prosecuting Attorney

No longer shiny and fresh (as evidenced by the undereye bags). Also no longer believe that people don’t lie under oath.

Professional Speaker

Teaches how to build trust and detect deception with nonverbals. “The fish was this big…”

Professional Experience


Since 2012, Pamela Barnum has been coaching and consulting on sales and trust-building. In 2015, she began sharing strategies to improve negotiations and increase sales through intentional communication and body language. 

Prior to this Pamela spent over twenty years working in the criminal justice system, first as an undercover police officer in the drug enforcement section and later as a prosecuting attorney.