Master your people skills so you can
confidently walk into any room,
start any conversation,
pitch any idea,
and create new opportunities.
Introducing People School
The only science-based training program for top performers who want to: rapidly build trust, spark excitement, develop meaningful connections, and stand out from their peers — with every conversation.
- No matter what “natural” people skills you were born with.
- Without having to fake it or force it.
- Even if you don’t know which opportunity you want to pursue … yet.
As Featured In…
Hi, I’m Vanessa Van Edwards, lead researcher and founder of Science of People, a human behavior lab in Portland, Oregon and best-selling author of Captivate.
More than 100 businesses — including Fortune 500 companies such as American Express, Clean and Clear, and Symantec, have hired me for one purpose: to help people succeed through the art and science of advanced communication.
My entire life, I’ve been fascinated by why certain people succeed and others get “stuck”. And although most people wouldn’t know it today, I started noticing these differences as early as grade school, when I was one of the “stuck” ones:
For a long time:
- I never knew what to say. After a few boring and awkward exchanges, conversations would fall completely silent and each of us would try to find excuses to leave.
- I constantly felt like I was on the outside looking in. I would stand in a room full of people and feel totally invisible. I never felt like I belonged anywhere. I never felt comfortable in my own skin.
- No matter how hard I tried, no one seemed to care when I shared ideas or opinions (and I never really knew how to share them in an impactful way).
For years, I felt like I was sitting on the sidelines as I watched my peers pass me by.
When I was younger, it was with unimportant things (like getting birthday party invites). But as I got older and started college, it was with internships, job offers, and even early business opportunities.
I began to wonder “What is it they have that I don’t?”
The harder I tried to succeed by working longer hours, forcing smiles, and faking conversations the worse I felt about myself—and the more I felt stuck. Other people felt like a brick wall that I kept running into.
If I wanted an internship, job, funding, more clients, or even more friends, I needed to master people skills.
The Telltale Signs People Skills Are Holding You Back
- Something may have knocked your confidence in the past and you haven’t quite figured out how to get back on track.
- You know you’re talented, but dread asking for a raise, raising your rates or negotiating for what you know you deserve.
- You are often under-appreciated for your hard work because you don’t always know how to showcase your strengths. You may have even gotten mediocre reviews, despite your intelligence and hard work.
- You have trouble saying no — to events that drain you, to social obligations and to toxic people.
- You have great ideas, but have trouble getting them adopted. (And the typical elevator pitch makes your skin crawl!)
- You want a strong network with high quality contacts without having to go to a networking event every single night of the week (or be a smarmy salesman).
- You want to have influence without being inauthentic.
- You find your schedule constantly packed, but it feels like you’re constantly reacting to the world around you instead of intentionally driving your life forward.
- You’ve already achieved a certain degree of success, but you know you can do much more. You want to live up to your full potential, but your 5 year plan is worryingly ambiguous.
If these statements sound familiar, and you’ve tried self-help books, therapy, certification programs, or getting more formal education to make things better — and it hasn’t worked — it’s time to focus on your people skills.
Most of my clients have said the same: People skills are the last thing they work on because they don’t know that they can be worked on. Instead, they try self-help books, therapy, formal education, certifications, and technical programs.
But they’re left wondering why their conversations, career, and relationships don’t get better.
Well, the truth is, none of these things are people skills. They’re personal skills.
They can help us grow inwardly, but they don’t help us grow in relationship to other people.
When my clients begin to look at their people skills, there are still a few big myths that hold them back from being able to walk confidently into any room, strike up any conversation, pitch any idea, and feel unshakable in themselves.
The Biggest Myths Holding My Clients Back:
Myth #1: You’re born with people skills — and that’s as good as they get.
Everyone goes through a learning process for developing people skills. Some people start learning earlier and that early advantage compounds. While they may have gotten a head start, people skills are not “natural”. They’re nurtured.
Reality: No matter what level of people skills you have today, you can intentionally and strategically improve them.
The other truth: most people don’t know what makes them charismatic (or not). By learning the science of people skills step-by-step, you can become the best version of yourself and start intentionally driving your relationships forward.
Myth #2: People skills are designed for manipulation.
In my experience, the kind of people who want to consciously study and improve their social skills are almost always good people with good intentions; they’re just being held back by how they’re perceived.
They’re often smart, kind, trustworthy, and hard-working; but because they’ve never learned the science and art of communication, they send all the wrong signals. And it prevents people from seeing them for who they truly are.
Reality: Aligning your ideas and how you truly feel with the way people perceive you and letting your personality shine through isn’t being manipulative — it’s being authentic.
The goal of people skills isn’t to “trick” people — it’s to understand and be understood. That way you and the people you’re talking with are both set up for successful relationships. Learning people skills isn’t just good for you; it’s good for everyone around you.
Myth #3: You must be an extrovert to be a charismatic people person.
Some of the most powerful, influential, and authentic communicators and leaders are extreme introverts. Some of the most spine-chilling, awkward, and inauthentic people I’ve met are extroverts. There is no one right way to be charismatic.
Reality: The best people skills are learned.
If you learn the rules of communication, you’ll be more effective than an extrovert who doesn’t know the game being played around them. True mastery of people skills isn’t about learning to be like someone else, it’s about highlighting your own strengths and making it easier to share your thoughts and ideas. Anyone who tries to teach you to be like everyone else is setting you up to fail.
I’ve done it myself and I’ve helped thousands of other people do it too.
You see, once I figured out the unspoken rules of social skills, my life began to change dramatically. I had started a small business and began speaking to private groups. Then something really bizarre started to happen: I constantly got job offers.
I’d be speaking in front of a group of people and they’d ask to hire me for things that were totally unrelated to what I was talking about. I’d get questions like:
- Can you help me with my wardrobe?
- Will you be a paid mentor to my kids?
- Can you help me with my presentation skills?
I knew I had stumbled on something special when I had to turn down jobs left and right during the 2008 recession. I was constantly being offered bigger and bigger opportunities.
For the first time in my life, I wasn’t simply reacting to whatever was handed to me — I got to look at all the options and choose the future I wanted for myself.
But I’m not special or unique. I’ve taught this framework to thousands of people and the results have been incredible:
GOT THE JOB!!! $30k more per year, less hours, more vacation, better bonuses and less BS. Thank you.
For the first time in years, I got a review at work that said I’m exceeding expectations!
I’ve been able to close all 5 of my offers this week. I would have never imagined a 100% close rate!
I can see in people’s eyes when I speak to them now, that they’re actually listening. They aren’t just waiting to talk.
Introducing People School
A science-based training program for developing the people skills to stand out from your peers, make meaningful connections, inspire action, and level up your career.
People School has helped thousands of smart, driven, people from all over the world go from feeling “stuck” to leapfrogging their peers, landing clients, and becoming top performers at places like:
People are actually saying “Yes” to my ideas, and when I invite them to go do things with me on the weekends and after work.
Several people came up to me and said they were impressed with how engaging and confident I seemed. That would have never happened before.
I’m seriously high on dopamine after nailing my first keynote speech at a business women’s luncheon. And I attribute much of the success to my learnings already on this course.
All of my arguments are resolving much faster now.
Here’s the problem:
Most of us have not been given the tools we need to succeed. We learned technical skills and job skills in school but were barely given any training in people skills.
No matter how talented you are, you cannot succeed if you can’t interview effectively, negotiate your worth, or be indispensable on a team. You deserve to be recognized for your talents. You deserve to have your ideas to be heard and to be paid what you’re worth. That’s why I created the ultimate people skills training. People School teaches you the communication and social skills you were never taught in school step-by-step, so you can create authentic and meaningful connections with anyone — and accelerate your success, no matter what you want to do with your future. Whether you want to:
- Stand out from your peers and get new and better job opportunities.
- Become a trusted and respected leader and inspire others to take action.
- Attract new clients and get them excited about you and your ideas.
- Have deep and meaningful connections with friends and family.
People Skills are the ONE universal skill that accelerates success — no matter what you want to accomplish. After learning the science behind human interaction, you’ll open doors that you thought were not available to you.
- Looking forward to going to work every day, knowing that you’ll say exactly the right thing during every conversation to leave everyone you interact with (and yourself) feeling good.
- Hearing from coworkers, bosses, friends, and family that there’s just something about you that’s nice to be around. They won’t know exactly what it is, but you will.
- Pitching ideas or sharing opinions and having everyone stop what they’re doing to lean forward and listen.
- Meeting an interesting stranger and being able to form a deep connection — knowing that if you want to see them again or do business with them, you’ll have the opportunity to do so.
- Being able to walk into a room full of strangers with your head held high and an excited feeling in your belly, knowing that you’ll make an interesting and exciting connection, no matter who you talk to — even if everyone in the room is more skilled, advanced, or powerful than you.
- Connecting with your friends and family in deep and meaningful ways that leave them feeling safe, connected, and grateful to be with you.
All of this is possible. I know, because we’ve helped thousands of students do it with our research-driven curriculum. So, let’s get specific about what you can expect from People School.
Here’s what you’ll learn:
SKILL 1: THE CHARISMA FORMULA
Stop worrying about being forgotten or making a bad first impression. This lesson gives you a relationship operating system for all of your interactions.
Skill 2: Prime Your Performance
Get the results you want from your interactions (including emails and video calls) — every time — without being inauthentic, manipulative, or slimy.
Skill 3: BECOME ENGAGING
Send signals that you can be both capable and friendly and keep people interested and energized in conversation.
Skill 4: Capture Attention
Start interesting conversations, keep them going, and pitch your ideas in a way that leaves people curious and excited.
Skill 5: Build Trust
Rapidly build trust and mutual rapport for lasting and meaningful relationships.
Skill 6: Harness Power
Be taken seriously, interrupted less, and command authority and respect.
Skill 7: The Likeability Blueprint
Be more magnetic, memorable, and likable in any situation.
Skill 8: Decode People
Speed-read people’s intentions and interests so you can eliminate confusion, remove doubts, and connect more deeply with anyone.
Skill 9: Capitalize On Your Conversations and Relationships
Move beyond small talk to create powerful connections and never run out of things to say.
Skill 10: Assert Yourself
Develop social assertiveness and get what you need and want out of interactions.
Skill 11: Increase Your Influence
Lead with authority and authenticity and get your ideas adopted.
Skill 12: Strengthen Connections
Become indispensable at work and thrive on your team.
The program was awesome. Thank you for making this program possible for those of us who struggle to understand the unspoken rules of socializing with the world.
This program cut through the BS to get to the bottomline people skills. I can’t tell you how much my skills have improved and how I interact with others.
Thank you so much for extending me a chance to attend this class. It has helped me define my purpose in conversations, develop a social roadmap, and prioritize areas of people skills to work on.
For most of my students, this wasn’t their first rodeo.
Like me, they tried learning people skills in the past, but they encountered some major problems with self-help books, courses, and therapy that tried to “build their self confidence” and force them into conversations. I built People School because all of the other options had failed me. So I designed it to overcome the challenges I experienced myself. Here’s what makes People School different from everything else out there:
#1: People School is based on science, not opinion.
It was so frustrating for me to hear advice like “be complimentary” or “be excited to see people,” when I tried to learn people skills. How exactly do you do that?
These things might come effortlessly to some people, but I needed specific, actionable advice. And I didn’t want to simply fake and force my way through social interactions.
Having helped thousands of people, I now know that opinions have their place: They can get us started, show us where we have room to grow, and inspire us to keep learning.
But when it comes to truly changing the way we’re perceived, the way people react to us, and the way we feel, there’s hard data on what to do.
Every step, skill, and formula in People School is based on scientific evidence and has been tested with thousands of students.
There is nothing we recommend that only works for one type of person. We cater every step to your personality type, and because its based on science, it works for introverts, extroverts and ambiverts alike.
#2: With People School you walk away with a step-by-step plan.
(Instead of a laundry list of things to try to remember to do)
Knowledge is only as powerful as our ability to use it. There’s nothing more frustrating than knowing that you should be doing something differently but not know where, or how to do it.
At Science of People, we’ve studied behavioral change. We know what it takes to set students up for success by teaching them how to apply the changes they want to make.
Every skill you learn in People School is reinforced with our People Development Plan — a way for you to know exactly what to focus on next and in what situations.
It’s not a cookie-cutter, one size fits all plan. It’s your personal “Driver’s Manual” for implementing the changes that are going to make the biggest difference in your life.
#3: People School provides the support you need to succeed.
You get group coaching, direct access to me (Vanessa Van Edwards), and access to a community of practice partners.
No matter how many books we read, videos we watch, or blogs we consume — the truth is that we simply can’t learn People Skills without support.
Instead of one-directional learning where you consume information and then we say “Good luck!”, People School includes 12-month access to a community of people to practice with. You also get access to live coaching sessions with my team and I.
- Got a challenging boss who won’t listen to your ideas?
- Have a coworker who keeps stalling your progress?
- Got a bad review at work and want to know what to do?
- Have a pitch coming up for a client?
Perfect! We love helping our clients with challenging conversations. Write up your questions and we’ll answer them during the call.
Is People School right for you?
After working with thousands of students, we’ve learned a lot about who can truly benefit from People School.
People School is right for you if:
- You’re driven to get more out of life and want the one universal skill that will help you, regardless of where your future takes you.
- You want to strategically improve your communication, relationships, and the way you’re perceived — and you’re willing to spend 1-2 hours a week to get there.
- You’ve tried improving your communication in the past and are ready to accelerate the process by getting help.
- You’re willing to try new things and expand your comfort zone.
- You’re tired of just getting information and want a plan for implementing things so you can truly change.
People School is NOT for you if:
- You want to learn how to manipulate people: We teach you how to be the best, most authentic version of yourself when you communicate, not how to play mind games with other people. If you’re here to learn how to “trick” people, you’re going to be sorely disappointed.
- You want a “quick fix”: Every skill we teach, we leave time and space to turn it into an actionable part of your People Development Plan — your personal step-by-step plan for applying the knowledge. But it only works if you do the work. If you aren’t willing to do the work to make a lasting change, please don’t join. We want to work with committed students.
- You aren’t willing to commit 1-3 hours a week: The course gives you lifelong access and you can take it at your own speed, that said, we recommend spending an hour or two a week on it until you’re done.
Frequently Asked Questions…
After working with thousands of students, we know there’s some common questions people have about People School. We’re here to help you answer them:
Can I get reimbursed by my work?
Some employers offer tuition reimbursements or allow you to use education credit. We provide a receipt for reimbursement if you want to try submitting to your manager or HR department for reimbursement. And you’re welcome to send this PDF to your HR person. It never hurts to ask!
How long does it take to get through the course?
You have lifetime access, so you can go at whatever speed you want to go. People typically complete the course in 15-20 hours.
What if I’m here to learn how to have better friendships and romantic relationships?
That’s great! People School will absolutely help with that, but it’s geared towards helping you succeed in your professional life. If you decide to apply it in your personal life, it can create dramatic transformations there, too.
Can I take the course if I live in Finland, Mexico, etc.?
Absolutely! The course is online, so you can access it from anywhere in the world.
Can you ship the workbook to my country?
Yes, we can ship your workbook to anywhere in the world.
How long will I have access to the course?
You have lifetime access to the course and automatically get access to all bonus materials and any new bonus materials we add in the future!
Don’t see your question answered here? Email [email protected] and we’ll happily answer them for you.
What kind of people join People School?
We have students from over 50 different countries and companies of all sizes, including entrepreneurs. Most of our students identify as:
Adventurous Introverts: By joining People School, they learn how to be heard without being loud and how to be in control of social interactions while wielding their own unique brand of confidence. Joining People School helps them understand how to intentionally create great conversations and relationships, improve how they’re perceived (even if they don’t change how much or how loud they speak) and become the best version of themselves.
Ambitious Intrapreneurs: By joining People School, they learn how to get more out of relationships, work, and life. They learn how to optimize and highlight their natural strengths without having to fake it or force it — and finally figure out why they can perform so well in some situations and get flustered in others. (And are able to intentionally perform well whenever they want to.) Joining People School shows them how to build on what they already know to get the most powerful results possible.
Goal-Oriented Entrepreneurs: These folks often know they’re good with people, but don’t know why. Entrepreneurs and extroverts gain the knowledge of what they’re doing, why it works, and how to do it more often. Paired with their natural love of people, People School helps them turn something that comes effortlessly into a super-charged skill that helps them succeed.
Enrollment is OPEN for:
Here’s what you’ll get when you enroll:
- 100% Virtual Access: You can access People School from anywhere in the world, anytime you want. Go at your own pace and never lose access. If you have an upcoming presentation three years from now, you can rewatch the videos and use the workbook again and again to refresh your skills.N
- The 12 Core Skills for Interpersonal Intelligence: Each video skill is packed with fascinating research, real-life case studies, and helpful exercises. At the end of each skill, you walk through 3 challenges to activate your new knowledge.N
- The Workbook: Get instant access to 150+ pages of customized worksheets and templates as a downloadable PDF to follow along with lessons. We’ll also ship you a custom printed workbook so you can follow along in real life.N
- Q & A Coaching: Not only will you get to see the Q&A’s of other students, you have the opportunity to ask questions and get feedback on any of the 12 skills.N
- Group Coaching: There is one assignment for each skill you learn. During the course, you will submit a total of 12 assignments to your Science of People coach to review during optional live office hours calls.N
- Exclusive Bonuses: When you enroll today, you get amazing extra bonuses to help you improve your people skills:
- The Network: Get 12 months of unlimited access to our private member’s network, People Lab. You’ll get to ask questions, practice the skills you’ve learned, chat with others, and most importantly, begin building your network of like-minded students.
- Cold Approach video tutorial – Learn to walk up to any group, network with people you don’t know and talk to strangers like friends.
- How to Ask for a Raise or Raise Your Rates video tutorial – use our formula to get paid what you’re worth and reduce the anxiety of asking.
- Find Your People video tutorial – Learn to build your network—even from scratch—
- how to refresh a neglected network, and how to get more high-quality contacts.
- How to Work a Stage video tutorial – Refine your public speaking skills, improve your stage presence, and look more confident in front of groups—all while reducing speaking anxiety.
- How to Take the Perfect Profile photo PDF – Make a great digital first impression.
- BONUS Captivate chapter – Get our conversation blueprint swipe file and the insider resources that jump started my career.
- Social Exercises download – Practice your new skills and wield them like an expert.
- Social Meditation audio download – Get in the right mindset before any social event
I have finally been accepted to my program of choice at school. During that process, I did try to prime every email I sent out, and used a lot more hand gestures during my interviews. Knowing that I have a good plan, vs. wondering if I should do this or that, certainly had a big impact on my confidence. And I think confidence makes all the difference.
You have freed me from the bondage of ‘introvert’. I wish I had learned this a long time ago. But I have hope now. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.
I have taken other courses, like Tony Robbins, and yes I felt empowered, however, without a blueprint. This course gave so many practical use in everyday life and at professional level. My goal in taking this course was to land a better environment and better pay job which I did.. so HUGE thank you to you and your team.
Not only do I know what to do now, I actually *like* doing the things that People School has taught me!
30-Day, 100% Satisfaction, Risk-Free Guarantee:
After years of developing and testing with thousands of students, I’m so confident that this course will provide powerful results that I offer an unbeatable guarantee:
Take the entire course, and if you’re not satisfied, get every penny back.
I’m certain that this is the absolute best social skills course out there — my students often come to me having tried everything else.
I’ve spent over 10 years researching, testing, developing, and tweaking this training program based on the feedback I’ve received. It’s helped homeschooled adults from rural Iowa land jobs at Fortune 500 companies. It’s helped entrepreneurs get funding in half the time they expected. And it will work for you.
My guarantee is simple: Take the course, implement the exercises, and see what happens. If you’re not satisfied with the results, email me and show me you did the work, and I’ll give you every cent back.
Of course, I ask that you do the exercises and practice in your daily life, because I know how powerful the results are. If you passively consume the information but don’t implement it, the program won’t work. But I guarantee that if you do the work, you’ll feel better about your social skills and relationships than you ever have before — and you’ll finally have the skills to open up new opportunities.
Here’s what a few People School
students have said:
Where do you want to be
6 months from now?
Change takes changing. And if you want your life to look and feel different, you have to do something differently. You don’t have to do everything differently today; you just have to take one step toward a new direction.
When I was first started my career, I would have never thought my life would be where it is today. People skills are powerful and have made my life better in countless ways — but it didn’t all happen at once.
I sincerely hope that if you’ve been struggling to find your groove in work or in life; if you’ve been feeling stuck in your career; if you’ve been constantly questioning if you did or said the right thing; or if you just want to get out of the passenger seat and intentionally drive your life forward — that you invest in the one skill that will help you get more out of life no matter what you do.
What you do today will change what your future looks like 6 months from now. I know, because I’ve seen it happen for thousands of students all over the world. And I’ve seen it happen in my own life.
I believe that things can be different for you. And I believe that the first step in seizing control of your opportunities is taking this course.
Whether you want to flourish within your company, start a company of your own, or simply communicate with purpose and authenticity — This is your chance.
I hope to see you inside.