SHE’s gorgeous, smart and has carved out a hugely successful career as a sporting pundit – and things are clearly stepping up a gear off-screen for presenter Laura Woods and her beau Adam Collard.
Laura, 36, seems to be a woman who has shaken of the privacy shackles, no longer feeling the need to keep her personal life completely under wraps.
Posting snaps from her trip to the slopes with former Love Islander Adam is a very surprising decision given that Laura once revealed how sharing her romance on social media “fills her with dread”.
Adam, 27, and Laura were first linked to each other back in September when we revealed they’d enjoyed a string of dates.
But Laura was in no rush to share her personal life with fans.
She said: “For anyone to see that part of me fills me with dread. It sounds like it’s a bad thing but only because I associate social media and relationships in a bad way. I’m almost nothing good can come from sharing.
“Maybe I’ve learned, maybe it’s something historic, I’ve never thought it was a good idea to share them.”
When it comes to her professional life, the star, who counts BBC presenter “power woman” Gabby Logan as her main inspiration, has worked hard to get where she is, starting her career as a runner for Sky Sports.
“Her current weak spot does seem to be her personal life, where she is flying very close to the full exposure of the reality TV culture.”
Judi James, body language expert
She’s in the limelight leading TNT Sports’ coverage and ITV’s and on screen, she’d poised and professional.
Fans are full of admiration as she continues to make her mark in a heavily male-dominated industry and it’s no surprise that she’s earned millionaire status with her on point pitch side demeanour.
However, choosing to start sharing her personal life with her 755k Instagram followers could be Laura’s one ‘weakness’, says body language expert Judi James.
Judi says: “Laura is a very good body language chameleon, meaning she adapts her moves and her poses to get the best results from the situations she’s in.
“This is a powerful technique in her career as it helps her take control in a very ‘macho’ environment.
“However her current weak spot does seem to be her personal life, where she is flying very close to the full exposure of the reality TV culture.
“And her body language suggests she’s far less comfortable performing poses in her off-screen life than she is doing her job on-screen, where she looks professional and assertive.”
And it seems, according to Judi, that Laura knowingly sends out mixed messages through her body language.
This is especially evident as she begins to teeter on the edge of the reality TV star realm, by dating Adam.
Other than accidentally sharing photos of them together on Instagram late last year, Laura has until now, tried to keep the pair’s six-month romance completely private.
Judi says: “By dating Adam, Laura has launched herself off the side of the reality pool whether she likes it or not, as he’s pure reality and the complete opposite to ‘private’.
“Her body language suggests she’s keen to dip a toe into the Love Island world, but she seems less confident at playing this game.
‘Blissful and smitten’
Despite this contradiction, it seems the sports personality can’t stay away, and is truly “smitten” with Adam – who is said to be “madly in love” with her.
Judi says: “Her poses with Adam seem to involve Adam showing signals of possession or ownership by placing an arm round her neck while Laura has her eyes closed and her face turned upward.
“Far from hiding herself and her feelings she then creates an impression of looking blissful and smitten.”
At work, it’s a totally different ball game and Laura knows how to dominate the action in her professional life.
On-pitch power gestures
Judi says: “Laura uses one very powerful gesture when she’s working pitch-side that would help let the men she’s interviewing that she is the one in control in one of the most challenging roles in live TV.
“In each pose she has her hand clasped so tight round the neck of her mic that it looks like a strong stranglehold as she holds it aloft in front of the players and managers’ faces.
“There’s nothing like a bit of subliminal phallic signalling to show who is boss and she pairs this gesture with some strong eye contact to ensure she gets her interviews and remains in charge.”
Aside from her romance, Laura also understands the importance of having a strong social media presence, posting snaps to her followers showcasing her life away from work and posing for snappers on the red carpet.
However it’s still not something she’s necessarily entirely comfortable with.
Judi says: “Laura can go straight from pitch-side poses to a glamorous red carpet look with ease but her body language switches to send out some very different messages.
“Her smiles here tend to look forced and stretched rather than relaxed and happy, suggesting an inner desire for a more private personal life.
“She either self-diminishes, bringing her arms tight to her body in an act of insecurity, or she can tend to touch her neck or raise one elbow in what looks like an embarrassed attempt at some old-school glamour.
“Moving from her more splayed signals of confidence out pitch-side she is suddenly posing with one arm held across her torso in a self-comfort barrier gesture.
“Or she will place her arms behind her back in a cute-looking gesture that again suggests feelings of vulnerability or discomfort.
“She will often retain the signals of confidence and power, with her chin raised and her hands on her hips to create an upper torso splay with the elbows fanned out.
“But she also loses the leg splay and will have a signature pose here of either her legs crossed at the ankle or her toes pointed in together.
“These are both ‘cute’, more childlike signals of shyness. They throw out hints that Laura wants to be seen as softer and less assertive here.”
Finally, another clever technique Laura adopts in all elements of her life is to imitates gestures made by the person she’s with.
Judi says: “Laura uses another powerful technique called postural echo, or mirroring.
“Many of her poses show her standing or pulling facial expressions that mimic the person she is taking the selfie with.
“This technique will suggest like-minded thinking, and bonding.
“It makes her look the equal of everyone she poses with, but in a non-aggressive, non-combative way.
“She looks relaxed and at home with whoever she is posing with and, if an interview subject does tend to be less confident in front of the cameras and tend to clam up, she can use it as a tool to create rapport and create a better interview.”