Presidential Debates

As a body language expert for the last 25 years I was asked by Fox and Friends to analyze the republican candidates last night during the debates. I discussed their nonverbal cues live as a guest on Fox and Friends this morning at 7:15.

There was so much more to say, but specifically I wanted to say that viewers should be aware that “Charisma” factors and other nonverbal elements sometimes override our ability to really hear a candidate’s verbal message.

We tend to look for cues of Credibility, Likeability, Attractiveness and Level of Dominance (Power). I misspoke this morning and said Romney was high on Attractiveness and Credibility, rather than Attractiveness and Likeability. Most critics said that Romney won the debates last night. Well he was the tallest candidate, giving him nonverbal power. (The taller of the last two candidates in the presidential race typically wins.) And he was by far the most attractive candidate. Even his deep resonant voice is pleasing. And he smiles a lot and last night successfully used his smile to not look irritated when Chris Mathews gave him a hard time. Yet he has a habitual nonverbal cue that makes him look like a liar or a least a waffeler on the issues. When I taught interviews and interrogation techniques to law enforcement officers one the key signs that someone is lying is making an affirmative statement while shaking your head no. Again this is a reliable cue of deceit. When the verbal and the nonverbal message disagree we read the nonverbal cue as the honest cue as it is under less conscious control and not as easily manipulated.


Romney does it all the time. I have watched hours and hours of his speeches before last night and couldn’t believe it. Last night Romney said, “The American People are the greatest people in the world.” while he shook his head no. Then followed he followed this statement with something like, “The hearts of the American people are the greatest…”, while shaking his head no. And then said, “American is the greatest nation on earth.” while shaking his head no. Typically, someone who does this habitually lies or often waffles on his statements. It will be interesting to see this and other candidate’s nonverbal cues as they continue to speak.

Presidential Debates

As a body language expert for the last 25 years I was asked by Fox and Friends to analyze the republican candidates last night during the debates. I discussed their nonverbal cues live as a guest on Fox and Friends this morning at 7:15.

There was so much more to say, but specifically I wanted to say that viewers should be aware that “Charisma” factors and other nonverbal elements sometimes override our ability to really hear a candidate’s verbal message.

We tend to look for cues of Credibility, Likeability, Attractiveness and Level of Dominance (Power). I misspoke this morning and said Romney was high on Attractiveness and Credibility, rather than Attractiveness and Likeability. Most critics said that Romney won the debates last night. Well he was the tallest candidate, giving him nonverbal power. (The taller of the last two candidates in the presidential race typically wins.) And he was by far the most attractive candidate. Even his deep resonant voice is pleasing. And he smiles a lot and last night successfully used his smile to not look irritated when Chris Mathews gave him a hard time. Yet he has a habitual nonverbal cue that makes him look like a liar or a least a waffeler on the issues. When I taught interviews and interrogation techniques to law enforcement officers one the key signs that someone is lying is making an affirmative statement while shaking your head no. Again this is a reliable cue of deceit. When the verbal and the nonverbal message disagree we read the nonverbal cue as the honest cue as it is under less conscious control and not as easily manipulated.

Romney does it all the time. I have watched hours and hours of his speeches before last night and couldn’t believe it. Last night Romney said, “The American People are the greatest people in the world.” while he shook his head no. Then followed he followed this statement with something like, “The hearts of the American people are the greatest…”, while shaking his head no. And then said, “American is the greatest nation on earth.” while shaking his head no. Typically, someone who does this habitually lies or often waffles on his statements. It will be interesting to see this and other candidate’s nonverbal cues as they continue to speak.

Patti's favorites, Best Books, Best Movies of Past Years

Well another year. I hope your life is wonderful, full of joy, laughter and chocolate. Remember in the rush of the holiday season to repeat my favorite phrase, "I am on a journey through eternity and I have plenty of time". It works particularly well in long lines and traffic jams.

I was on FOX TV national news tonight reading photos of President Bush and others involved in the weapon's search in Iraq. You can request the video transcript at yourquestions@FoxNews.com. If you are interested in reading photos, you may want to pick up the December issue of FIRST for Women on the news stands. On page 91, I share some things to look for when reading family photos. I am also in the December Cosmo. My agent has sent my body language book to 15 different publishers. Cross your fingers.

Favorite Movies

Considering how many movie star photos I have read this year, it seems odd that I have seen so few movies. I am still thinking about my favorite movie last year, "Lord of the Rings". It was extraordinary. We are going to watch it again this Christmas, as my mother said she hid her eyes through so much of the movie. It will be like seeing it for the first time. Of course the new Harry Potter Movie is wonderful, much more exciting than the first. I wish there had been a really good romantic comedy this year. I loved the movie, "About a Boy"with Hugh Grant. The book "About a Boy" was one of my favorite this year. I loved how there were chapters from the boys perspective and then the man's, and how the man grew up and the boy got to finally be a little boy.

Books

Everyone raved about the book " Lovely Bones". I thought it was incredibly sad. I got on a PJ Woodhouse kick this year and bought the PBS services on video. The short stories are also wonderful on tape to play in the car. I enjoyed the book "The Eyre Affair". It is a detective science fantasy novel. Hard to describe as it is bizarre but fun to read. My overall favorite is "Portrait in Sepia", the continuation of the lives of the characters in "Daughter of Fortune". I actually read "The Bourne Identity" and loved it. I am waiting to read my favorite living author, Pat Conroy's novel over Christmas. I already read Mauve Binche's new novel. She is warm and wonderful as always. For those of you who like literature, I am reading all of Wilke Collins sensational fiction. "The Moonstone" has always been one of my favorite books, but he wrote so many other novels that are a delight.

TV

A new category for the newsletter. I had to say how addicted I have become to Changing Rooms the BBC original show on which the HGTV show Trading Spaces is based. I love how much fun they have on the show and I love to see the rooms transformed. Of course Ground Force is my favorite show on Sunday mornings. It is delightful to see other people work in the garden while you sit on the sofa in your jammies and drink tea. My other favorite is the IFC show Dinner for Five, where five movie starts sit around and say nothing of any consequence, and are always very blunt. It is great for reading body language. I have not kept up with Judging Amy and The West Wing, my favorite shows from last year. It seems I am always working on the computer at night.

Happy Holidays to You and Yours!

Patti Wood, MA, CSP
Body Language Expert
Speeches, Workshops and Personal Coaching
Programs: Body Language, Team Building, Public Speaking, Customer Service


Patti Wood, MA, Certified Speaking Professional - The Body Language Expert. For more body language insights go to her website at http://PattiWood.net. Also check out the body language quiz on her YouTube Channel at http://youtube.com/user/bodylanguageexpert.

When women wore rhinestones, hats and gloves

Today a friend and I went to two workshops on old costume jewelry at an antique shop. We played with the rhinestone pins and put on bracelets covered in little flowers and tried on glass pearl necklaces from Japan. It was a wonderful day.

In the afternoon we sat on an white settee in the antique shop sipping lemonade and eating chocolate cookies. I held up an extraordinary teal and emerald green rhinestone pin from the 40's with rhinestone dangles up to my chest and said, "I want to try on the life that goes with this jewelry." Then I laughed and said, "Well maybe not, because that life for women in the 40's ment they alwasy had to wear girdles, hose, high heels, hats and gloves and I am sitting here in jeans and comfortable shoes and I am really happy!" So tonight I went out with my jeans and comfortable shoes and big old Sapphire rhinestone pin stuck on my shirt. It was a good night.

Think of women in the 40's and all the feeling they had to hide, all that pretense. For years I thought about how pretty they looked. But they had to have almost all their body windows closed. Some of you have heard me talk about body windows. A theory I create when I was teaching body language at Florida State. There are windows on you body that you open and close depending on how you feel, who you are with and what your talking about. You close your body windows when you are not feeling confident or powerful. Women had to wear hats and cover their head window, hold their stomachs in with tight girdles closing their heart window, cross their legs daintely when they sat down closing their knew window, walk around in high heels and thus very painful feet making the foot window painful, and cover what I call the honesty window at the palms of their hands with gloves. Thease things effectively closed their body windows and even put them in physical pain. Clothing really does effect how you feel. Men had to be closed to. All in all I perfer our open lives now. Yes, thinking about it, I perfer the truth of blue jeans.

Handshakes and self disclosure/ Police officer and suspects

Some of you know I use to teach at a law enforcement training center and that I am particularly interested in what body language can make people open up. In grad school I wrote a paper on body language to increase self disclosure and I have been researching that process ever since.

Recently I have been corresponding with a police officer about some of his experiences Here is one of his stories that I thought was interesting.

"After hearing your handshake lesson and reading the article in your book, I started shaking every one's hand I was introduced to. I meet people all day long, but I used to shake hands only about 1/2 the time. I notice now that when you offer it first, usually there's a brief smile on the other end of it- almost like they do not expect a cop to be friendly- it works!"
"Now, when I shake a suspects hand, we have already made inroads into the rapport-building phase of interviewing him. I of course want a confession- or at least an admission from a bad guy to help me make my case...I clearly remember at least 3 times when I was on domestic calls and would not shake a guy's hand. The call would be all but over and we were literally leaving the scene. Me not shaking the dude's hand at the close of "business" would make him mad all over again. Hey it's a tactical consideration, but I wonder if I could have shaken more hands now."

I would love to know what you think. Do you think shaking hands can make people self disclose more? Do you have a story to share?

The 10 and 5 rule of body language and greeting behavior

How can body language change a business.
For years in my programs I have talked about greeting behavior and it's impact on first impressions.
In the Atlanta paper Sunday there was an article on customer service that mentioned a business that applies one of my greeting principals.
The Georgia World Congress Center, the fourth largest convention center in the country is working to improve it's customer service with specific directives. One of those directives they call the "10 and 5 foot rule." Workers are trained to make eye contact with a customer at 10 feel and acknowledge the person at 5 feet. How does this help. Well typically when we are walking and meet someone we make eye contact at 15 feet and do an eyebrow flash to show we are not going to harm them then if we are going to interact we stop at about 4 feet to greet (that's handshake distance) and shake hands. I suggest in customer service situations and sales situations that you actually smile and make eye contact and reach out your hand earlier at about 5 feet to let the other person know you want to stop to interact. In sales situations it always increases your chances of getting a good handshake in situations where prospects may try to avoid that contact. So the Congress Center knows that that the greeting can make strangers in their huge monilith building feell safer in the space by giving a extra freindly greeting. Yep, they have that body language thing down.

How other peoples energy affects you nonverbally

Your Top Five
What is Your Interpersonal Grade Point Average?

How do we become the people we are? How do we grow? How do we slide into bad attitudes and bad habits? Studying nonverbal communication all these years I have been fascinated with how other people’s energy affects us. One of my favorite aspects of nonverbal communication is Isopraxisim. Isopramism is phenomenon in nature that explains why animals pull toward the same energy. It explains why fish swim together in schools and birds fly together in formation, why we all do the stadium wave and laugh together at movies and I believe it explains how we become the people that we are. We are pulled into the energy of people in our lives.

I was reading an article the other day by the ezine queen she quoted Jim Rohn, one of Anthony Robbins first mentors. Jim says that, “You are the average of the five people you hang around with the most.” That just blows my mind. I think of all the awesome friends I have in my life and all the love I have from my family and I am so grateful. My top five (really my top fifteen) are such straight A’s that I am bound to get a great energy report card this year! They are happy people, who are loving and generous and love life! And most of them enjoy their work and all of them strive to be the best at what they do.

My mom says I came out of the womb laughing and smiling and I think I am blessed to be a positive person. Yet I think about times in my life were I chose to be with friends and sweeties that were not happy. I was the little motivational speaker smiling and full of Pollyanna, “Life is wonderful.” vibes, but that wasn’t true of my top five, I felt needed and bringing happiness to people who were not happy certainly filled a place in me. But, energetically it was very draining. And as all the positive energy was drained out of me the empty space filled up with negativity. When you soak up negatively you can’t absorb as much love. We are sponges for the energy of the people we spend the most time with. The people we watch and listen to over and over again become the nonverbal models for what is acceptable, normal behavior. We talk about how television violence is affecting our children, doesn’t it make sense that the people you talk with, eat with, play with and work along side will affect you?

Who are you choosing to be around the most? Are you working for someone that pulls up your average or drags it down? Does your boss treat you with respect and value your work? Do you respect him or her? Is your family bring you up and appreciative of the love you give to them? Do they run to the door when you come home to give you hugs and kisses or is your family’s energy pulling you down with their negativity and complaints? What about your friends and colleagues? Do their voices energize when they talk to you? Do they have loving relationships and jobs or other passions that make them feel alive? Are you riding high from your top fives nonverbal energy or are you being pulled to below C level? Now I will tell you I am a loyal friend and family member, and you know that everyone goes through down periods in their life but recent shifts in my life have made we realize we are not serving ourselves or the people in our lives if we let negative energy pull us down. I say in my programs that your life is full of choices. Who are you choosing to spend your time with? Who are your top five?

How other peoples energy affects you nonverbally

Your Top Five
What is Your Interpersonal Grade Point Average?

How do we become the people we are? How do we grow? How do we slide into bad attitudes and bad habits? Studying nonverbal communication all these years I have been fascinated with how other people’s energy affects us. One of my favorite aspects of nonverbal communication is Isopraxisim. Isopramism is phenomenon in nature that explains why animals pull toward the same energy. It explains why fish swim together in schools and birds fly together in formation, why we all do the stadium wave and laugh together at movies and I believe it explains how we become the people that we are. We are pulled into the energy of people in our lives.

I was reading an article the other day by the ezine queen she quoted Jim Rohn, one of Anthony Robbins first mentors. Jim says that, “You are the average of the five people you hang around with the most.” That just blows my mind. I think of all the awesome friends I have in my life and all the love I have from my family and I am so grateful. My top five (really my top fifteen) are such straight A’s that I am bound to get a great energy report card this year! They are happy people, who are loving and generous and love life! And most of them enjoy their work and all of them strive to be the best at what they do.

My mom says I came out of the womb laughing and smiling and I think I am blessed to be a positive person. Yet I think about times in my life were I chose to be with friends and sweeties that were not happy. I was the little motivational speaker smiling and full of Pollyanna, “Life is wonderful.” vibes, but that wasn’t true of my top five, I felt needed and bringing happiness to people who were not happy certainly filled a place in me. But, energetically it was very draining. And as all the positive energy was drained out of me the empty space filled up with negativity. When you soak up negatively you can’t absorb as much love. We are sponges for the energy of the people we spend the most time with. The people we watch and listen to over and over again become the nonverbal models for what is acceptable, normal behavior. We talk about how television violence is affecting our children, doesn’t it make sense that the people you talk with, eat with, play with and work along side will affect you?

Who are you choosing to be around the most? Are you working for someone that pulls up your average or drags it down? Does your boss treat you with respect and value your work? Do you respect him or her? Is your family bring you up and appreciative of the love you give to them? Do they run to the door when you come home to give you hugs and kisses or is your family’s energy pulling you down with their negativity and complaints? What about your friends and colleagues? Do their voices energize when they talk to you? Do they have loving relationships and jobs or other passions that make them feel alive? Are you riding high from your top fives nonverbal energy or are you being pulled to below C level? Now I will tell you I am a loyal friend and family member, and you know that everyone goes through down periods in their life but recent shifts in my life have made we realize we are not serving ourselves or the people in our lives if we let negative energy pull us down. I say in my programs that your life is full of choices. Who are you choosing to spend your time with? Who are your top five?

Common questions about the science of body language

I often have high school, college and grad students send me questions for papers or articles they are writing. I thought I would blog a few of the questions from a high school students recent email and my short answers.

Is body language always a valid form of judgment? Can we really tell what a person is thinking, or feeling just by looking at them?
Judgements and Stereotypes are processed in a different part of the brain than body language. And are much less accurate. For example Stereotype impressions of others are researched at about 30 percent accuracy, while first impressions made from reading someones nonverbal communication and processed in the more primitive part of the brain are found in research to be 80 percent or higher in accuracy.
Body language can give you insights into yours and other peoples thoughts and feeling. I would expand your definition to say nonverbal communication rather than body language so you could include aspects of the voice and dress and more.
2. Is body language mostly subconscious? Can we ever really control what our bodies are giving away?
We can give out up to 10,000 nonverbal cues in less than a minute..obviously most of our nonverbal cues are not under are conscious control. Our nonverbal cues come from the more primitive part of our brains rather than our rational logical brain. Language comes from the logical brain and can be more easily manipulated.
3. Can our verbal and nonverbal communication ever contradict itself? What kind of problems can this cause?
When the words and nonverbal communication don't match your primitive brain where intuition operates automatically relies on the nonverbal communication for the truth. For example, if someone says, "I love you." then grimaces, we are likely to detect their insincerity.
4. What are some practical everyday uses for body language expertise? For example, can we really tell whether someone is lying by their body expression? You can be trained to read the subtle nuances of deceit, however most people, without training predict that they will be accurate, but in reality are only able to detect deceit about 50 percent of the time. Other every day uses are too numerous to list as you can read yourself to know what you truly feel, to read people that you are working and playing with to know how they are doing.
5. Can better knowing what body language means enhance our relationships/quality of life? What are advantages to understanding body language? Your life can be greatly enhanced by understanding and reading nonverbal communication. You are able to go through the facade and really see to the heart of others and become closer and more empathetic. You know who it's not safe to get close to and you don't just play act in your relationships, but form deep connections.
Is body language always a valid form of judgment? Can we really tell what a person is thinking, or feeling just by looking at them
Judements and Stereotypes are processed in a different part of the brain than body langauge. And are much less accurate. For example Stereotype impressions of others are researched at about 30 percent accuracey, while first impressions made from reading someonees nonverbal communciation and proccessed in the more primative part of the brain are found in research to be 80 percent or higher in accuracey.
Body language can give you insights into yours and other peoples thoughts and feeling. I would expand your definition to say nonverbal communication rather than body langauge so you could include aspects of the voice and dress and more.
2. Is body language mostly subconscious? Can we ever really control what our bodies are giving away?
We can give out up to 10,000 nonverbal cues in less than a minute..obviouly most of our nonverbal cues are not under are concious control. Our nonverbal cues come from the more primative part of our brains rather than our rational logcial brain. Language comes from the logical brain and can be more eaisely manipulated.
3. Can our verbal and nonverbal communication ever contradict itself? What kind of problems can this cause?
When the words and nonverbal communication don't match your primative brain where intuition operates automatically relies on the nonverbal comunication for the truth. For example, if someone says, "I love you." then grimaces, we are likely to detect their insesarity.
4. What are some practical everyday uses for body language expertise? For example, can we really tell whether someone is lying by their body expression? You can be trained to read the sublte nuances of deciept, however most people, without trianing predect that they will be acurate, but in reality are only able to dectect deceipt about 50 percent of the time. Other every day uses are too numerous to list as you can read yourself to know what you truley feel, to read people that you are working and palying with to know how they are doing.
5. Can better knowing what body language means enhance our relationships/quality of life? What are advantages to understanding body language? Your life can be greatlye enhanced by understanding and reading nonverbal communication. You are able to go through the facade and really see to the heart of others and become closer and more empathetic. You know who it's not safe to get close to and you don't just play act in your relationships, but form deep connections.

Body language for power and confidence

Yesterday Men's Health UK asked me to give some body langauge tips to help men appear more confident and gain trust. Here are a few of the tips I shared.

To gain trust and look confindent
Some tips for men
• Walk up to people with confidence. Keep your head level and your hands at your side unless you want to shake hands. Be sure to keep your hands out of your pockets. Showing the palms of the hands shows you or open. Research indicates that we don't trust people with hands in their pockets. Make sure your right hand is free to shake hands. Always shift any briefcases, papers, beverages or cell phones to your left hand before you begin the greeting so you handshaking hand is free.
• In business Smile briefly. Don't overdo it. If you smile too long or too much, you can be perceived negatively. submissive. An over-extended smile can create negative impressions, such as “overeager,” “easily manipulated” or “not intelligent.” Women need to take special care not to over-extend the smile as it can reduce personal power and can even be misinterpreted as a sexual come on. When going to "chat up a girl" smile before you approach to make her feel that you are safe and not about to "attack"
• Make eye contact. There is a substantial amount of research showing that good eye contact increases feelings of trust. Don't stare, but don't look at your shoes. Making eye contact as you approach lets the person know you want to interact. Men need to extend the eye contact with other menfor a least three seconds without blinking or looking away as they shake hands. When first interacting with a women you need to be careful of holding eye contact for more than three to five seconds at a time so you do not look to agressive or predatory. Some of those "win women every time" website will say to stare a women down...but I disagree. If you want to date a women, make her feel safe. If you want to have a sexual conquest you can stare for longer and if she stares back you have a signal that she may want a sexual conquest as well, but for a relationship establish trust first.
• Face the person heart-to-heart. When you stand at an angle and don’t face the person squarely, you are sending the symbolic message that you are not being straight and open. You may look as if you need to protect yourself, you do not like the other person or you feel the need to reduce the intimacy or the duration of the interaction. Body Language is symbolic show your heart.

Chinese new ideal of beauty and what women do for the sake of beauty.

Years ago I went to see a feminist play in Washington DC. The play involved three women at different points in history that where "bound" by traditional views of women. One character acttually had her feet bound in the ancient chinease custom to assure the then feminine ideal of tiny feet and small stepped hobbling walk.

I had read about this tradition of taking the feet of young girls and curling the toes under and binding them, but in discussing the practicet afterwards with Steve, my fiance at the time, I remarked how horrible it was to cripple an entire gender. How interesting that the wish to be desired by men required such sacrifices. Then I started laughing, because as I was saying this I was hobbling through the snow from the theater, wearing high heeled suede boots!

Yes, we make sacrifices for beauty. And though we might not wear now wear the "..stacked, brass coils used to distend the necks of Karen women.." (Time mag) in Africa or remove a rib to be tiny waisted like 19th century women, modern women do continue to suffer for beauty.

Recently I read an article in Time Magazine that spoke about the amazing increase in plastic surgery in China. With the new ideal no longer being to look Caucasian, but to emphasize Asian Beauty. It makes sense that plasitc surguy would come full circle back to that part of the world.
Some of the earliest records of reconstructive plastic surgery come from sixth century India: the Hindu medical chronicle Susruta Samhita describes how noses were recreated after being chopped off as punishment for adultery. And it makes sense that ideal of beauty would change over time as well. The Havared psychology professor Nancy Etcoff, says that beauty is evolutionary. Etcoffs book, "Survival of the Prettiest: The Science of Beauty is currently a best seller in Japan, Korea, Hong Kong and China. So what are Asian women requesting from their plastic surgeion? The top requests are wider eyes, longer noses and fuller breasts—features not typical of the race, but the new Chinise version of Extreme Makeover called. "Lovely Cinderella, shows some of the shift towards the Asian ideal. I will have to do more blogs to cover the concept of evolutionary beauty in the meantime check out the Time Mag article with reporting by Robert Horn/Bangkok, Joyce Huang/Taipei, Zamira Loebis/Jakarta, Michiko Toyama/Tokyo, Bryan Walsh/Shenzhen and Genevieve Wilkinson/Singapore

Wait Untill You See the Whites of Their Eyes!

"Wait Until You See the Whites of Their Eyes!"

...is the iconic battle cry of the Commander under siege as the attackers come in mass upon the fort, circle of wagons or up the hill towards his men. Strangely, the large whites of the eyes in humans, where designed to help us cooperate.
Recent research at Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology discovered that unlike chimps and apes who look at head movement, children pay more attention to eye movement. Why?

Tune in soon for the answer

Wait untill you see the whites of their eyes!

"Wait untill you see the whites of their eyes!", is the iconic battle cry of the commander under siege as the attackers come in mass upon the fort, circle of wagons or up the hills toward his men.

Strangely, the large whites of the eyes in human where designed to help us cooperate.

Recent research at Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology discovered that unlike chimps and apes who look at head movement, children pay more attention to eye movement.
Apes and chimps need to mask where they are looking looking from other primates and thus do not have those bright whites of the eyes. Anthropologist Brain Hare says primates who do not have bright whites can hide where they are looking from others so they can, "...eat it, mate it, or chase it," I am thinking the chasing might come first, but I digress.

Humans however have evolved the bright whites of the eyes to contrast with our baby blues Iris and dark pupils so we can easily see the direction of another person's gaze.
The theory is that the advantages of understanding and cooperation received through mutual gaze outweigh a having a poker face. This is particular useful to me as I am not a great poker player, but boy can I read that body language.

I think this also interesting if your apply all the information we get subconsciously from eye gaze and brain function. That is the science of NLP. Which I have blogged about previously. I love that we were designed to create mutual gaze. If your interested in the whites of the eyes research pick up this months Scientific American Mind. Just another fun body language fact.

Oscar body language Tom and Katie

The most interesting part of the photo is how he is holding her hand tightly and high up close to his waist as if she is a little child in a super market who might get away. He is truly showing he is concerned she might get away from him. And she is standing fully away from him except for that hand. She is creating her own individual space. It's nice to see her in her own individual bubble rather than close and pulled into Tom like she has been. She is the most poised and relaxed I have seen her in over a year. Though her bowled and drooped down shoulders indicated she has been carrying a lot emotional weight. I mean, really a lot of weight, it is rather sad to see. Interesting that he is looking at the screen rather than doing his old "I'm looking at the camera" focus.
I found his Oscar presentation fascinating he was holding his hands together in a steeple which is a position men go into to gain control of themselves and looked poised and he was so very still and his voice strained to stay low and unemotional. His smile was even very small and a little tight. It was the anti Oprah show jumping on the coach body language.

Bush & Pelosi-State of the Union Body Language

A Body Language Analysis of the State of the Union Address
By Patti Wood MA, CSP

Once again I found President Bush’s body language and other nonverbal communication during the State of the Union Address on January 23, 2007 fascinating. Though, the most fascinating thing to watch during this address was the body language of new House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Here is a tremendously powerful historical event in American History, a woman Speaker presiding at a State of the Union Address. Here is a woman to represent all women in America, sitting behind the President watching him and responding to him as a woman who is third in line to the presidency. Many women waited all their lives for this event. We watched closely because we believed the camera would show through her how we feel and what we want. It was not a pretty site. I am not sure it did show all women’s feelings, and personally as a woman, a speech coach and a body language expert, it was not what I expected to see. But it certainly showed how Speaker of the House Pelosi felt!

Let me give you a nonverbal read of the entire event starting with the House Speaker Pelosi’s call to order.

I was watching C-Span before the official televised speech began. I saw the House Speaker Pelosi call the house to order with several gentle hits of the gavel and then when no one seemed to respond she tittered with lighthearted nervous laughter. I was expecting Pelosi to show more gravitas. And I was expecting an immediate respectful response from the democrats and perhaps a large and hearty round of applause. It seemed odd that while the public perceives her as wielding enormous and perhaps threatening power the Democrats and women are excited about her holding the office and those in the chamber in that historical moment did not show respect or obvious enthusiasm for her. Perhaps, they where oblivious to the continual C-Span coverage and they where just waiting for the obvious network coverage.

Many predicted that Bush would appear nervous and stained as he entered the chamber, knowing his low public option polls and the Democratic control of the house. However, the entrance of the President into the chambers was similar to any other address. Bush’s head was up. He directed smiles, handshakes and side comments to many people as he entered. Though, I did not see his normally rather playful winks and boyish grins to particular people. He certainly did not have the grim look of a warrior going into battle that many expected. He looked calm. Even his choice of a light blue tie rather than power red was interesting in its soft and calm effect. In color physiology blue is the color of the sky and the ocean; it is one of the most popular colors. It causes the opposite reaction as red producing a peaceful, tranquil, calming effect.

Normally, the President enters the chamber and as he reaches the podium area he playfully greets the Vice President and the Speaker and visits a moment with them. In this address, he entered and turned to go in front of Cheney and Pelosi and just as he passed Cheney he made a determined turn of his feet, torso and headed away from Pelosi showing disrespect and with a stiffening of his body and reflective pull back, a little fear of the impending speech.

Mr. President subtly showed his power and lack of respect for Polsi’s power in a nonverbal manner when he handed out the envelopes containing the copies of his address. He didn’t linger as he gave the envelope to Pelosi, in fact he immediately turned away. She, in turn, showed she expected a warmer more lengthy greeting by staying faced towards him waiting for the opportunity to give a warm welcome. She shielded herself from his rebuff with the large yellow envelope, held slightly away and over her heart. What was particularly bizarre was what she did with her mouth when she didn’t get the greeting she expected. She took her tongue and pushed out her lower lip in a baboonish anger response. He was I feel, inappropriately disrespectful. However, this is a very strong cue and unusual for a person in her position, unusual for a women and unusual considering the significance of this historical moment.

In the first round of applause for the President, Palosi is already looking away from him, showing her disrespect. Then you see a very telling interaction. Normally the President shows that the Speaker of the House is in charge by waiting for the Speaker to introduce him or perhaps turning and giving a smile and head nod indicating that he is ready to go. Instead Bush turns to Pelosi and says in a commanding and slightly angry voice, “Ready to go?” (He may have thought his mike was not on yet.) The words in his request seemed innocent but his true feelings were reflected in his nonverbal communication. He wanted her to know he was in charge and when she smiles and tries to welcome him, (as he should have allowed her) she says, with a slowly, sweetly and differently delivered personal greeting to him, “Welcome Mr. President,” he ignores it. When she repeats it he emphasizes his message of control by giving a forcefully delivered order, “Let’s Go!”

When the President officially began his address and first makes reference to Pelosi she smiles buoyantly bows her head up and down in a “head curtsy” during the applause. This is her moment and she indicates with her non-verbals that this is the honor she expected.

At 9:15 there is what can only be described as an awesome screen grab moment. As Bush says in what appears on the surface to be a smoothly and beautifully crafted, “Madam Speaker.” The instant he finishes the word, “speaker” if you freeze frame you will see him give set of telling micro facial cues. He closes his eyes all the way, his forehead is wrinkled and furrowed, his head is pulled back, his neck is tense with the strained veins sticking out and he places his tongue inside his mouth and pushes HIS lower lip out with the tongue in defiance. This cluster of cues sends the real message. It says, “That was so hard to do because I am so mad.” “I can’t believe that I had to do that!” “That’s not how I really feel at all.”

Though through most of the rest of the speech Bush’s voice is confident, we have a rare vocal revealing of Bushes fear at the beginning of his address as he delivers the sentence.” I congratulate the democrat majority.” This is one of the most important sentences he says, considering Bush’s lack of popularity and the power of Democrats in the Chamber. His voice is so in strength on the delivery of the word, “congratulate” goes down significantly in power and strength on the word, “democrat” and is extremely soft and pulled back on the word, “majority.”

At this point Pelosi goes into rapid blinking. In my book, “Success Signals,” the reader learns that normal resting blink rate is 10 to 20 blinks per minute. It goes up to 21 to 25 when you begin speaking and as blink rate climbs to 50 it shows nervousness. Pelosi's blink rate was approximately 70 blinks per minute. Now, I always look for other reasons for someone’s nonverbal behavior and I can tell you that she was wearing false eyelashes that could easily have caused the rapid blinking, but because she was only blinking during certain portions of the address I don’t think that was the reason for the rapid blinking. If the cause was merely the false lashes the blinking would have been continuous. Her eye blinking seemed particularly obvious when compared to the stone faced expression of Vice President Cheney seated right next to her.

Considering democrats may not think the war is about a need to defend the US it was interesting that the chamber stood when Bush began speaking about the war and said the rather well crafted sentence, “troops…sent forth to defend us.” Pelosi showed her disagreement with the statement by making an overly obvious swallowing motion. When someone’s thoughts don’t go down well, the listener in this case, Pelosi may struggle to “swallow” the Speaker’s words.

At 9:16 Bush made another well crafted comment about something to the effect of “…Our citizens don’t much care which side of the aisle we sit on as long as we are willing to cross that aisle when there is work to be done.” (Referring to the Democratic and Republican’s sides.) To which Pelosi immediately slides out her tongue slowly over a curled lower lip in a “this tastes bad” nonverbal expression. Interestingly Bush knew it was a killer crafted comment. He waited a full ten seconds for response before he continued with his speech.

At 9:18 when Bush says confidently, “We must balance the federal budget” the entire chamber stands but Pelosi gives a snarling look of anger followed by a pursed lip sour taste in her mouth facial expression and then looks away. She then begins what will be almost continuous odd mouth movements for the remainder of the address. Next, looking like she is swallowing a bitter pill then clearing her mouth of the bitter taste then moistens her lips showing that her mouth is dry from nervousness. These facial expressions do not look respectful, dignified nor dare I say it, lady like. And even more odd considering that there are so many and after awhile or no longer in response to particular disagreeable statements made by Bush and that they continue during Bushes introduction of the Hero’s. This shows her lack of control of her extreme dislike of the President.

I had expected because of her high office, the respectful nature of the event, and again I must say it, her gender, that during the speech she would be stone faced or have the normal masked smile that many women have when hiding their true feeling. How surprising that she looked so awkward and uncomfortable with the President, surprising that his words stuck in her mouth and were difficult to digest. In fact it often appeared that she was searching with her tongue to dislodge a kernel of corn lodged between her teeth.

As Bush announced his still strong stance on the unpopular “No Child Left Behind” act
Pelosi had drawn together eyebrows and pressed her lips to show rage then stuck her tongue out in passive aggressive disagreement with the stance.

Though it sometimes appeared that she was not listening closely as she often blinked, looked away or made odd mouth movements, I believe this was merely a show of disrespect and disagreement. She did show she was ready to hear something she did agree with when she smiled broadly, jumped up out of her seat and began applauding enthusiastically when Bush stated he was for affordable health care.
Overall Pelosi gave applause as we would expect, only to generic statements, as well as extending private school vouchers and non-specific proposals.

Many people in the chamber stood when he said the somewhat poetic line, “On this day, at this hour, it is still within our power to shape the outcome of this battle, let us find our resolve and turn events toward victory.” Pelosi did not stand, nor did 2008 Presidential candidates Senator Hillary Clinton and Senator Barrack Obama.

Pelosi had another particularly pointed look of distaste on her face as she pursed her lips and put her tongue out her mouth with revulsion and Bush said, "We must reduce gas consumption by 20% in the next years.” Did she perhaps think that it was a little too late of a statement?

At 9:41 Bush followed this with statements about the war saying, “…help men in the middle east build a fee society.” Then the camera went to Condelisa Rice who was withdrawn, had close together eyes, a tight mouth and tense facial muscles and had a look of anger on her face like a pit bull. Then she showed she knew she shouldn’t show her anger but couldn’t control it. Her face then twisted to the much more angry side on the left and she tried to suppress it on the right side of the face. The left side of the face is controlled by the emotion producing right hemisphere and shows are truest emotions.

I must say Bush gave his most smooth and confident vocal delivery of the State of the Union speech. And the speech itself was eloquently written. He continued however to show his usual odd habit of tongue thrusting at the end of statements that he either didn’t truly believe or that may illicit attacks from others. He also did his usual bend of the podium lean on his outstretched arm then grin pose. Which translates to, “You think you’ve got me but you don’t.”

Something that did reveal his anger and need to show power was his unusual finger pointing. In fact, he did a lot of aggressive finger pointing during his statements about the war. With the symbolic gun of the pointing finger he indicates that he is going to fight for his way shooting anyone who disagrees and not back down. He emphatically ended each pointing finger session by tapping the finger on the podium as if he was symbolically beating those who fought him and portrayed that they would be shot and their bodies would go down on the ground. He ended his speech with his old tongue thrust as he said, “God bless America” but gave a beautiful and graceful outward sweep of his hands as if he himself was bestowing God’s blessing.

As Bush was near the end of the speech at 9:53 and said something to the effect, “It would not be like us to leave our friends abandoned...” and, “We must save the American people from this...” Republicans stood Democrats stayed seated and our new Speaker of the House sat trying to dislodge that piece of corn in her teeth.

Speaker Body Language-Give Them Your Heart

Face toward the audience and give them your heart...

You have seen speakers turn and face toward the screen or spend the speech bent over their laptop. They are showing that the most important thing is their stuff.
When you face towards your audience you are symbolically letting them know with your body language that they are the most important element in the room. You’re showing that you care about them.

You walk into a room to hear a speech. As you sit down you notice someone is up at the front of the room. The speaker doesn’t notice you because his back is to you as he checks out his equipment and power point slides. All you see of him before he begins his speech is his wiggling rear end. Not a pretty sight. What are they communicating to you with his body language? He is showing you that his interest is in his equipment not in you. When you speak know that the most important element is the connection you make with your audiance.

As a speaker remember that you need to face toward the audience and give them your heart. Your heart is a powerful symbol of connection. Make sure you are not showing your back as you read your slides, that your heart is not hidden by a podium or lectern that you don’t point your heart down at your notes or computer screen or give your heart to one side of the room as you face towards you visual aids. It seems like a small thing, but sharing your heart with your audience has a powerful impact. Think basic human survival instincts. When we are unafraid and willing to make ourselves vulnerable to each other we face our hearts towards the person we are interacting with.

Check in with yourself throughout your presentation and make sure your giving your audience your heart.