The History Channel Presents "The Secrets of Body Language" - See Patti's Feature in This Compelling Program!

Patti Wood is on a History Channel special this month entitled, “The Secrets of Body Language”
She is one of the leading experts in Nonverbal Communication in the world who were interviewed about how to read body language and paralanguage (voice.)

The next airing of the History Channel body language special will be this Saturday, October 18, 2008 at 5:00 EST.

If you would like to contact Patti about speaking or coaching please go to her website for contact information at

Body Language Observations of the 2nd Presidential Candidates Debate - McCain vs. Obama October 08

The “fighting rules” were strict, allowing little interaction.

The candidates had to stay six feet apart, in their designated area.
******* (I have listed some of the debate rules at the bottom of the article).
Thank goodness there were no lecterns, just chairs upon which to perch while the other was speaking. This way, we could see more of the candidate’s bodies despite the fact that the other debating rules meant there was little engagement with each other. They would have very little interpersonal debate, but rather give “short speeches” in response to questions asked.

Obama came onto the stage in a long relaxed stroll. In this debate Obama was respectful and McCain did not have to tap him to get him to shake hands. They shook hands each grasping the other’s elbow in the classic politician’s handshake showing power and control.McCain had more energy than I had ever seen him have. His voice tone and energy was often positive and hopeful. He was coached well to be upbeat in the beginning of the debate but, overused that “we can do it”, “we are Americans” hopefulness later in the debate when he should have been mad at Obama for aligning him with Bush and calling him on it.

At the beginning of the debates Obama was calm, blank eyed and seemed more coached and less passionate and at times although he kept gesturing, his eyes seemed dead eyed. . While Obama spoke McCain paced the stage a bit nervously.McCain needed to be strong in this debate, show more energy confidence and power than Obama. Obama needed to be more cool, collected and in control. McCain showed more energy but overall did not seem presidential. He has more knowledge but his energy was wasted in attacks, verbal and nonverbal. He walked toward towards Obama as he attacked, but then would step back. Neither move showing strength. He often showed snarly smirking facial expressions as he walked toward Obama and pointed at him in little jabs. While discussing the Bush/Cheney-backed energy bill "stuffed full" of goodies for the oil companies. "Know who voted for it? That one," he says, not looking at Obama. "Know who voted against it? I did..." This was the biggest nonverbal memorable moment in the debate and was all negative for McCain. A big mistake.

Powerful debaters let attackers come to them and smile or act bored. Obama smiled as if McCain's attack didn’t mean a thing. McCain needed to show his confidence and superior experience knowledge but with the exception of a few questions, like what we should do about Russia, his true deep knowledge was not shown.

Obama attacked McCain during the debates by standing near his chair or walking forward using his hand to make fists. He didn’t look at him, and that worked. I didn’t like any of the attacks but Obama’s method of attack worked.
While McCain talked and Obama waited and listen for his next question, Obama sat on his stool with one leg down up with his foot resting on the bar with his legs spread open to take a posture of “cool power.”
I could almost see a black and white photo of him in that same pose on the cover of a jazz CD. This was not the same pausing, awkward Obama. His coaching between the debates was clear. Answer the questions quickly and strongly. Often Obama leapt out of the chair and strode toward Moderator Brokaw as he answered Brokaw's question. Obama loves a podium. He was more awkward in the town hall setting. He had a hard time at first approaching the audience and individual questioners. But, gained confidence later and scribbled notes more frequently. His notebook spilling over the small table.With the physical; contrast one tall and slender, the other short and older; their physical differences seemed more pronounced as they walked on the stage in this setting.

Remember, we tend to choose the winning candidate in a debate seconds after it begins. Typically, we make these choices based on the charismatic factors of Likeability, attractiveness and level of dominance. Though McCain was more comfortable in the town hall format and sincerely engaged the people and talked to the questioners in an authentically warm way, his gestures showed up too late. Obama had it made before he opened his mouth.More notes to come later today. In the meantime, check out this story with me and several other experts:,0,4755608.story********The format: Under the terms of a 31-page Memorandum of Understanding, Candidates must stay in their designated areas. The NBC host Tom Brokaw will moderate, picking questions from a pool 150 undecided voters from the Nashville area, pre-selected by Gallup so that they're demographically representative. The live questioners will ask their questions directly, and Brokaw will intersperse them with selections from a reported six million others received by email. Cameras aren't allowed to show the reactions of the live questioners -- just their initial questions. Tom Brokaw will identify a person and call on them; the questioner will ask the question, and then be seated. The candidate to whom the question was posed will have two minutes to respond, and then the other candidate will have two minutes. Then there'll be one minute of open discussion.

Vice Presidential Debates--Palin and Biden’s Body Language

My Ramblings on Body Language:

The non interaction rule set by McCain’s team worked to Biden’s benefit. His usual over the top anger and ranting was much more restrained. Yes, Biden was angry. Yes, he pointed and used one handed and two handed chopping motions to make his points, but this time his anger made Biden appear earnest and sincere.

Yes, he got angry at Palin very early in the debate and he occasionally pointed his finger at her and many times he jumped in to say she was wrong before he was called on. Still, he could have been more attacking and he would have looked far worse.

Palin started with a smile and kept a smile on for most of the debate. Click here to hear my comments on the O'reilly Factor: or read the interview below.

Palin walks the “B line” well.
What is the B line?
Well, women have to walk a line between being too feminine and being perceived as weak or going too far to the other side of the line and being perceived as a B***ch. Powerful women have the hardest time with it. Hilary Clinton didn’t have a problem choosing. She stayed strong and in doing so came across too far on the “B side”.

Palin wants to be more feminine so she uses her beautiful beauty queen smile to mask her anger. At times, especially near the end of the debate, the smile became a “snarl” and made her look condescending. We don’t like “masking smiles” on powerful people.

Palin did a little blinking when she started but not the highly nervous 50 to 60 blinks per minute or the 80 blinks per minute often called the “Nixon effect”. She went to her strength, her down home folksy manner of delivery. Her little "betcha’s" and other contractions were a little much when she talked about the big issues, but overall they evoked a “ Reaganistic” warmth and the approval ratings soared. Tune in for more as I talk about Palin’s winks and Biden's head tilts later...

To view my ABC News article and more on this subject visit my site.

Interview with Hillary Reynolds of Her Way Up...

"Her Way Up" is a soon-to-be launched online community for businesswomen. We are currently looking for women business owners (all industries) to profile. -Hillary Reynolds

1) How long have you been in business? I have been a professional speaker and body language expert since 1982

2) What made you decide to launch your own company? Actually people in my audiences said I should start my own speaking company.

3) Are there any women in business who you admire? And why? Some I admire for their business acumen. It is harder to find successful women business owners who are not stressed and have a balanced happy life. I know a women business owner who have great business success, or have a great family lives having both is difficult. It has taken me years to achieve a balanced happy life and I am so grateful to have it.

4) What have been the greatest challenges that you have faced? Living with economic uncertainty has been my greatest challenge. Also, I can be creative, and disciplined and motivate myself, but sometimes I would like a business partner to bounce ideas off of or to say, “Tomorrow will be great!” I have an awesome assistant, fellow speakers and entrepreneurial friends, and family that have really made my success possible and we always support each other. Yet I would love someone who is invested in my business to share things with on a daily basis.
5) What has been your greatest victory? When I started my business I would stand up and do the “Rocky” dance when I got a booking and saw each engagement as a victory. Now, though I have been on TV many times and quoted weekly in national publications, my greatest victory happens each time an audience member calls or sends an email that a course I taught or a speech I gave motivated them to a positive change in their life. It means so much to me. I feel so blessed to get to do what I love to do and knowing I have a small part in helping people is awesome.

6) What advice would you give to other women who are thinking of starting their own companies? Have a year of income in the bank that is not a loan. Take a negotiation and sale class. Create a business plan and budget and post it in the office. Set profit goals for each month and then put a calendar on the wall and mark you income and outflows for the month so you actually see them. That monthly goal can be very motivating. And most importantly, surround yourself with team mates, family and friends that you love and give to and who support your vision and remember love is always more important than the bottom line. Your job won’t sit and cuddle on the couch with you.