Live Body Language Read of President Obama and Govenor Mitt Romney During the October 3rd Debate

Patti did a live, moment by moment body language read of both President Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney during the October 3rd Presidential Debate for  Check the link below to see the article and see her notes below!

Romney is out of the gate at the debate with enormous energy.  His gestures are high and what I call in the victory range of the body that's above the heart. He was hopeful and very confident. I did not like how he handled the rules over talking, raising his voice, ignoring the rules and the way he kind of smirked.
Obama and his gestures are very decisive, close to his heart which says he truly feels what he is saying.  I would like his gestures to be higher and show more confidence. Also seeing here Romney getting that superior look, lifting his chin high that shows superiority. He gestures after he speaks.  This is the first time I've seen him gesture as he speaks or before.  He's highly energetic never seen him quite like this before.  He is having a good time. This is apparent from the liveliness and the energy in his voice.
Obama is very calm.  His voice level has regained that wonderful, deep resonance that I have missed hearing in his voice at the Democratic Convention.  It's interesting that Obama is using a pen to gesture to make his points.  You can tell he's getting really angry at Romney.  He's getting a very tight lip, downward smile.  Obama is giving a sour pursed lip facial expression that shows he finds Romney's rule breaking very distasteful.  Malley is doing a fake grin and he's looking totally away from Romney trying to get back the floor.

Romney is highly energetic. He is giving more gestures and more animation than I have ever seen. High energy at the start of the debates that gives a positive primacy effect (persuasion term for first impression.)
Obama's voice is back to its deep resonate quality at the beginning of the debate. But, as Governor Romney breaks the debate rules and discusses getting rid of Obama Care President Obama's voice becomes tighter, higher and more strained. He loses a bit of his credibility.

Obama’s gestures are small, restrained and close to his heart at the beginning of the debates.  I would like his gestures to be smoother and larger and sweep upwards so he would appear more confident.

As Obama talks about OBAMA Care his voice becomes more powerful again. The fuel for that energy is anger. That could work for him. A debater who shows controlled anger can communicate a powerful alpha presence to the television audience. Our limbic brain will follow the most powerful debater.

Now Romney is interrupting continuing to talk past his time. This is clear response to Obama sounding powerful. Romney has to win each round.  His "over-talking" will appeal to the emotional viewer and seem rude and overbearing to the logical viewer.

President Obama's nonverbal response to this is great.  He stays back and stands tall.  He does not lean in and try to compete. He stays presidential.

Oh now Obama is getting mad as Romney discusses loans.  He gives a sour, lemon mouth to Romney.

I am reading an overall excitement in Romney. He is energized by the fight.

Oh this is good. He is talking about how he spoke this way when he was running for office four years ago. That makes the viewer see Romney’s energy and optimism seem naive.

Now Obama is on a roll now he is ignoring the time limits rules.  I love the large true smile when he was called on it. That smile was great. I want to see him do that when he says something positive, some action he will take if re-elected.

Obama is talking about board for health care. When Obama Care is fully implemented finally his gestures move up. He truly feels like Obama Care will work.

Romney’s replacement for Obama care - I still am struck by his energy. He seems charged. Highly caffeinated, rapid rushed speaking.

Romney rubs his eye when Obama calls him on the fact that his health care statement is just restating the law as it is now. First time in the debates I see Romney is shaken.

Romney is blinking rapidly and also showing his stress level is high.

Interesting Romney can't stand being beaten.  He ignores the rules again and goes into his pat answer. Obama loses his win on that round.  We see the irritation in his look to the moderator and his tight downward smile and his shaking of his head no and he looks down

Romney's blinking rate is increasing.

Obama needs to be very careful he keeps looking down. I know it is to stay contained and not showing his anger. But, that downward head can appear like he his hanging his head in shame, showing a lack of power.

Romney’s energy comes up as he talks about teachers. He is racing again. Did he get a quadruple expresso at Starbucks? This may work against his credibility.  Ahhh it does bring it down when compared with Obama’s response. Obama has the wonderful power of the pause.

He speaks with confidence here.

Romney does a good job with his response.  He does pause when he says his numbers. Romney’s shoulders go forward and his chest poofs up.  He loves to go on the attack.

Romney at his close still has a lot of energy but I would've coached him to be a little bit slower and a little bit more purposeful. I would have advised him of the power of the pause.

Obama didn't look at the camera in the eye in the audience long enough in his close. His head came down. He looked defeated.

Romney overall was aggressive but nonverbally won the debate on charisma as I discuss in my new book "SNAP: Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language and Charisma.”

Did you see the big smile on Romney’s face as the debate ended? He felt he won. Interesting Romney was last to leave the podium and the stage. He knows how to look powerful.

Patti Wood, MA, Certified Speaking Professional - The Body Language Expert. For more body language insights go to her website at Also check out the body language quiz on her YouTube Channel at