Did you know face to face communication is possible without speech? I’m not talking about telepathy, or even technology. It’s a little thing called body language. And it’s how our face our bodies, even our eyes can tell the world what we’re really thinking. The most powerful examples can be observed and some of the most prominent public figures of our time, especially politicians from Teresa maze and comfortable grimace to Donald Trump’s unique handshake. Let’s explore how our bodies tell a very big story.
How do our brains pick up on body language? The answer takes us back to our very beginnings, humans were making gestures long before language evolved. Our ancestors brains learn to read physical signs and gestures from each other as well as from animals to communicate answer by knowing the hand gesture for Stop lying ahead or being able to tell when a bison was about the charge was critical for survival. Those Woods
strongest perceptions of this kind were more likely to survive passing on the ability to their offspring. These evolutionary traits have stuck with us to this day growing ever more complex, and we’re still able to subconsciously give off and pick up on nonverbal cues. Even if we’re not aware we’re doing so it helps that visual images are more easily processed and recognized than verbal statements. According to a 2009 study from Princeton University. Listening to words requires the brain to process sound and the language and meaning and stored in memory. This takes time and long story short, your brain recalls and understands what this means faster than hearing stop right there. Just think of all the gestures and signals we read without really thinking about hand signals and traffic as as a teenager rolling their eyes who wagging finger all of these gestures means something to us. In fact, our brains read not just the actions of hands but body position and facial expression as well. The most prominent leaders in the world are very
familiar with this, and I’ll be exploring how they use this to their advantage and how obvious it is when they slip up. harnessing the power of body language can be an art of its own. Specialists around the world conduct regular studies and body language offering courses and fine tuning recognition and expression of sound like us. In fact, many politicians specifically train their body language to gain the trust and confidence of their constituents. Did you know that Russian President Vladimir Putin specifically tones down his body language to be unreadable after being told he comes across as too aggressive? In the 90s Putin spent time with world class body language teacher Alan peace, learning how to moderate his body language so we’d come off a little friendlier and more accessible and a little less like the top notch spine martial arts Grandmaster he is. But Putin’s approach to body language is just one of many with every politician and public figure arduously crafting their own unique approach. Some even work extremely hard to
Their body language appears entirely natural. Confused, and let me explain. It all starts with the face. We pick up on facial expressions to read the character and true intention of the speaker. Whether we mean to or not. Nigel Farage, one of Britain’s most controversial politicians clearly understands this. Watching him speak his raised eyebrows and accessible smile give him the look of someone who is not only confident, but genuine and friendly. The trick is the smile the openness of a smiling face and raised eyebrows is a primitive symbol that tells us not a danger. Since your brain perceives no threat, you’re more willing to hear him out. Even if you find you disagree with every word he says. This feeds into the every man persona he creates and reaffirms his speeches in favor of the everyday working class Englishman audiences respond strongly to in consistencies between words and facial expressions. during interviews are scripted speeches, politicians occasionally lose composure and their faces start to finish
their thoughts. British Prime Minister Theresa Mays grimace is a famous example. Watch what her face does as she struggles to find the words to establish a strong and convincing argument. No, I think
all I would say is that the involuntary grimace at the corners of her mouth seemed to tell the audience that even she might not be convinced of the legitimacy of her words. These tapes are exactly the types of subconscious body language politicians try to rein in as in voluntarily revealing concealed uncertainty or weakness can risk undermining their authority. Then there’s the matter of the eyes. Check out the side by side speeches by former US President Barack Obama. And again, Theresa May, if there was a child on the south side of Chicago who can’t read that matters to me, even if it’s not much. This is a Brexit that delivers on the priorities of the British people. These speeches are of similar importance and severity, but which speech major feel more confident that both speakers
Bold, vibrant language, you’ll likely feel more engaged by Obama’s speech because of the icontact. Obama held a confident gaze over the entirety of the crowd and cameras, while may focused on the written speech, eyes down, giving us that trademark remise as if she’s nervous and unconvinced. Obama’s icontact gives the audience confidence and trust in the speaker. Making direct eye contact is a dominant behavior, which often triggers aggression in the animal world, particularly in gorillas. But it’s also a sign of trust and connection and human beings and being unable to meet someone’s gaze can often reflect being closed off dishonest or even afraid. And then there’s the act of nodding. This is a common tactic used by Hillary Clinton, among many other public figures as a simple yet effective way to appear friendly and agreeable. Clinton wants to show that she is listening and deeply understanding all that is being said, and doing this. She aims to establish a mutual trust. It’s certainly a good technique, but it has its little
minutes after an extended period, the repeated action starts to become a bit robotic, even a little ridiculous, is she agreeing or just going through the motions and starts to lose all meaning and some have even taken the creating Hillary Clinton bobbleheads to draw attention to her overuse of the classic now, as the noddin continues for an almost comical amount of time, those feelings of comfort and trust starts to turn to doubt and lack of confidence as the audience picks up on the seeming insincerity of the action. The next most expressive feature is the hands and arms. Nearly everyone talks with their hands, but do we listen to what they’re saying? Things like an open palm or tight fist or pointing fingers can all communicate a great deal. Granted, shouting from a rooftop is rarely subtle, but watch Muammar Gaddafi his arms as he gives a rousing speech with wild hand gestures and open sweeping our movements. He’s punctuating his speech with gestures that say I am in charge the bigger person makes himself
The more dominance he’s exerting. Likewise, making fists and pointing are signs of aggression and can even be interpreted as a subtle threat of violence against those opposing views. Then you’ve got the famous Vladimir Putin hand chop, there’s confidence, dominance and a sense of finality in Putin’s chop. It’s more subtle than a slamming fist, but it seems to suggest that his word is final, bear in mind that Putin received training to rein in his hand gesturing, so this is just the restricted version. I wonder what the director’s cut would be like. Regardless, overtly aggressive hand gestures tend to be less common nowadays, due to its association with fascist leaders of the mid 20th century like Adolf Hitler. The visual stimulation of such gestures which cut through the air like punches can send an already mesmerized audience into a frenzy, occasionally even rousing them to violence. This was exactly the aim of fascist leaders who depended on extreme passion for their cause. We tend
To avoid that now, but as you saw with Gaddafi, not everyone abides by these rules of etiquette, but then there’s the opposite. Hands can also heal or comfort an audience. Watch Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau here. Here he’s being heckled, but instead of trying to overpower the crowd with dominance, he’s using open hand gestures sweeping around the crowd to include everyone, making them all feel part of his speech. This implies attentiveness to the crowd directly, including them in his speech. Directly appealing to the crowd is a common tactic employed by figures like Donald Trump, who often addresses his crowds using the inclusive turn, we
returning to Trudeau, he uses his hands high palm down in a dominant sweet meant to calm the heckling crowd. In this instance, his power isn’t soothing the crowd not engaging in battle. Unfortunately for him, if we also read the body language of the hecklers, it might take a bit more than some soothing hand gestures to get this audience
God down hand gestures can be a power play even when they seem to be restrained. While I’m not a politician, Apple co founder Steve Jobs was an expert at using distinctive hand gestures to charm audiences. He was known as a charismatic speaker, but his use of body language is often overlooked. See how non threatening his hands are. He shows his palms and raises his arms to appear authoritative, yet open and unmoving for every member of the audience. He also makes direct sweeping hand gestures to illustrate his points disregard the old ways of the technology world and build emphasis for how revolutionary his new product announcement was going to be his deliberate yet gentle movements inspire the audience to trust Him, and therefore buy his products. Even if Apple was recycling the phrase, This changes everything for the 50th time, it was hard not to get caught up in jobs, his style of presentation. Our interaction with objects can reveal a lot about how we’re feeling and something is
Simple as sipping a drink can be interpreted in a number of ways. Drinking is such a basic human activity that it can strip back the disconnect between ourselves and public figures and makes them seem more like a regular person. Excessive or unusual drinking, however, can be perceived as manifestations of a subconscious desire to hide from an uncomfortable situation nervous excessive sipping puts a barrier between the drinker in the audience while strange drinking behaviors like Trump’s bizarre drinking methods can be interpreted as a sign of nervousness, we act strange and tense up when we’re nervous and our mouths can dry up. This may offer an explanation for the strange habits of Trump and 2016. Presidential Candidate Marco Rubio, who Trump actually mocked for taking water breaks, nervous stress, or just Thursday. What do you think?
You may not realize but the way you occupy this space between yourself and others can say a lot about the power dynamics in a social situation. The study of these spatial interactions is
called proxemics, a term coined by American anthropologist Edward T. Hall in 1963. Donald Trump is one of the most expressive politicians when it comes to proxemics. Watch him blow off Angela Merkel here while the Chancellor of Germany angles her body in an open position to invite conversation. Shrimp rejects the exchange by being markedly unavailable for the exchange. His body is angled away from hers and he refuses to make eye contact showing a clear rejection of her and all she represents as a politician. But what about touching? Donald Trump certainly has a rather aggressive approach to shaking hands and I would be remiss not to talk about it. Trump regularly exemplifies how even a peaceful greeting can be a power play. And these examples Watch out Trump takes the hand of his companions then Yanks the other individual towards him, the dominant signal could not be more evident and a hilariously unsettle and decidedly primal display, Trump knucks these respective authority from
fingers off balance and attempt to make them appear weak and undermine their authority. Trump often follows this up by placing his hand on top of the other person’s gently petting them into a perceived submission. Following the handshake. Note how he gives a victorious thumbs up or large, overly confident arm gesture. This is more than a simple expression of good intentions. It’s a display of dominance and control, as if to say to his supporters, we did it. We won that encounter. But what happens when two perpetrators of the aggressive handshake meet? Case in point, the infamous Trump hooten handshake it starts with a very strong handshake on both sides. There are no surprises here, and the Tuesday match for string. A more interesting interpretation is the fact that Donald doesn’t appear to performance standard yankin pool suggesting that he is submitting to Putin. Even more intriguing is the interpretation that Trump does attempt to pull off his usual handshake technique, but is prevented by Putin’s strength but watch Trump’s left hand as it’s needed.
Senator Putin’s right arm through this additional grip he seems to attempt to take control and watch closely as he follows it up with an Attaboy backpack, observe Putin’s response. Despite his smile, there’s a squaring off of the shoulders and a noticeable squirm during that pat on the back. He’s tensing up either is a display of strength, or is an expression of discomfort, knowing the implications of that touch. What do you think? Is it Trump’s obvious gestures or Putin’s subtle hands of dominance that win this fight? Politicians use body language to subtly enhance their words and to manipulate observers and often subtle ways. Look at for next time you tune into a speech and see if you can spot manipulation at play. It’s possible that these moves may work on your boss to get a promotion, the world and professor to get higher marks. But remember, this doesn’t always come naturally. These are trained professionals who got where they are through mastery of all aspects of language, both the spoken and by
varieties have you spotted more telltale body language takes a powerful figures. Do you have any of your own tricks?