The Performance Pro

Monday, November 10, 2008

Body Language: Obama versus McKain

We know that body language usually speaks louder than the person themself. Body language is the silent messenger that delivers perceptions - regardless of logic, facts or reality. It's been said "We do not live in a world of reality, we live in a world of perceptions. We create perceptions of ourselves every day, either by the way we dress, the way we talk or the way we act, gestures we use, tone of voice, etc.

Here's some food for thought. Forgetting the issues. Let's look at Obama and McCain in their campaign deliveries.

In looking back over the debates and newscoverage of the Presidental candidates as far as body language, there is no doubt that Obama won that race. How many pictures have you seen over the past weeks of Obama with his arms raised in cheering greetings, positive affirmations, or declaring intent. Large arm gestures re-enforce and convey passion and confidence. By contrast, McCain's physical disability causing him not to be able to be able to lift his arms higher than his chest provided a distinct contrast to his running mate. Although logically all knew of his admirable military past and personal torture endured, when addressing the masses, his message was undermined and shortchanged by the lack of these types of big enthusiastic and embracing power gestures.

A great lesson for all of us. Think about what your body language is saying. Is it congruent with your words?


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