Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Body Language

I just watched a History Channel documentary on body language, and it was enlightening. They discussed real figures who found themselves in the spotlight over the last twenty years, with a few moments reaching back to the Yalta summit. They showed how Bill Clinton giving his famous "I did not have sexual relations" speech, and picked it apart to show that he was not being truthful. They showed Tony Blair on the day after Princess Diana's death, seemingly over doing his sorrow. They showed criminals giving speeches before they were found guilty, and showed the signals that gave them away.
I waited eagerly for some critique of the current presidential candidates, and it was minimal. What they did say was very interesting. They compared Obama's speech patterns to those a Baptist Preacher uses to get his congregation riled up. One expert even said that to spectators, Obama's words really don't matter to his audience, and that the way he speaks is enough to trigger an emotional reaction in his fans.
On McCain's analysis, they said he was almost the exact opposite of Obama, as far as speech patterns go. They said that the way he compresses his phrases indicates that he tells it how it is, which matches his reputation as a "straight shooter."
It was interesting to hear all the stuff we knew all along, like Clinton was lying about Monica, but it was really interesting to hear that Obama's popularity is based on public speaking tricks and techniques, and that McCains body language shows him as a genuine straight shooter. It confirms everything I've known for a while, but I hope some Obama fans saw the show, and it helped see through some of the BS.

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