Yesterday U.S. President Barack Obama spoke to the World regarding ISIS/ISIL and the execution of James Foley.
During his speech Mr. Obama uncharacteristically displayed a dramatically diminished use of his hands and arms. In body language terminology most of these are referred to as "Illustrators" (although in common parlance most people simply call them "gestures").
Most of the time the President is far superior compared to most politicians in his quality use of illustrators - and typically he strikes a very good balance between alpha or beta - and relatively rarely deviates from quality body language. This speech however was a significant exception.
No doubt the President felt and continues to feels great anguish at the death of the American photo-journalist and the other innocents killed, raped and assaulted by ISIS/ISIL. However, his anxiety and beta behavior is shown by, among other things, essentially no use of his hands and arms throughout this speech. It is, of course, easy for anyone to comment or critique when they do bear the burden of high office, yet if Mr. Obama had used his more typical quality nonverbal illustrators - with even a modest amount of more alpha and assertive emphasis - it would have better served him at driving home his points in such a crucial speech.
My sincere condolences to the family and loved-ones of James Foley and the multitudes of others who are suffering in Iraq and Syria at the hands of ISIS/ISIL.
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