Monday, February 18, 2013

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2308:
Bill Burr on Conan O'Brien -
Body Language of the Abbreviated Shrug

Hilarious video of comedian, Bill Burr on Conan O'Brien's Show. During the 1:06 - 1:09 segment and again at 1:16, he displays the fingers intertwined with thumbs up then pulling apart nonverbal. This body language has several meanings depending on the other nonverbals in its cluster-context. Here, Mr. Burr's hand gesture is a good demonstration of an abbreviated shrug. If you ask most people what part of the body is involved when a shrug is displayed they will say, "the shoulders" - however, a shrug may be shown elsewhere and often the shoulders don't move. In the middle of a comedic rant this body language adds to the drama and laughter (as does his many other gestures and expressions), but many times in a negotiation, deposition, testimony, meeting, etc. the words spoken aloud will very often contradict such an abbreviated shrug. This nonverbal nuance will let you glimpse inside the minds of those sitting on the other side. They may "say all the right things", but you will see the truth.

See also:

Negotiation Body Language Secret # 343: Nicolas Sarkozy's Clandestine Thumbs Up - an Emblematic Slip