Saturday, November 9, 2013

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2595: Barack Obama's Emotional Dissonance, Low Confidence and the "Turtle Retreat" - He Does Not Want To Be There (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

Barack Obama was at the Port of New Orleans yesterday. During a speech there he committed several major body language and Presidential faux pas.

This article's subject matter overlaps partially with a recent previous post, however Barack makes even more nonverbal mistakes here.

Throughout much of this appearance here the President uses his right - and non-dominant hand (Mr. Obama is left-handed). This is a strong body language sign of a relative lack of confidence. In addition there were several negative nonverbal amplifiers present.

Mr. Obama's right upper arm and elbow are held close to his torso - a significant demure emotional sign. Moreover his right forearm & wrist are resting on the lectern. This sends further messages of low energy, low confidence and low comfort.

As if this weren't enough, the President places his dominant, left hand in his pocket throughout significant portions of this talk. Barack Obama is far better than most in his body language, however with all the problems recently regarding health insurance cancellations, Obamacare website design flaws and fellow democrats jumping ship - he has of late broadcasted significant signals of a beta emotional tone, and this was surely one of those times. A hand hidden in a pocket, particularly a dominant hand, is a strong signal that the President really doesn't want to be there - thus a part of his dominance is hiding. This nonverbal phenomenon has been termed the "Turtle Retreat".

Barack Obama's act of leaning on the lectern is also quite problematic. Not only does he "turns his back on" a good portion of the audience, which disrespects them and helps to destroy rapport - but this also sends signals of low energy and a lackadaisical attitude that any president, on any day, in any speech, on any subject should not want to send.

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2593: Barack Obama, Insurance Cancellations and Signals of Low Confidence

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2568: Barack Obama Catches Near-Fainting, Pregnant Woman (Karmel Allison) During Speech

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2560: A Debt Default is (for now) Averted - President Obama's Microexpression of ....

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2541: Barack Obama, Permanent U.N. Security Council Members, Syria's Chemical Weapon Disarmament and a Presidential Gaffe - Body Language in the Oval Office

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2511:  Barack Obama & Vladimir Putin  Handshake at 2013 G20 Meeting

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2519:  Vladimir Putin Speaks Syria,  Chemical Weapons and Disarmament -  Body Language just after his New York Times Op-Ed

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2318:  John Boehner at Rosa Parks Statue Unveiling  A Body Language Signal of Squelching Tears