This website serves as an objective reference source for the science and art of Body Language/Nonverbal Communication. In an effort to be both practical and academic, many examples from/of varied cultures, politicians, professional athletes, legal cases, public figures, etc., are cited in order to teach and illustrate both the interpretation of others’ body language as well as the projection of one’s own nonverbal skills in many different contexts – not to advance any political, religious or other agenda.
Governor Pat McCrory should fire his speech coach. If he is working with a person who claims to be a body language expert, he should fire her/him too. Throughout much of his statement today regarding his order which "clarifies" the controversial gender identity bill (HB2) in North Carolina, Gov. McCrory displayed a high steeple (more specifically, a high conventional steeple) a large percentage of the time. The conventional steeple, even a low steeple should rarely if ever be used.
Indeed upon viewing tens of thousands of photographs and thousands of hours of video of heads of state, you will rarely see any display this hyper-alpha nonverbal signal. Moreover, I've never seen an American President display this body language. Why? Because it sends strong signals of arrogance. Does it make the user feel powerful? Yes. Does it make him/her feel authoritative and 'in-charge'? Surely. Does it make them feel intelligent. Absolutely.
But ... does displaying the conventional steeple, particularly a high steeple make an audience feel like they are being talked-down to? Very strongly. Is it patronizing? Profoundly. Does it build rapport with the electorate, the jury, the patient or a potential client? No - rather it destroys rapport.
If the conventional steeple is ever displayed, it should used deliberately and choreographed during a very specific moment for literally only a second or less.
The conventional steeple is one example of an alpha body language. When used just a bit too long it rapidly becomes hyper alpha. The trouble with alpha nonverbal signals is that those who use them, tend to overuse them - thus what may occasionally be contextual and proportional in small doses, backfires in larger doses. Communication should build bridges, not burn them.
The image above is an example of a Conventional Steeple. While it could be held even higher, this would be classified more specifically as a High Conventional Steeple. The higher they are held, the more alpha the steeple becomes.
The Governor would have been well advised to not use so much alpha and hyper nonverbals during this speech. Alpha-beta hybrid body language (of which he barely used any) would have sent signals of power, confidence and authority while not sending signals of arrogance.
Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3526: Neville Chamberlain and Adolf Hitler Meet - the Munich Agreement
Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3519: Vladimir Putin, The Panama Papers and Body Language
Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3516: Hillary Clinton, Finger Pointing, Fossil Fuels, Bernie Sanders and Lying
Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3523: Jaws - "You're Going to Need a Bigger Boat"
Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3475: John Kasich Hugs a Supporter - Was He Sincere?
Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3448: Ted Cruz's Challenge to Debate Donald Trump One-on-One; Cruz's Default Facial Expression
Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3404: Bush to Trump, "You're not going to be able to insult your way to the presidency"
Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3323: Matt Damon on Graham Norton reflecting on Winning Oscar - Blended Expressions