Friday, December 16, 2011

Negotitation Body Language Secret # 717:
A Tale of Two Ricks,
Where to Point
....and Not to Point

At the final Republican Debate prior to the Iowa Caucuses (Jan. 3, 2012) last night in Sioux City, Rick Santorum demonstrated one of the few directions a speaker should ever point with their index finger extended in the classic pointing gesture - Up. The only other direction advisable is at oneself. Governor Rick Perry however, points at the audience - which any debate coach will tell you, is a major nonverbal faux pas. Pointing at another is universally negatively received by audiences the World over (Pease) and should be strongly avoided. Interestingly, even when a candidate (or anyone else) points at someone else, this evokes feelings of empathy for those being pointed at - ergo Perry loses votes every time he points.