Friday, July 19, 2013

Nonverbal Communication Test No. 2465:
Barack Obama's Comments on
Trayvon Martin & George Zimmerman
Body Language & Sincerity (Video, Photos)

Earlier today, U.S. President Barack Obama gave a speech in which he commented about the initial events, the trial, how it's being viewed differently in the African-American community and what should be done to avoid and minimize future similar events. 

As with all the posts on this blog, there is no political agenda trying to be advanced here. Furthermore this is not meant to editorialize the outcome of the George Zimmerman vs. The State of Florida (Trayvon Martin) case. This example is only sited here as an example in which to discuss and teach nonverbal communication.

What follows are nonverbal nuance as well as some basics. See if you can answer ...

At 1:38 the President makes this asymmetrical facial expression just after he says, " ... they rendered a verdict". What does this nonverbal indicate?

This variation of an inward lip roll with a lower lip bulge at 1:44 is indicative of what emotion?

Note that the President is looking down to his right and did so extensively during this video - particularly in the earlier portions. What does this indicate?

How does hand dominance influence this gazing pattern preference and is Barack's left-hand dominance any different vs. other southpaws?

In the image immediately below and throughout much of the speech, one shoulder was higher than the other indicating weight distributed considerably more on one leg. Assuming leg symmetry and no injury, what does this body language mean?

In the context of the other nonverbals present, what does this lower lip bite at 12:14 indicate?

Look carefully at 13:50 and you will see Barack Obama display a microexpression on the left side of his face. With what emotion is this nonverbal consistent?

From 14:02 - 14:07 the President goes up on his toes (watch video for dynamics). This is relatively rare for Mr. Obama. What does this body language indicate?

How about this tongue-in-cheek body language at 15:40? Again, it is critical to interpret this in the context of the other simultaneous/near-simultaneous body language.

How does the relative lack of any forehead muscle contraction throughout this speech influence your interpretation of President Obama's sincerity quotient?

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2436:  Vladimir Putin next to Barack Obama - G8 Body Language

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2371:  Barack Obama & Anger in the Rose Garden -  POTUS's Body Language & the Gun Laws

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2407:  President Obama in Midst of Heckler -  A Subtle Sign of Significant Anger with  Emotional Dissonance

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2156:  Barack Obama's Body Language at Al Smith Charity Dinner -  Comedy, White Lies and Facial Touching MAPs

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2233:  Body Language, President Obama, 20 Children  and the Tongue-in-Cheek

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2138:  President Obama's Anger-Frustration During Debate -  An Under-Appreciated Body Language Signal

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2276:  Michelle Obama's Eye Roll .... What was she thinking? and  What Did Boehner's & Barack's Body Language Say?