Sunday, December 6, 2015

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3395: President Obama's Oval Office Address, ISIS and the Split-Finger Fastball - Body Language (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

A reminder: 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.

Due to last week's San Bernardino mass shooting, and the subsequent discovery that the perpetrators had terrorist motives, President Obama gave an address from the Oval office tonight - only the third of his seven years in office.  

Beginning at 9:01, the President continues, " ... The strategy than we are using now - air strikes, special forces and working with local forces, who're fighting to regain control of their own country - that is how we'll achieve a more sustainable victory ..."

During 9:07 - 9:10, as Mr. Obama says, "... local forces, who're fighting to regain control of their own country ...", he displays a particular variety of nonverbal illustrator known as a "Split Finger Fastball". This body language signal acquires its name from the very similar configuration of the hand needed for a baseball player utilizing that specific pitch.

In the nonverbal world, the split finger fastball is a fantastic example of one type of an alpha-beta hybrid. Said another way, it projects alpha qualities (e.g., strength, assertiveness, a sense of urgency) without being too aggressive. To many "leaders" and others who use alpha body language signals have a strong tendency to OVER-USE them - and thus become hyper-alpha signals. Index finger pointing at an audience is a type of hyper-alpha nonverbal which is, unfortunately, rather common. Another one is the palm-down gesture, particularly with the fingers closed (e.g., Hitler's raised arm, palm-down salute). Hyper-alpha gestures will alienate all but your staunchest supporters.

Those who Have a multitude of alpha-beta hybrids in their repertoire place themselves at a profound advantage in establishing and building rapport.

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3394: People react to being called beautiful - Body Language of a Sincere Smile

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3393: Syed Rizwan Farook, Tashfeen Malik, San Bernardino Shooting and Predicting Violent Behavior

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3247: Barack Obama's Response to Question regarding Revoking Bill Cosby's Presidential Medal of Freedom 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3337: Barack Obama regarding Vladimir Putin on 60 Minutes

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2588: Body Language Reaction to a Racially Prejudice Halloween Costume 

Nonverbal Communication Secret No. 222: Palms Down vs. Palms Up - Angela Merkel

Negotiation Nonverbal Communication Secret No. 1933: Iran's Aggression and their Military's Salute - A Visual Metaphor of WWII & Nazi Fear 

Negotiation Nonverbal Communication Secret No. 1212: Sudden Mouth Covering