The prime minister and the labour party leader have participated yesterday, Thursday 26th of March, in the election debate and we are really happy to have been part of it. Isobel Rimmer, founder, Director and a lead trainer of Masterclass discussed with Jeremy Thompson the leaders’ body language before the debate.
As a pundit view, Isobel has analysed in deep little things sometimes we overlook as body language, our gestures. Our natural reactions sometimes say more than we expected to say. They could have structured their speech and carefully have written and have studied exactly to try to influence on their audience, but there are as Isobel said something else. The outfit they’ve chosen, the tone they will use or just their own gestures will play an important role in the final result.
This is not new. It has happened before; the Nixon vs Kennedy debate changed completely our understanding of television and as well, politics. It was the first debate and his naïve point of view made him lost. Nixon without any knowledge about television went there with his dark suit and his sloppy aspect vs Kennedy, whom shone out thanks to his natural television manners and his very core aspect – he even has sunbathed before in purpose – and that, made him more attractive on television and the winner.
However, it is not only the physical image that makes a powerful leader. The speech tone accompanied by the right gestures would create the greatest speech in the following debate. Nonverbal movement we make takes part of our communication and sometimes exhibit far more information about how we feel than it is possible to articulate verbally. For example, our eyes play an important role reinforcing our message we are communicating to our audience. Or just the simplest thing as using the space we have around us if we are making a presentation could influence directly on the vision our audience has on us. Besides, is not the same to stay in the centre of the room than being on the left, some member of our audience could feel left out visually and that could cause for them some kind of discomfort.
There are some many details makes someone a good communicator and a good politic leader. “Take advantage of every opportunity to practice your communication skills so that when important occasions arise, you will have the gift, the style, the sharpness, the clarity, and the emotions to affect other people”.