Secrets of Body Language essay

Secretsof Body Language

The film,&quot,&quot is a documentary with focus onsome of the famous individuals in the United States. These prominentfigures include the debate between John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon,Bill and Hillary Clinton, Barrack Obama, and many others. Thedocumentary studies a type of science regarding body language, theconflict between a person`s utterances and the body language.Produced in 2013, the director, Paul Ekman, attests thatcommunication between humans consist of 92% paralinguistic cues andbody language, while the remaining 8% of human communication iswords.

The film studies the body language of some of the political figures,media personalities, and extreme cases, for example, Susan Smith whokills her two sons after driving into a lake. What the documentaryattempts to find out is how body language can be used to provideclues regarding a person`s state of mind or attitude. For instance,the interviews and individual engagements highlight individuals`aggression, boredom, attentiveness, pleasure, relaxed state,intoxication, and amusement. History Channel (2009) defines bodylanguage as a kind of non-verbal communication that comprise ofgestures, body posture, eye movements, and facial expressions. Thereare signals or cues sent by individuals subconsciously.

In the film, &quot,&quot there are threethings that I found fascinating. First, the description of the moviestates: &quotExperts estimate 92% of human communication to be bybody language, not word&quot (History Channel, 2009). From the film,I find it fascinating that when one can read the body language, everysingle moment spent with others can make it relevant and profitablein business. I paused to muse that if this can be applied inanimation industry. It will be significant for animators to studybody language in real life and apply it to the animated world tobrighten the characters.

From the film, the fascination came from the section showingPresident Bush and Vladimir Putin – a striding contest showing twoinfluential leaders. &quotThe faster one strides, the more fit andpowerful one becomes&quot (History Channel, 2009). It was not thespeed that one walks that sends out signals. Vladimir Putin wasconsidered an animal power – a reliable human power. In the film,Vladimir is seen walking with bounce back and forth shoulders, andactively make gestures. On the other hand, Bush represented atraditional American power with little movement in his shoulders.Bush tried to appear controlled with no extra energy wasted.Regarding the same, another interesting section of the film showsthree world leaders attempting to go through a door. According to theHistory Channel (2009), there is a bigger meaning to a person goingthrough the door first. For example, in the west, it does not matterrather, it is seen as a polite gesture. However, in Europe and theMiddle East, it has a greater cultural meaning and impact. The lastone to go through the door, for that matter, is viewed as the winner.Even when allies and friends connect, subtle cues demonstrate the topdog, for example, Tony Blair and George Bush.

Secondly, what I find fascinating in the film is world leadersattempting to show power through simple body cues. The filmdemonstrates that when these leaders come together, they are mostconfident that one way to show power is through a handshake. Forinstance, they will always prefer to be on the left side of thepicture to show that they are at the front of the handshake. Thisvisual impact of handshakes is illustrated in the documentary whenElvis Presley visited Nixon. Nixon is seen having the upper hand.When Nixon greets other world leaders, he is positioned on the leftside of all pictures. This interesting scenario is also shown byPresident Bush when he realized to have been on the wrong side andimmediately crowds Vladimir Putin so that Putin is in no position tograb Bush`s right hand.

Thirdly, a realized a politician or leader`s body language and theimage were everything. For instance, leader`s body language can givehim or her away quite quickly, more so when he or she is under muchpressure. The Watergate is at its climax in 1973, and Nixon istelevised live during a question-answer session however, his bodylanguage says it all. Both his hands are held behind giving anindication that he is not hiding anything. However, he is rubbing hisarm and holding his wrist, which, according to the History Channel(2009), is known as the self-touch gesture. It is interesting thathis sentiments are combative, but is betrayed by anxiety through hisbody language.

On matters image, the film documents Richard Nixon and John F.Kennedy debating in the first debate televised live. Nixon appearsfar less assured than Kennedy did in front of the camera. Nixon wasjust from the hospital having injured his knee and from hisappearance, it was evident he had no makeup on for the camera. Underthe lights, he was sweating. He failed to compare favorably withKennedy rocking a tan. In is fascinating in the polls after thedebate that Nixon won by a landslide through the votes from those whoheard him on the radio, but Kennedy won by a landslide through thevotes from those who watched the debate. Many politicians employmakeup artists and coaches to shape their public image.

There are things in the film, &quot,&quotthat I can apply in my future, for example, body language in theworkplace and attention to image. For instance, standing up tall andtaking up space will boost my morale in my place of work. It is truethat status, power, and confidence are examples of nonverbal cuesdemonstrated through the use of space and height. By keeping myposture erect, my shoulders back, and my head held up high this willtranslate into efficiency and success in my future career. Again,exuding a sense of power, as is the case for John F. Kennedy, willallow me to express assurance to those who will look up to me at theworkplace.

On matters image, John F. Kennedy worked on his image before thefirst televised debate, according to the documentary. In my case, Iwill pay attention to image, especially in my workplace. Professionalimage sends the kind of information, which shows a high level ofprofessionalism in one`s behavior, appearance, and daily interaction.These are the kind of characteristics which will sell my brand in mycareer.

For example, putting on miniskirts to the workplace or wrinkledclothes may lead to other employees looking at you as someone thatshould not meet clients or be promoted. Therefore, I will ensure thatmy image in the workplace reflects professionalism. In conclusion, aspart of the body language, as is shown in the documentary, I willmake sure that as a professional in the future, I will ensure that Imaster several aspects, which includes maintaining eye contact,posture, body positioning, and distracting gestures.


History Channel (2009). Secrets of body language. Place ofpublication not identified: A &amp E Home Video. Retrieved from