Doing it wrong

Another one for the “not Asia” files, but I couldn’t resist, particularly since it’s an ancient post on body language that gets me most of my hits here.

If you’re reading this from the UK, you’ll probably already have seen that photo of George Osborne.

Yeah, that one.

Guido, however, has an explanation:

This rather odd photo of Osborne standing on stage before his speech yesterday is doing the rounds, with less kind elements of the Twitterati suggesting that he looks a bit weird. Guido can offer an explanation behind the ungainly pose. Top storytelling and speaker coach Peter Botting reveals:

“The broadening of the shoulders, the slow breathing and pumping his chest out, standing with his legs apart for stability and on the balls of his feet – it’s a confidence thing he is using to get himself in the zone – ready for his speech.” 

And you thought it was just because Thea liked him to do it like that. Method behind the madness…

Which is a fair point. They’re all good tips. But – and I in no way wish to cast doubt upon Mr. Botting’s storytelling abilities – here’s the thing: it shouldn’t be obvious to the audience that that’s what you’re doing. And it certainly shouldn’t look like you’re about to participate a in ski-jumping event.

Want to see some people doing it properly?

Royal Family

Prince Philip gets a lot of flack, but by God he receives it with excellent posture. No one can stand in one place like the Duke of Edinburgh. Always a pleasure to watch.

Whenever Putin walks away from something

True story. And you know why? Because he stands up straight.

Actually – it’s the balls-of-the-feet thing that’s most observable here. You’ll occasionally even notice him bounce up and down once or twice, which I believe is a judo thing. (In martial arts they say that you should just be able to slide a single sheet of paper underneath – take note George.)

Of course, the second he sits down it all goes to hell and he’s slouching all over the shop with his legs wide apart like a long-lost cousin of Boris Johnson’s, but ho hum, you can’t have everything.

Junichiro Koizumi yasukuni

Junichiro Koizumi. Actually, I could have picked pretty much any Japanese politician here. They’re generally much less agressive in their posture than leaders from other countries, but they’re so precise about it that it has a similarly intimidating effect. Which is not something you often hear said about a man wearing toe socks.


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