Psychology research has shown the power of body language to influence the mind. It can be used to convey messages which seriously impact a person’s perception, ideas and beliefs. Is it surprising then, that world leaders have been briefed to use this knowledge to promote their agendas and manipulate public responses to their public appearances?
While some cultural differences can be observed, many types of body language and hand gestures are universal. For example, crossing your arms creates the impression that you are “closed off,” or defensive, while opening your arms up shows a willingness to listen with a positive attitude.
Body language naturally occurs without thinking about it, and there are thousands of tiny cues which can convey a broad range of emotions. For any knowing spectator watching these cues, they help to build a picture of the speaker’s intent. Are they trustworthy or hiding something? What are they thinking and what do they want from me? Etc. Most of this occurs in a person’s sub-conscious mind at a level where they have no conscious awareness of it, and yet a person’s body language and outward gestures can have an enormous impact on how they are perceived.