In the most recent presidential debates, Hillary Clinton had the best body language among the leading candidates, according to Tonya Reiman, Bill O’Reilly’s body language expert.
“Hillary has looked to me powerful and confident and at times nurturing,” Reiman tells Newsmax. “She has been strong, both in her verbals and nonverbals, and I don’t mean the words that she’s been using,” Reiman says. “I mean just her tone, her pitch.”
In particular, Reiman noted the way she holds a microphone.
“She seems to be holding it with a passion, as if she’s more nurturing,” Reiman says.
In contrast, Mitt Romney gives the impression of someone who is not as committed but who is very smooth, in a good sense. Romney’s body language says he is “relaxed and has everything covered. It’s all about charisma with him. He just reminds me a lot of Bill Clinton,” Reiman says.
While Rudy Giuliani comes across “at times as more sincere than Romney, Romney comes across as smoother, like John Edwards.” In contrast, Reiman finds John McCain’s movements to be stiff and stilted.
While Clinton has come off the best so far, Reiman says she wants to watch the next Republican debate before making a final determination of who has the best body language. She emphasizes that body language does not necessarily reveal whether a candidate is sincere. A pathological liar, for example, may project trustworthiness when, in fact, he is lying. And she says her impressions could change with the next debates.
Reiman’s book, "The Power of Body Language: How to Succeed in Every Business and Social Encounter," has just come out. Despite her weekly appearances on Fox News’ "The O’Reilly Factor," Reiman’s background has never appeared in the press. [Editor's Note: Get Tonya Reiman's book, "The Power of Body Language" — go here now.]
Born on Long Island, she married at 19 and attended Pace University while working as an analyst for Goldman Sachs. At Pace, from which she graduated, a psychology professor interested her in proxemics, the study of the nature, degree, and effect of the spatial separation individuals naturally maintain.
Reiman left Goldman Sachs to become a full-time mom, She then became interested in hypnotism, in coaching people on how they can improve the way they present themselves, and in giving public talks about body language.
In October 2006, Reiman appeared on "Access Hollywood" to analyze Mel Gibson’s body language. A few weeks later, a producer for Bill O’Reilly asked her to appear on the show. On the evening of the requested appearance, she was planning to take her daughter to a New York City play, so she declined. The producer pushed.
“What if we pick you up from the restaurant, bring you over to the studio, you can look at some footage, we’ll bring you back to the restaurant so your daughter doesn’t miss anything, then we’ll drive you to the play,” he said. “We’ll wait outside until the play is over, and then we’ll swoop you back to the studio, and you can do the show.’”
On the show, Reiman evaluated Bill and Hillary Clinton’s body language at a speech she gave. She concluded that the pats they gave each other as they hugged demonstrated a lack of genuine romantic involvement.
Reiman, who appears every Monday on "The O'Reilly Factor," is not paid for her appearances, but the publicity raises her profile as a coach and public speaker.
I first met Reiman in the Fox News green room while waiting to appear on the "The O’Reilly Factor" about my book "The Terrorist Watch: Inside the Desperate Race to Stop the Next Attack." After she shook my hand firmly, I asked her who her fourth grade teacher was. She looked me straight in the eye and said, “Mrs. Hauser.”
Reiman knew I was playing an old FBI trick. Profilers have found that when a right-handed person looks to his left when asked a question, it may mean he is genuinely trying to remember the answer and attempting to tell the truth. If such a person looks to his right, he may be trying to create information — in other words, to lie. Conversely, left-handed people usually look to the left when they are lying.
To get people to honestly search their memories, I have asked dozens of people who their fourth grade teacher was. Invariably, if they are right-handed, they have looked to the left. By looking straight at me, Reiman foiled my little plan.
Later, I asked Reiman for her tips on creating the best body language.
“One of the things you want to do is walk tall,” she says. “When they’re not feeling confident, people tend to drop their neck into their shoulders and slump down a little bit. One of the things that I tell people to do is drop their shoulders down and elongate their necks and to smile. Smiling sets off good feelings in the prefrontal cortex, so it kind of makes you feel better about life. So I tell them: make eye contact, smile, elongate your neck, and fix your posture.”
To appear trustworthy, “You have to make sure that when you’re talking to someone, your body is pointing toward them, your feet are pointing toward them,” Reiman says. “Your feet are really significant, because your feet tell where you actually want to be. So if I’m having a conversation with you and I’m facing you, the upper body is facing you, but you look down and my feet are pointed towards the door, well you can assume that I really want to get away, I’m looking to get out. And I’m really just giving you face time.”
Reiman also advises people to tilt their heads when speaking with others.
“You want to lean into them a little bit, but never entering into their intimate personal space,” she says.”Because what you’re trying to convey is your level of interest so that in their mind they are the only people that matter. And just that little interaction can cause them to begin to really trust you and feel rapport.”
In the next Republican debate scheduled for Nov. 28, Reiman will be watching to see if candidates pull their lips in when answering a question.
“You don’t want to be the person who sucks in your lip when you’re getting ready to answer a question,” she says. “It’s called an inward lip roll. It indicates either that you’re hiding something, that you’re frustrated, or that you’re anxious.”
Ronald Kessler is chief Washington correspondent of Newsmax.com. View his previous reports and get his dispatches sent to you free via e-mail. Go here now.
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