Nov. 7, 2020 was a true whirlwind of a day — analysts and media networks projected that Joe Biden clinched the victory to become the next president of the United States. After that, Biden, future vice president Kamala Harris, and many others shared their reactions on social media. At night, Biden and Harris delivered powerful and moving speeches to celebrate their win and set the tone for the upcoming term. There is so much to break down from the night, to the words they spoke during those speeches to the song selection before and after their remarks. Nicki Swift spoke to Lauren Cohen, a body language expert and an executive career coach, to dissect Joe Biden’s body language during his victory speech.
Cohen told us, “Leadership is about communicating and understanding, and effective leaders transmit verbally and nonverbally. This was an election where Americans decided that character was on the ballot. It was not a victory speech with the eloquence of a JFK but more of a middle-class Scranton politician speaking.” Cohen went on to explain, “He wants to end demonization and chaos and communicated with calm and kindness.”
“The campaigns could not have been more diametrically opposed, so it is no surprise that the victory speech tonight of President-elect Biden was calmer, quieter and reassuring,” Cohen noted. She contrasted his post-win remarks with a speech he delivered two days earlier when he appeared to be “more hesitant and stressed,” which is understandable since the whole country was waiting for the election results to come through.
Joe Biden conveyed that he is 'ready and capable'
Body language expert Lauren Cohen said Joe Biden’s “stature and communication style is open and engaging,” observing that “he makes efforts to look into the camera to reach his audience.” Cohen remarked, “He leads as if he is in conversation and communicates calm and hope.” Cohen noticed that “his hands were up and out” when he mentioned “big ideas such as dreams and hope” and when he emphasized being “inclusive.” Cohen recalled, “Only once did he bang his fists on the podium, and it was when he said America stood up for him and did so because we the American people want to heal, lower the temperature, and restore faith in each other and our country.”
Cohen said that Biden’s “face and eyes communicated compassion, empathy and concern.” The expert said, “He came across as incredibly sincere. He did not point but had arms up and palms facing each other very often to highlight and reinforce his statements.”
Cohen recalled, “He wrinkled his nose a bit at one point, as if to say, ‘America I am kind and gentle but do not be mistaken — I am serious and ready and capable to act.'” Cohen said that his “biblical references felt deliberate to try to unify the nation and bring in the more conservative right.” She noticed that Biden “used his hands with palms facing each other but up when he spoke about faith, love of country and thirst for justice.”
Joe and Jill Biden's body language conveys that they are 'in sync'
Body language expert Lauren Cohen told Nicki Swift, “Tonight President-elect Joe Biden jogged onto the stage confident, hopeful and unifying. He spoke and displayed grace and confidence. Everything about his body language displayed confidence and that he is a well-studied communicator.” She said his jog “displays energy and is a signature move of politicians.” She added, “The president-elect had huge smiles and his eyes looked confident and had sparkle tonight.”
The energy went up a notch when the future president’s wife, Dr. Jill Biden, joined him on stage. Cohen said, “President-elect Biden ended his speech like a gentleman, and blew a kiss, waved to the crowd and welcomed Jill lovingly.” She remarked, “Jill is always full of life and energy and communicates kindness and optimism. They are in sync and partners, and she is clearly a rock for him.”
Before the couple united on stage, the Scranton native talked about Jill in his speech. Cohen said, “He stood strong and steady and put his hands up to display warmth and openness with a genuine smile when he spoke of Dr. Jill Biden as FLOTUS.” Along with high energy, he “showed additional passion,” particularly when he noted that he is a Democrat but a president for all of America.
There is a new era for the country, with a president who managed to be gentle, calm, kind, confident, capable, and energetic all in one speech.
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