THREAD: Body Language Analysis No. 4327: Trump and Putin just prior to Helsinki Press Conference - Nonverbal and Emotional Intelligence #DonaldTrump #VladimirPutin #TrumpPutinSummit #BodyLanguage #BodyLanguageExpert #TrumpRussia #HELSINKI2018
1/ This image (and the following close-ups) show Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin just prior to beginning their joint press conference during last week's Helsinki Summit.
2/ It is only an instant in time - but from a nonverbal perspective, it's very telling (see below for other, more comprehensive analyses of this same presser).
3/ Look at the overall posture of each man. Putin's spine is upright - perpendicular to the floor with his shoulders relaxed and squared. Holding notes, his hands and arms are flexed with mild activity. His body looks relaxed, ready, and confident.
4/ President Trump is in the midst of stepping - so this is not entirely an apples-to-apples comparison - however, his shoulders are hunched with his torso leaning forward - while his neck is also foreshortened. This makes him look weak - like he doesn't really want to be there.
5/ Trump's arms should not be resting at his sides in this moment - for it gives him the appearance of an enlisted man, standing at attention (or a subordinate facing reprimand).
6/ Trump also forgot to button his suit-jacket (or prefers it). In this setting, such casualness elevates President Putin (making him look athletic, classy, and assertive) and diminishes President Trump.
7/ It also accentuates their age difference (the Russian is 65 and the American is 72).
8/ Putin's posture projects health, vigor, and dominance - while Trump's configuration conveys a tired, stressed, and submissive emotional tone.
9/ President Trump's head, neck, & eyes are all directed downward during this crucial entrance onto what is, very much, the World Stage. The expression on Trump's face is projecting anxiety & low confidence. Trump is preoccupied. He's not fully present - he's not 'in the moment'.
10/ President Putin's expression projects a smug confidence. He knows he's 'already won' before the first word is spoken.
11/ SUMMARY: Trump's nonverbal behavior in this pre-presser moment is worried, tired, and subservient - while Putin is confident, relaxed, and dominant.
12/ Vladimir Putin looks like he wrote the script - while Donald Trump looks worried, shocked, acquiescing - as if he's trying to remember his lines.