Nonverbal Communication Analysis №3828: Donald Trump’s Body Language Display Rarely Used By Any Past President — Emotional Intelligence (PHOTOS)

Until Donald Trump, I had never seen an image of a US President using a “Conventional Steeple” display — and I’ve reviewed hundreds of thousands of POTUS photos.

Often shortened to simply just a “Steeple”, a conventional steeple (for there are several types) is a body language signal characterized by the tips of the fingers and thumbs touching each other while the palms of the hands are held well apart (in distinction from a prayer or pseudo-prayer configuration).

Whenever one uses a conventional steeple (and here it is a medium-to-low steeple — e.g., a “high conventional steeple” would involve the hands held in front of the neck or mouth), it should only be used literally for a half a second or perhaps a second — during the most important part of an appearance or speech — and no more.

When used in such small doses, a conventional steeple projects the alpha emotional tones of judicious power, decisiveness and confidence. Unfortunately when a conventional steeple is used, it’s usually OVER-USED — and thus it backfires and very rapidly becomes hyper-alpha, arrogant, condescending and overlaps with some components of disgust and contempt.

If you’re a head-of-state, the conventional steeple should almost NEVER be used. This is even more true of the leaders of the more powerful countries. Everyone already knows the President of the United States is an incredibly powerful person. Why the need for more power? Such hyper-alpha behavior builds no bridges — but rather acts as a rapport destroyer and actively alienates people.

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis №3827: Sean Spicer’s Saturday Night Press Briefing

Nonverbal Communication Analysis №3825: President Trump’s first Expression after Being Introduced

Nonverbal Communication Analysis №3823: Nina Dobrev, Flyboarding, Laughter and a Rapport/Bonding Amplifier — Body Language and Emotional Intelligence

Nonverbal Communication Analysis №3805: Mariah Carey’s New Year’s Eve Lip Sync Fail On Live TV

Nonverbal Communication Analysis №3798: Elle Fanning, Channing Tatum and Dialing Up the Alpha

Nonverbal Communication Analysis №3738: Gary Johnson Loses His Temper

Nonverbal Communication Analysis №3717: Creepy Clowns, Body Language and Emotional Intelligence

Nonverbal Communication Analysis №3707: The Presidential Debates Part III — Donald Trump v. Hillary Clinton and Sniffing

Nonverbal Communication Analysis №3674: Drake Presents Rihanna with Vanguard Award — 2016 Video Music Awards — MTV

Nonverbal Communication Analysis №3635: Michelle Obama’s DNC Speech and a Body Language Mistake

This post and the associated website serve as reference sources for the art and science of Body Language/Nonverbal Communication. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author. In an effort to be both practical and academic, many examples from/of varied cultures, politicians, professional athletes, legal cases, public figures, etc., are cited in order to teach and illustrate both the interpretation of others’ body language as well as the projection of one’s own nonverbal skills in many different contexts — not to advance any political, religious or other agenda.

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