Taking over the helm of a country is enough of a challenge. We can only imagine it is even more so after an election made contentious by an opponent who refuses to concede; and at a time when millions have been sickened, hundreds of thousands dead, with an economy brought to its knees by a killer pandemic. So we might have been a bit taken aback by the image of President-elect Joe Biden projected during his most recent address to the nation on Monday night, because many of us may have felt that while the message was strong, Biden’s delivery could have been stronger.
Like many of us, body language expert Lauren Cohen, an executive and career coach at Positive Coaching Now, appeared to expect the same electric Joe Biden that we’d seen in the weeks after election results were announced. She told The List, “Biden is known for his eye contact and even having a bit of a twinkle in his eye. None of that was there for this speech. A reason to make meaningful eye contact is to boost trustworthiness, empathy, credibility and likability. Biden accomplished none of that tonight. Most voters for Biden were really voting against Trump so it is hard to imagine Americans from any political position were inspired by what they watched.” Cohen continued, explaining further that this is not par for the course for Biden, saying he “took the stage tonight weakly and hesitantly… He seemed totally off from the moment he began and did not even spend a moment assuming a stance as a speaker. No smiles or twinkle in his eyes tonight.” She noted that Biden seemed “uncomfortable” and that “any emotion felt forced…”
'The throat clearing is all that will be remembered:' Body language expert
Cohen also addressed the constant throat clearing that many of us who were watching the nationally televised address likely found distracting. “The endless throat clearing was distracting and borderline bizarre. Is he sick? Is something wrong? Is it stress? How long has this been going on and if it was a problem why did he still even come out and do this tonight? Why not wait ’til the morning if he will actually be better and show energy and promise and give America something positive?” she asked.
The body language expert concluded that this was definitely not Biden’s best performance. “He had a few moments where he stood a bit taller and had some arm gestures to remind us that he is there but this was a horrific performance and delivery of a very important address… The throat clearing is all that will be remembered. It was hard to even listen to and hear what he was trying to say about the Republicans not supporting President Trump because I just felt like someone needed to bring him a cough drop or some lozenges,” Cohen told The List. “I heard the words that he wanted this to be a vigorous denunciation and he wants us to remember that Trump is trying to assault American democracy but most people probably didn’t even hear him tonight.”
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