Gaddafi: Aggressive Body Language

On Tuesday 22nd February 2011, Leader Muammar Gaddafi delivered a nationwide address to Libya as violence in the country against him raged further.

The Canadian National Post ran an article that looked at decoding the meaning, intention and ramifications of that speech, and knowing Mark Bowden’s work with world political leaders on how exactly they present themselves, they asked him to comment on the nonverbal communication displayed by Gaddafi.

Here are Mark’s comments and a link to the whole piece…

Col. Gaddafi’s body language suggested he feels stressed, angry and rattled by events, said Mark Bowden, a Toronto-based communications coach and body-language specialist who has trained with world leaders. Col. Gaddafi’s taut, stiff upper lip seen during his speech is associated with anger. His hand motions, such as his repeated drumming of his fist up and down at chest level, suggests passion — not an ecstatic passion or a truthful passion, but an angry passion. “He is showing the signs of stress and anxiety. He is seen rearranging his clothes and coming up off his toes, slightly unbalanced, suggesting he is very unsettled,” Mr. Bowden said. Col. Gaddafi’s fumbling gestures also suggest he was ill-prepared and the speech was largely unscripted.

Gaddafi’s Speech: Decoding a Tyrant’s Words