Monday, April 30, 2012

Example of a Poor First Impression: Much of a Speaker’s Face Being Blocked from View by his Coffee Cup as he enters the room

Take a look at the video clip below. As White House Press Secretary Jay Carney enters the press briefing room, much of his face is blocked from view because, for some reason, he wants to take in some few precious sips just before taking control of the lectern. Not a good idea. To me, this sort of body language smacks of perfunctoriness. It suggests the presenter is much too casual, that he takes the audience for granted. And no, my criticism is not at all ideological: I am not one of those rabid, mindless critics who find fault with Obama and his administration on every issue. Yes, some of my readers might disagree with my stance, pointing out that because the audience in the White House Press Room is extremely familiar with Carney, this is not a case of a poor first impression. What they (the people who do not find fault with Carney’s body language in the clip below) are not realizing is that Carney must surely be aware that on days when he has something important to say, TV news channels typically broadcast images of his entering the room, and several viewers across the nation are probably not familiar with Carney’s personality.

© Copyright 2012 V. J. Singal

You can Predict the Success of a Couple’s First Date by Analyzing their Language

Just in case you missed today’s edition of NPR’s Monday morning “health blog”: You can predict the success of a couple’s first date—and thus the probability that they will still be dating several weeks later—by analyzing their language. According to UT psychologist James Pennebaker, when there is a match in the language style of two people who are speed dating--in other words, “when they used pronouns, prepositions, articles and so forth in similar ways at similar rates--they were much more likely to end up on a date.”

This piece is really worth a look.

Spontaneous Pauses: Facilitators of Fresh Words and Synonyms

In a post early last year (Jan. 31, 2011) I wrote about the vital role played by spontaneous pauses when someone is speaking extempore because such pauses help facilitate the use of fresh words and synonyms, the defining trait of articulate people. The short video clip below, showing famous film director James Cameron giving his impressions of the Mariana Trench, is an excellent example of how a spontaneous pause can help generate a stream of synonyms, making one’s communication vivid and compelling.

© Copyright 2012 V. J. Singal