Now that every PR blogger, trade journalist and political pundit has ‘weighed’ in on New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s marathon press conference, I thought I’d join a lone Gonzaga University professor in addressing what the embattled pol DIDN’T say.
As you’ll read in The Daily Beast article, Gonzaga’s David B. Givens said Christie’s non-verbals were in direct contrast to the Gov’s ‘mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa’ talkathon.
Givens said Christie never once used his hands to emphasize a point. Nor he did move his highly-scrutinized bulk around as he addressed one painful point after another. So, while his mind and mouth may have been in sync, his other body told a different story.
I’m not an expert in detecting non-verbal clues. But, having media trained countless clients and prepared hundreds of others to perform stand-up comedy, I am very attuned to non-verbal communication.
We work long and hard to help executives understand the importance of connecting the non-verbal to the verbal.
So, if a Fortune 500 executive is trying to impress a CNBC reporter (and his viewing audience) she really needs to use her hands and her arms in just the right way and at just the right time to drive home a point. As we always say to these executives, if you’re not displaying passion and conviction, why should the audience care?
Likewise, when prepping business executives to perform stand-up in front of their peers, we stress how critical it is to make eye contact, use physical humor to illustrate a story and ‘act out’ a particular bit (i.e. I often pretend to be texting on an imaginary iPhone when I speculate how many more people Jesus might have reached if he’d had access to Twitter).
In reviewing the coverage of ChristieGate, I wholeheartedly agree with Professor Givens. Chris may have talked the talk, but his hands, arms and body sure didn’t walk the walk.