Reading Some People in the News

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Once you start paying attention to body language, you see it everywhere. We pulled these recent photos and asked for comment from Joe Navarro, the ex-FBI agent who wrote our main story on nonverbal communication. The photos show Sen. Barack Obama at a church service in Chicago on June 15; Tiger Woods and Rocco Mediate at the awards table after Woods won the U.S. Open on June 16, and Mediate during the tournament.

Rocco Mediate reacts to missing a birdie putt at the U.S. Open golf championship by tightening his face and putting his hand toward his neck. "We don't have to be there to know that he is dealing with something," Joe Navarro says. "We often demonstrate that we have concerns, insecurities or issues by touching our necks."

Tiger Woods, after winning, takes a stance that asserts dominance and projects authority. "When we're on top of the world, we tend to claim more territory," Navarro says.

Sen. Barack Obama has permitted his legs to splay and his neck is tilted. "He is very comfortable. When we are uncomfortable, we tend to bring our legs together."

© 2008 The Washington Post Company