Body Language and Communication in the Presidential Race

I was interviewed for an article in Baltimore Magazine on the impact of communication and body language in the presidential race.

Here is an excerpt:

Carson’s soft-spoken, “low-key” demeanor, derided by some, and regularly by MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough, a conservative former GOP Florida congressman, and Trump, of course, is often mistaken for a lack of leadership ability, according to the University of Baltimore’s Steven D. Cohen.

“Carson says his soft-spokenness is a strength, not a weakness and that’s a quote I’ve clipped out and shared with my students,” Cohen says. “I was baffled for a while myself. I think the media is used to [covering] more intense leaders . . . But he’s always in control of himself and when Donald Trump or someone else makes a personal attack, he doesn’t respond. It rolls off his back.”

Cohen is quick to note that, when a politician goes negative, it tends to push up both candidates’ negative numbers. In the case of Trump vs. Carson, it’s instructive to see that the New York real estate mogul has been careful not to overplay his hand. Yet.

“Carson has the ability to remain calm and collected in the heat of moment, which communicates the kind of stability and composure we expect to see in surgeons,” as well as in leaders in other areas of our lives, Cohen says.

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