Sarah Bednarek | Podium
public officials often use gestures when they speak. Some
are very natural enhancements or illustrations
of what is being said. However, others are extremely self-conscious.
For instance, President Kennedy used the gesture where the hand is
loosely clenched, thumb on top, slightly up, moving forward. It is
like a wimpy “thumbs up” intended to suggest, without
being overtly demonstrative, that whatever is being said is a good
idea that you should agree with.
President or "also-ran" since the first George Bush has
used this gesture. Lesser officials use this
gesture. It is intended to create consensus. It is meant to align
the speaker with the mystique of the fallen President Kennedy.
Gestures belie something
about the individual using them. Fidgeting, pointing, pounding
on the chest, all of these things connote the deeper characteristics
of these officials. Gesture is a non-verbal language. Self-conscious gestures
insincerity and unself-conscious gestures imply sincerity.
Perhaps this is
why things are the way they are.