Body Language Expert Describes How GOP Debate Candidates Were Really Feeling

Gary Varvel /
Gary Varvel /

We know communication during the GOP debates is key, you know, making yourself heard and using the right words. But as one expert says, words aren’t everything. Body language also says a great deal.

So what did the body language of the GOP presidential candidates say when they went toe to toe with one another recently?

Here’s what nonverbal communication specialist Joe Navarro says.

For Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, Navarro notes a seriousness both in words and body language. During his entire debate performance, we saw pretty much nothing but stern faces and furrowed eyebrows. Also, his lips quivered a bit.

As Navarro suggests, this only underscores his seriousness on certain issues. While he may not play off likability, no one can ignore his severity.

For Vivek Ramaswamy, things were quite the opposite. According to Navarro, Ramaswamy was by far the most comfortable on stage, making broad gestures and showing the most amount of empathy. In fact, the expert noted that he likely also had the most “fun,” which allowed him to steal the show a few times.

Chris Christie was also able to stand out using his body language. Like Ramaswamy, he remained calm and confident. And he used “his laser-like eyes more than anyone else, boring into opponents.”

Mike Pence’s body language could not say the same. As Navarro analyzed, Pence was initially quite ” understated, ” only opening up over time. His more “vigorous” gestures and modulation changes noted that. While he couldn’t make himself seem to stand out among his challengers, his passion was evident to Navarro.

South Carolina Senator Tim Scott reminded Navarro of a preacher. His gestures were strong but made him approachable with “plenty of gravitas.”

On the other hand, Nikki Haley looked as though she was constantly ready for a fight. As the only woman on stage, it wasn’t all that unexpected, and it did add to her passion. Navarro said it made her into someone “not to be trifled with.”

The other two on stage, Asa Hutchinson and Doug Burgum,seemed friendly, but that also meant they weren’t aggressive enough to do any damage.

What do you think? Did you get the same impressions from the candidates?