BODY LAN­GUAGE:

Mar­cel Danesi, U of T pop cul­ture semi­oti­cian

Midtown Post - - Premiers -

The word that per­haps sum­ma­rizes Wynne’s bod­ily per­sona is “re­as­sur­ing.” Her hand ges­tures are con­stantly reach­ing out to her au­di­ences, as if she is giv­ing or pass­ing some­thing on to them. This con­veys sym­pa­thy for oth­ers. Un­like Hu­dak, her body does not con­vey strength; rather, it com­mu­ni­cates em­pa­thy, un­der­stand­ing, and com­pas­sion.

Hu­dak pre­sents a solid im­age of him­self, as a sober, con­trolled, ra­tio­nal per­son. He is nice look­ing and ex­udes con­fi­dence. His shoul­ders, which he arches at the right mo­ments, con­vey strength and de­ter­mi­na­tion. He looks right at his au­di­ence and never shies away from it. Like a friend or ac­quain­tance, one feels that he can be trusted. He is a con­ser­va­tive and looks the part to per­fec­tion.

Hor­wath is prob­a­bly the most per­sua­sive speaker of all the can­di­dates. But when she speaks, she over­com­pen­sates by try­ing to tone down her body from get­ting ex­cited about her ideas. This leaves us want­ing her to “burst out” rather than “hold back.” She seems to be overly con­scious of her ap­pear­ance and thus keeps her body pos­ture still (al­most stiff).

Schreiner has the most ac­tive body of all the can­di­dates. Through his con­stantly tilt­ing pos­ture he shows im­pa­tience at the way things are and the de­sire to change them quickly. He pumps his fist as in a rally ges­ture. This might at­tract young vot­ers, but it be­comes en­er­vat­ing if you are try­ing to fig­ure out what he is truly say­ing.

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