Quest Quips

blog devoted to CNN International Business anchor, Richard Quest, who looks like a cross between Roger Daltry and a Muppet. You have to see him to believe him...

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Monday, July 14, 2003
What's Richard's Body Language Really Saying?

This month's Business Traveller focues on communicating in a foreign language. Richard tries to learn German in 6 months, goes to a body language expert and travels with musician Yo Yo Ma. The body language expert sure has got Richard's number as you can read in the 7/14/03 - Transcripts

LIZ BARNES, BODY LANGUAGE EXPERT: Body language, a crucial element in good communication.

Take a look at Richard. See how he's crossing his legs away from Sonya and he's actually swinging his foot. This might mean that he's quite impatient with Sonya and he wants to speed things up.

Richard's now leaned forward. He's trying to invade her space. Sonya is started to feel rather defensive. The crossing of the arms across the body. Sonya is now running her fingers through her hair. This could be a sign of nervousness. She's picked up on some of the signals that Rich was sending her.

So this meeting is on a downward spiral.

So what we have here is a typical situation. Sonya is trying to talk to Richard, but he's not interested in having a conversation with her at all.

He takes his glasses off and wipes them clean in front of her while she's trying to speak to him. Sonya, you're just wasting your time with Richard.

Richard, just look at your body language. Look at the signal that you're sending out to Sonya. You need to have a little more energy with your posture, standing up straight. Actually see Sonya through eye contact. Show that you're actually interested in what she's got to say.

Now the nodding, which means your sincere. That's much better.

So what we've got here is a complete case of total insensitivity on Richard's part. Over-staring at Sonia, pointing towards her like that, can be quite intimidating. And now he's even got his foot on her stool.

Richard, you need to think about the way you're behaving. He's going to seem flirtatious, aggressive and don't even realize it, and there's going to come a time had Sonya has had enough.

Perhaps Richard's body language is what makes him such a compelling and amusing anchor- he's invading all our spaces and defies the conventions of broadcasting.