Body Language Expert Breaks Down Biden First Press Conference

After President Joe Biden's first press conference on March 25, 2021, body language expert Damali Peterman talked to Nicki Swift to break down Biden's body language. Peterman is a conflict resolution, communications, and body language expert and a lawyer, mediator, and CEO and founder of BreakthroughADR.

Since taking office on Jan. 20, 2021, the Biden White House has faced some of the toughest challenges of any president in U.S. history. On the day of Biden's first press conference, there have been 539,027 American deaths from COVID-19. Two weeks before the 46th president took office, a deadly insurrection took place at the U.S. Capitol. Since taking office, there has been more media attention on the United States southern border and renewed calls for gun control after multiple mass shootings. 

At his first press conference, the president shared that the Biden Administration has already met the goal of getting "100 million shots in people's arms in the first 100 days" of taking office. President Biden also claimed he met the goal of the COVID-19 vaccines on his 58th day in office, which is 42 days ahead of schedule.

Keep reading to find out Peterman's expert insights of Biden's body language during his first press conference on March 25, 2021.

President Biden's body language is consistent

Body language expert Damali Peterman of BreakthroughADR told Nicki Swift it was very interesting to watch the first Biden press conference. Peterman said, "The president's body language during the press conference was consistent with what we have come to expect from President Biden — "[his] strong stature, steady eye contact, slight smile, appropriate humor plus more, sent the message of credibility, trustworthiness, and empathy."

Peterman noted that Biden's body language during his prepared statement and progress report was the same as when he answered the press questions. The Breakthrough ADR founder told us, "The president often leans in with his entire body shows that you have his undivided attention and that he is actively listening." Peterman pointed out that Biden's first press conference was more difficult because he "could not see the facial expressions of the press corps, he had to read their eyes, voices and body language." 

President Biden seemed open to questions from the press. Peterman said that Biden "moved away from the podium, leaning in to hear more clearly and also removing barriers between him and the speaker."

President Biden's body language was 'not boastful or scripted'

Damali Peterman shared with Nicki Swift what President Biden's body language didn't represent — and what it did.

Peterman noted, "As the president transitioned between each topic, he shifted his weight, slightly rocking, which seemed to indicate a calmness. When the president outlined his accomplishments, his body language was not boastful or scripted. His language underscored his words and exuded charisma and confidence." Biden's Progress report covered four main topics: vaccination, opening schools, stimulus payments, and the American Rescue Plan

The CEO of BreakthroughADR shared that Biden turning pages from his briefing materials while reporters asked questions showed he was "prepared and had been briefed by his staff." However, when Biden responded to a reporter, Peterson said, "President Biden generally did not consult his papers again, but rather maintained eye contact with the reporter who had posed the question. He exuded strength and control."

President Biden's body language was 'in sync' with his message

Damali Peterman noted that President Biden's body language during his first press conference was "in sync" with the points he was communicating. The body language expert said, "Overall, the president's body language was in sync with what he stated and, in my opinion, underscored what he vocalized."

In the first question of his first press conference, President Biden was direct about his priorities. Joe Biden said, "I got elected to solve problems. And the most urgent problem facing the American people, I stated from the outset, was COVID-19 and the economic dislocation for millions and millions of Americans."

Peterman revealed Biden's body language showed a "widening of eyes" when he discussed immigration reform, "indicating that it deeply impacted him." The body language expert said that Biden's smile and chuckle during the press conference "seemed natural and felt appropriate; he did not come across as condescending." Peterman noted that the president "used his hands to exaggerate a point." President Biden made a fist, opened his palms, and clasped his hands during the press conference. The body language expert said this indicates "strength and clear positioning."