When Ann Curry bade her final farewell on “The Today Show”, it proved to be painful for Curry, NBC, those watching the show, and for those at the network hoping the “hustling out the door” move did not have a lasting impact on their teetering ratings hold. In the months leading up to the dismissal, there had been plenty of rumor about o-host Matt Lauer being the person who demanded Curry’s firing. Despite statements to the contrary, Lauer was the main focus of Curry’s tearful goodbye with much made about his body language. Those points were very well made. Here at “Media Intelligence”, we dig into the issue of body language not only in our introductory program but work with our clients to freshen up the concept all the time. Lauer’s body language spoke volumes, and every expert concluded it showed insincerity and guilt. Curry’s reaction also received some heat, but in the end her show of raw and honest emotion will likely work to her advantage in a personal, professional and financial future.
INTELLIGENCE: YOUR BODY LANGUAGE IS JUST AS IMPORTANT AS WHAT YOU SAY, AND OFTEN WILL GIVE AWAY YOUR TRUE INTENTIONS & EMOTIONS
In this last morning with Ann Curry on Today, there are many body language signals. Here are a few highlights:
Matt Lauer is chronically insincere – which is a final common personality pathway for many (but not all) who report the news – they have to daily act sincere when these feelings do not exist. A narcissistic signal is displayed by Lauer when at the 0:14 second mark he puts his arm up on the coach in back of Curry and leaves it there through most of the remainder of this segment. In this context this nonverbal is highly consistent of narcissism – as if to say here, “… I know this is your moment Ann, but really it’s always about me … ” Narcissists tend to chronically and at inappropriate moments adopt body postures which take up more space.
Freeze frame at 1:23 – 1:24 and you will see a unilateral “pseudo-smile” on Lauer’s face. This is also a classic body language tell of insincerity. It is an unconscious act. The shoulder touch to Ann Curry at 2:08 is consciously controlled however, and in this nonverbal context, it is feigned – and not a signal of true affection.
Beware the Mona Lisa Smile
Though a very secure and accomplished woman, Curry displays a double-arm grip during 2:24 – 2:52, displaying temporary signals of self-hugging and self-comforting.
Ann has a bitterness-regret pseudo-smile at the 2:27 mark as she reacts to Lauer’s statement. Ann also looks at Roker and Morales when they reminisce about past stories – but she doesn’t make eye contact with Lauer.
What does “Eye Contact” really mean in a Body Language context
Ms. Curry again displays bitterness in her pseudo-smile at 4:19 when Lauer kisses her temple. Notice also how there’s no reciprocal kiss or affection signals. Yet there is much affection displayed for Al Roker.
Note also the narcissistic word choice by Lauer, ” …. We’re going to continue to put you on planes …”, when Curry’s future assignments certainly won’t come from him.
Another very strong body language signal of insincerity on Lauer’s part – is that he is the only one with his back touching the back of the couch. He’s aloof. He’s distancing himself emotionally and physically from the conversation and his colleague’s emotions. Curry, Roker and Morales are all leaning forward in their seats – backs not touching the couch. They are engaged in the emotional context of the moment.
In a nutshell: Matt Lauer displays chronic insincerity – do NOT pick him for your jury.