Prime Minister Scott Morrison nailed his campaign speech, says a body language expert. Picture: Gary Ramage
Prime Minister Scott Morrison nailed his campaign speech, says a body language expert. Picture: Gary Ramage

Why PM’s speech smacks of victory

IT'S being already being spoken of as the first time voters have seen the "authentic" Scott Morrison.

And according to a body language expert, the Prime Minister's presidential-style speech at the Liberal Party's official launch event in Melbourne is the first time he has "come into his own skin" during the campaign.

After the heated and tense leadership debates dotted throughout the campaign, Mr Morrison was criticised for his "aggressive" and "arrogant" persona.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison nailed his campaign speech, says a body language expert.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison nailed his campaign speech, says a body language expert.

But today's "relaxed and friendly" speech marked a turning point for the PM, and was the first time he has ever justified his leadership position, body language expert Louise Mahler said.

Dr Mahler said unlike previous efforts, Mr Morrison's eye contact was "magnificent" and the speech had a "beautiful rhythm".

"His reading of the document - the way his eyes flicked from left to right - was the most professional I have ever seen in any Australian politician," Dr Mahler said.

The body language expert said Mr Morrison was calm and confident.

The pace of the speech was vibrant and he opened his arms in an expansive, warm gesture throughout, she said.

The PM has a habit of clenching his jaw and turning his mouth downwards.  Picture: Gary Ramage
The PM has a habit of clenching his jaw and turning his mouth downwards. Picture: Gary Ramage

Dr Mahler said Mr Morrison's new and improved persona had a distinct air of victory. He's been "practising leadership" and has now come into his own.

"Until the last 15 or so minutes, the speech sounded like a concession speech," she said.

The intonation of his voice was spot-on, she says, rising at the right points and becoming lower when speaking about the topic of youth suicide.

There was one downside though - the PM's repeated habit of tightening his mouth and tipping his jaw back at the completion of his sentences.

"This gestures says 'I'm finished and I'm right' and comes across as arrogant," Dr Mahler said.

Scott Morrison with his wife Jenny,  daughter Abigail and  mother Marion on stage.
Scott Morrison with his wife Jenny, daughter Abigail and mother Marion on stage.

From the beginning of the speech - when the Prime Minister referred to his mother and wife - the event had the distinct feeling of a church sermon, says Dr Mahler, which she described as a smart move that would appeal to listeners.

The body language expert said the improvised moment when Mr Morrison jokingly gave a shout out to his daughter, telling her not to worry because the speech would be finished soon, was astounding in that it showed how relaxed he was.

"People watching would have been impressed, but is it too little, too late?" she said.

Scott Morrison, with daughter Lily, showed his softer side at the  Liberal Party campaign launch.
Scott Morrison, with daughter Lily, showed his softer side at the Liberal Party campaign launch.


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