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Actions Speak Louder Than Words: Body Language Analysis of Prominent Political Leaders


Using the right body language, you can amplify the point you are trying to put across, while using the bare minimum words. Our facial expressions, gestures, eye contact, posture, and even the tone of voice is used to express what a person really means, and build better relationships. For instance, a smile exudes confidence and a shifty eye-contact can really be a deal breaker. In lieu of the ongoing 2017 General Elections in Uttar Pradesh, let’s analyse the body language of the key characters of this political drama.


Akhilesh Yadav:

The chief minister of Uttar Pradesh enters a venue and fills it with his radiating and pleasant smile. He walks upright, shaking hand confidently of the people he encounters. Akhilesh Yadav can be seen nodding his head towards his supporters which is again a positive gesture, along with a steady eye contact.

Body language experts have called him the humblest leader who exuberates simplicity. His good sense of humour has often made news and got amplified when he launched a book of cartoon compilations on himself. His oratory skills have phenomenally improved in the last few years which is reflected in the fact that his rallies are always jam packed with people trying to hear him talk.

This doting family man’s sincerity can be observed in times when he can be seen interacting with people. Akhilesh Yadav is one of the most benevolent leaders and his persona drips with honesty and genuineness along with trustworthiness.

The young leader has leveraged excellent oratory skills and humour to engage with his audiences. His tone is powerful and grabs the attention of the masses. It can be seen very clearly in the ongoing rallies which are proving to be massive crowd pullers.



Narendra Modi:

“Modi’s body language is aspirational, aggressive. He seeks territorial control. His mannerisms blend the old bully, the new manager and India’s Prime Minister. He often laughs but his chuckles sound like a threat. His is a proactive body reaching out to the masses, seeking the conviviality of conspirational gossip. His face is tired but he portrays the tiredness of responsibility. When the body is tired, he plays the sevak, when aggressive he is the political supremo. He seems in control, not quite Bismarck, but close to power. He has the restlessness of the upwardly mobile,” says body language expert, P. Banerjee.

Narendra Modi’s movements signal ‘lack of preparedness’ after seeing him in the BRIC conference. As can be seen in multiple speeches, Indian PM is often seen painting a picture in the air. This is observed as promising a rosy future to the people. Modi, a man who uses a lot of hand gestures can be seen making an ‘OK’ sign often by joining the tips of the thumb and the index finger again or his signature ‘V-sign’, comes across as a strong orator.

He has an authoritative voice modulation which he uses to stress on important points which he wants people to remember, even after the speech is over. But this often edges on being more dictative than pleasant.

His posture in reality, tells a different story though. This great orator is not the best of the listeners though, as pointed out by multiple experts. In any event, Modi can be seen shifting from one foot to the other, making it difficult to hold a conversation. Self-touching gestures come across as being nervous or apprehensive, can also be seen during his many meets. Wiping his face during speeches shows his nervousness and insincerity of ‘promises’.

On the whole, we can safely conclude that PM Modi is a great orator, with a bigger than life persona, but definitely not a People’s leader.


Amit Shah:


Amit Shah, the current President of Bhartiya Janata Party is clearly seen taking tips from Narendra Modi. The similarities in their personalities are uncanny and often come across as being a bluff. Because if the body language analysts were to gauge the change in his persona, a clear shift can be observed in last few years. His emphasis on words, dictator-like authoritative gestures look like he is trying too hard for the people to like him.



Mayawati hailing from a humble family could have been expected to show the same in her body language. But it hasn’t been the case in her last odd 25 years in politics. This authoritative leader is a good orator but has extreme dictator-like qualities. Apart from just her general demeanour, multiple incidents have been reported against her from senior officers, which re-affirm this fact.

Mayawati in her four terms as the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh has never conducted a single press conference where journalists are allowed to question her. A strong woman with a good grip on her party, speaks volumes about this 61-year old who is loud spoken, almost boisterous. A poor listener who promises the welfare of a certain caste does not connect to the masses. She is often portrayed in posters as an avatar of Kaali Maa, who is ferocious, fearless, and dominating. But again, it is said that people are falling off in her electoral rallies. Her charm and fear, have both seem to have subsided.

Dimple Yadav:

Samajwadi Party’s Member of Parliament, Dimple Yadav has emerged as a force to reckon with, in the 2017 Assembly Polls. Being a second-term MP from Kannauj, she has a strong hold in campaigning for UP Elections. Dimple’s image is that of a progressive woman of the house with a refreshing mix of tradition and modernity. She has boldly come forward and played a key role in connecting with the crowds. During her recent speeches in the rallies, her confidence is evident which was probably not the case when she entered politics. Her body language is compassionate during rallies and she can be seen touching the nerves when talking about women and child issues.

Dimple Yadav’s rallies are great crowd pullers and have seen a massive populartity throughout the state. People are eager to hear her charismatic voice which chides them like a ‘bhabhi ji’ and assures them of a bright future like the strong mass leader that she is. Her popularity can be seen going up with her every appearance. She can be seen filling the gap for her husband and UPCM, Akhilesh Yadav with ease.

People definitely want to see more of her and wait in anticipation.


Rahul Gandhi:


Rahul Gandhi comes across as someone who is keen to serve the nation. Quick improvement from one public encounter to another show that this young leader is a good listener and is willing to learn. His non-verbal communication seems to reflect an openness to connect with the masses. His facial expressions change from smiling to serious very comfortably. There is a simplicity in Rahul Gandhi’s tone and physical appearance that is reminiscent of his father and comes across as genuinely warm and friendly when he interacts with his audiences. He can evoke gentleness.

Rahul Gandhi has the right amount of aggression on the stage, which shows his enthusiasm and belief in what he is saying and doing. Owing to a huge youth following, his energy levels never leave the crowd disappointed. He has naturally inherited the grace, compassion, and oratory skills from the Gandhi family, which continues to grow.

From the above inferences, we can see that Uttar Pradesh General Election Assembly is a battlefield where the combat is between great orators. Some are humble while others have dictator-like qualities.

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