Body Language Lessons from Famous People

Good & Bad Body Language by Famous People

What better way to show good and bad examples of body language than by watching presentations by famous people? Here are 2 examples each of great body language and not so great body language graciously demonstrated by famous peeps.

Good Body Language Examples

Steve Jobs

In this Steve Jobs video, Jobs is presenting his famous iPhone Launch Presentation in 2007. Steve Jobs was known for his charisma and ability to captivate audiences during his product launches. In this 2007 iPhone presentation, he masterfully uses body language with effective gestures that correspond to what he is talking about. For instance, when he describes the new iPhone's sleekness, he slides his hands smoothly together. His posture is always open, he moves around the stage to engage different sections of the audience, and he frequently makes direct eye contact with the audience, which conveys confidence and established a connection. Although he appears calm and confident, his enthusiasm is palpable.

Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey's acceptance speech at the 2018 Golden Globes demonstrated excellent use of body language. She used strong and definite gestures to emphasize her points, often mirroring the rhythm of her speech with her hand movements. Her eye contact with the audience was powerful and steady, conveying sincerity and commanding attention. Her stance was upright and firm, exuding confidence and authority. She spoke from her heart and used pauses to accentuate powerful points in her presentation. Although she probably rehearsed her presentation, it feels like she was speaking extemporaneously. She received a well-deserved standing ovation.

Bad Body Language Examples

Michael Bay

Michael Bay, the famous director, known for his high-budget blockbuster films, had a problematic moment during a 2014 Samsung TV presentation at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). Due to a malfunction with the teleprompter, Bay became confused, lost his train of thought, and abruptly walked off stage. His body language during this incident displayed his discomfort, as he was seen fidgeting, avoiding eye contact, and ultimately showed his anxiety and panic when he left the stage prematurely. Ooopsie! We forgive you Michael. 

Elon Musk

When Elon Musk hosted "Saturday Night Live" in May 2021, his inexperience in this area became apparent. His monologue, while candid about his condition of Asperger's syndrome, was marked by stiff body language and somewhat robotic use of facial expressions and gestures. While the monologue was intriguing, he frequently broke eye contact with the camera and audience to look at cue cards, which can be distracting for the audience. While his performance was brave and laudable given his background, it provides an example of how limited or mismatched body language can detract from a presentation or performance. We still love you Elon. Keep up the fantastic work you are doing!

I hope you not only enjoyed these examples, but also learned something that you can use in your presentations. Feel free to leave a comment below. Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram

About the Author

Hi! I'm Pam. I teach entrepreneurs to be fearless & compelling speakers online and in person and how to easily promote and run their own online workshops, webinars, and online courses. 

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