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Sax, Dead Eyes and Videotape

It was days before the 2004 federal election, and opposition leader Mark Latham confirmed in 3-4 seconds what the electorate suspected. The Latham handshake – perceived as aggressive, intimidating and loutish, proved to millions of voters that he was a schoolyard bully. It was inappropriate body language graphically captured by the media, and for it he was hung, drawn and quartered by an electorate that had favoured him strongly in the polls. His problem? Poor awareness of the power of body language to create emotive judgements, and of the power of media to magnify and project.

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