Trump and Jong-un: what the historic summit has taught us about body language.


The world recently witnessed an unprecedented event: Donald Trump, president of the USA, and Kim Jong-un, supreme leader of North Korea, met in Singapore. It was the first summit between heads of government from both countries. The agenda included issues of global interest, such as the Asian country denuclearization, peace in the Korean Peninsula, and economic sanctions.

If we consider the communication alone, it is supposable the pressure Trump and Jong-un were under in that decisive moment. Although the atmosphere evoked conciliation, both had their own agenda. Each intended to convey a specific message to the other – and to the world who was watching them closely.

According to body language experts, the communication between both leaders went far beyond words. Gestures and expressions used by Trump and Jong-un showed the two leaders tried to take over the control of the summit, however, they also projected apprehension.


So, before expressing yourself, you must have a script ready

The event taught us the importance of body language during negotiations: it takes a bit more than the words we say to convince our audience. Our gestures and expressions can create an invisible but huge impact on others. Or, we are interacting with them or drive them away.

In addition, body language allows us to guide the meeting towards the target and the goals we have previously established.

For example, Trump and Jong-Un summit encouraged us to put together some tips, so your body and your words may express exactly the message as intended during a meeting.


Give other your full attention

An additional detail to improve your body language is to practice your full attention just before the meeting. Close your eyes and focus on your breath. Try to connect your attention to your breathing compass. Allow your mind to focus only on this activity. After that, add a purpose: a sentence to be repeated like a mantra. For an example: “I’m ready”, breath in and out; “I’m ready”, breath in and out; and go on.

This possible will prepare you to achieve your full attention in a decisive moment and to analyze better the other person, understanding his or her emotional state – if he or she is tense, for instance. With a better understanding of the meeting, we can adjust our speech (verbal and non-verbal) according to the needs as they emerge.

No matter what, always make eye contact. Looking at the people you are speaking within the eye suggests you are paying attention to them, their reactions and arguments. Speaking steadily is another good tip. Your audience only needs a few seconds to take in your message, besides they will see it as a respectful attitude.


You should also mind your facial expression. As tense as the negotiation might be, keeping a sober manner might indicate we are not willing to reach a deal. Moreover, sympathy is always a good way of disarming hostile approaches.


Nonetheless, do not overdo it: smiling too much or laughing on the wrong occasion might seem inappropriate for the moment.


Remember: the moment is decisive; hence the need for preparation above all. That is how you accomplish self-confidence to guide the negotiation towards the target you may establish.