POLITICS

Malcolm Turnbull Always Looks Ready To Punch Someone

Let's get ready to rrrrrrrrumble.

13/05/2016 1:28 PM AEST | Updated 15/07/2016 12:52 PM AEST
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Dukes up.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is recognised as one of the best, most confident and assured public speakers in the parliament.

A soaring orator, Turnbull in full flight -- whether an impassioned answer during Question Time, a press conference on a new policy or just having a chat about his favourite things like the Ideas Boom or innovation -- is a sight to see.

But there's one thing you may have noticed.

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One of the things he always does when he's making a speech.

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Can you figure it out?

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We'll let Marilyn explain.

It's a fair question. We trawled the archives, and found that Malcolm Turnbull just loves getting his fists all up in a bunch when he's getting passionate during a speech or address.

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It's like he can't help himself. Whether on TV, or even way back in his student days in 1977, the clenched fist is a Turnbull go-to power move. Of course, Kevin Rudd was the most famous example of overzealous hand gestures, but Malcolm seems more restrained and selective in how he presents.

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Turnbull also makes other gestures when mid-speech -- wide, open hand flourishes, palms up and out, in sweeping moves -- but it's not just an unconscious body language thing; they are his way of communicating to his audience that he believes passionately in what he is saying.

That's the opinion of Anne Fulwood, the director of media relations at Ogilvy Public Relations Australia. She teaches public figures, public speakers and executives how best to communicate and spread messages, and after viewing video and photos of Turnbull's speeches since becoming Prime Minister, said his hand gestures show he is passionate and genuine about what he says.

"He's a consistent performer. Consistency is is key for anybody, you don't want to seem contrived, and this is the way he presents. He's making a point and he's making it deeply, he is convinced," Fulwood told The Huffington Post Australia.

"I've seen plenty of others, who I won't name, from previous governments whose gestures look contrived. [Malcolm] is natural and that is him firmly expressing his point."

Here he is on the night he toppled Tony Abbott as PM. Note the dramatic gesturing, at a time when he was looking to assert his authority and also reassure the Australian people they were in good, safe hands.

"I think he's one of the most articulate public speakers anyway, although recently I understand the criticism, he appears to be battling to get his message across. But he's nonetheless very consistent and feels very deeply, it appears to me, that he's firm about the point he's making," Fulwood said.

"[As a viewer] I want to know that he believes what he's saying. I don't want a vanilla Prime Minister. When I teach people, I want their true character to come through."

"I want to see you, not a contrived or instructed version of you. I do a lot of media and presentation training, and I want the real you to be speaking, not some contrived version."

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