Tonya Reiman

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Speaker, Author, Consultant, 

Body Language Expert

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Hypnotherapist, Spokesperson & Media Personality 

TONYA REIMAN

BODY LANGUAGE EXPERT

BODY LANGUAGE SPEAKER
COMMUNICATION EXPERT

HYPNOTHERAPIST

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By Michael McCarthy, USA TODAY​
Body language expert: Better than A-Rod, worse than Kobe
[Tiger Woods pauses during his public statement Friday, where he apologized for his behavior.]
[Enlarge image]  Enlarge By Eric Gay, AP
Tiger Woods pauses during his public statement Friday, where he apologized for his behavior. 

By Michael McCarthy, USA TODAY
Tiger Woods' televised apology was better than that of Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees— but not nearly as convincing as that of Kobe Bryantof the Los Angeles Lakers. So says Tonya Reiman, author of The Power of Body Language who watched the speech live Friday. 

Woods was robotic during his 13-minute address, Reiman says. He came off more sincere than A-Rod in 2009. But not as emotionally honest as Bryant in 2003.

"Tiger did a much better job than A-Rod. A-Rod made some sarcastic jokes like the Tic-Tac remark. You didn't see anything like that with Tiger," she says. "You saw, 'Please leave my family alone. I'm apologetic and trying to get help.' I do think he was sincere."

Still, the tightly controlled Woods didn't come close to matching Bryant's emotional performance when he turned to apologize directly to wife Vanessa with tears streaming down his cheeks.

TIGER TALKS: Apology but no word on return
TRANSCRIPT: Text of Tiger's statement

"Kobe was one of the all-time best apologies," Reiman says. "Tiger's doesn't rank up there. It was sincere. But I would have liked to see much more emotion."

Here's the good, the bad and the ugly of Woods' body language today, according to Reiman. And what that language silently communicated to the millions of TV viewers watching at home: 

•The Good. The world's No. 1 golfer did an "excellent job," making eye contact not only with his audience in the room but with millions of TV viewers by looking directly into the camera, Reiman says. He controlled his nervous tics with the exception of a couple of hard swallows. "He didn't do a lot of lip licks. When you get nervous you get cotton mouth. He didn't do that, and it surprised me," she says. But Reiman thinks she spotted a slight sheen of sweat on his upper lip, a sure sign of nervousness. "I couldn't tell if it was Chapstick or sweat, but that's a real sign of anxiety," she says. One of Woods' most convincing gestures was non-verbal, she says. The disgraced golfer looked down repeatedly as he addressed the subject of his extramarital affairs — and how he had humiliated his wife Elin. "There was real shame there," she says. 

•The Bad: Woods was too rehearsed, too scripted, not emotional enough, Reiman says. The world's richest, most famous athlete was so stiff at the podium that his body language was in "lockdown mode," she says. "I think he shifted his body weight once. It's never good to have body language lockdown. But it's to be expected in these situations." Reiman can't blame Woods for rehearsing the biggest speech of his life. "Who wouldn't?" But Woods may have missed an opportunity by muzzling the press in the audience and not taking questions. "I'm always for a Q&A. That's where you see the real person. Anybody can read a script." 

•The Ugly. Similar to A-Rod's long misty look while thanking his Yankees teammates last year, Reiman thinks Woods came off phony when he pointed first to the audience, then to himself, and declared his wife and kids had not done anything wrong, he did. "It didn't come across as natural; it was contrived," she says. "He was trying too hard. That's when I said, 'OK, he's practiced this speech.' " Unlike some, Reiman thought Woods scored points by raising his voice and quickening his cadence as he defended his right to shield his family from publicity and railed against invasive photographer dogging his wife and small children. "I personally think that was a good move. It demonstrated that, 'I understand there are repercussions — but don't cross the line.' " 

Woods didn't cry except, possibly, at the end when seemed to give a little sob as he hugged his mother. We asked Reiman: Should Woods have turned on the waterworks? 

"If it was genuine it would have been OK because there's nothing wrong with a person getting a little emotional," she answers. "With Kobe you heard his voice crack and heard the genuine emotion. I would have liked to seen that today with Tiger Woods. But we didn't. He was very controlled."Type your paragraph here.

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