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Even the world's richest man gets jitters appearing before the Senate, and his body language can speak louder than his words. The Post asked image consultant Hilka Klinkenberg, who coaches Fortune 500 company executives on body language, to review Bill Gates' performance. 

The most profound thing about Bill Gates is that he keeps a lot concealed. 

For someone making his first appearance in Congress, he came across as sincere and likable, but there was one troubling moment I saw. Perhaps the senators noticed,too. 

It's the kind of mistake that can ruin a CEO's message. 

At one point, Bill was making a fairly factual, accepted statement - "The rapid introduction of the Internet is the most exciting example of innovation in the march of progress." 

But as he was saying this very positive statement, his head was shaking "no," and he made this tight insincere smile. This is clearly a contradiction between mind and body. 

It was strange and I honestly don't know what to make of it. He's obviously been coached by image consultants on how to handle himself, and made scores of speeches, but he slipped up on this one. 

People tend to believe the body language instead of the words. 

This tight insincere smile also gave Bill away. Whenever he talked about competition and innovation - not his, other companies' - he got this tight insincere smile, as if to say he was annoyed by competition and wants the whole ball of wax to himself. 

Bill was best with his hand gestures, which were non-threatening and sincere. He rarely used his pointed finger to make a point - this is threatening - he used two curled fingers, and his palms were open to show he wanted to share his information sincerely. 

This worked well for him. But the more powerful the person, the fewer gestures he makes, and people who are less powerful have to make more gestures to assert their power. 

When Bill walked into the chambers he was confident and his posture was good, showing he was sure of himself. But when he sat down, he didn't seem to have that much confidence. 

He was swallowing a great deal when he started speaking, which can be indicative of someone who isn't being totally honest, or indicative of someone who has a nervous, dry mouth, or just someone who has a sore throat, which Bill seems to have. 

I didn't see anything that was frightening or menacing about Bill. There's almost a Princess Diana quality about him, the way he tilts his head to one side and looks up the way Diana did. It's an endearing shyness that comes across. 

He's also got another endearing gesture he makes - he bites his lower lip and pauses for a nanosecond, which makes what he's saying more acceptable and very sincere. 

He comes across beautifully with that gesture. 

Overall, Bill was generally sincerely but I don't think he was particularly impassioned or moving in what he was saying 

In my opinion, the winner hands down, as far as public appeal is concerned, was Netscape's Jim Barksdale who was sitting at the witness table with Bill. When Jim turned to the audience and asked them to raise their hands if they had Microsoft products, he brought down the place. Gates wasn't able to match anything that demonstrative. 

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