Power posing and Confidence

Social Psychologist Amy Cuddy gave a brilliant TED talk on “Power Posing”. Based on sociological and psychological research, they have found that poses not only affect how others perceive us, but how we perceive ourselves. Posture also affect cortisol, which is a hormone related to stress. All great reasons to care about power posing and debate.

Watch the video for yourself, but here are some important takeaways I found in Amy’s talk:

  1.  Take an audit of your body. Be aware of your posture (especially while debating) so that you can correct bad habits and improve your sense of “power”.
  2. Our nonverbal cues speak to power dominance. The more space you take up, the more dominant you appear. This is why stepping one step closer to the judge in CX makes you more prominent and why it is important to stand with your shoulders back.
  3. We tend to complement rather than mirror someone we are speaking to. This is good to know for partner dynamics – if one person relies too much on big movements and posture, the other partner may seem smaller and less important. Be equals!
  4. Fake it til you make it. Amy’s own story tells the power of being confident in order to build confidence.
  5. Our nonverbals can affect how we think about ourselves. If we adopt power poses, we can actually reduce our cortisol levels and therefore our stress levels. Now who doesn’t want that in the middle of a debate?
  6. Smile! Smiling can actually trick our minds to produce happy hormones and improve our mood. Yet another supporter of the smile trick.
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