Need a shot of quick confidence before that important meeting or big presentation?
The Power Pose is your secret!
I used to be a nervous, red faced speaker who spoke way too fast − just to get it over with as quickly as possible. Over the years, I have built my confidence and experience in speaking and presenting − but the truth is that the nerves never really go away.
One of the best tips I have found to help with the nerves is the Power Pose by Amy Cuddy. Amy Cuddy is a Harvard Business School professor and social psychologist, who studies how nonverbal behavior and snap judgments influence people.
The Power Pose technique is based on the theory that your body position influences others and even your own brain. The pose changes your body chemistry. It increases your testosterone which then reduces your stress hormone cortisol. This lowers anxiety and helps you to feel more confident.
I used this tip recently before speaking in front of 300 people and when being filmed for a project. And it works!
So what is a Power Pose?
It is an open and relaxed body position − based on stretching out and occupying more space. It not only reflects power, it also produces it.
The easiest Power Pose to do is the Wonder Woman (or man!) pose − standing firm with feet shoulder width apart and hands on your hips. You could also sit leaning back with your arms behind your head. Breathe deeply and relax into the pose for two to five minutes.
Simple and so easy to do!
Hint: find a private space first such as a meeting room or a bathroom, if you don’t feel comfortable power posing in front of others!
It won’t completely remove your nerves, but it is a great tool to use when you need a confidence boost!
You can watch Amy’s 2012 Ted Talk ‘Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are’ here − it’s the second-most-viewed TED Talk of all time.