Well, it’s not that easy but you get the idea. Your body language doesn’t only play a critical role in communication, but it actually can change you. And all it takes is a few minutes. Intrigued? So was I.

On Thursday, June 11, Amy Cuddy spoke at SAP Silicon Valley, as part of the SAPsv Speaker Series, to inspire SAP employees with her research of how we can bring our ‘best self’ to any situation – especially to high-stakes moments. Amy is a social psychologist known for her TED Talk on the effects of body language, which ranks as the second-most watched TED Talk to date, with over 26 million views. Amy shared compelling (and entertaining) examples from her research on how your body language can change your life.

She calls it ‘power posing’. And you guessed it: It’s about using body posture to change other people’s perceptions, and in turn, our own body chemistry – and ultimately our attitude.

Here’s your power pose cheat sheet:

  • Expansive, open posture reflect high power while contractive, closed postures reflect low power
  • Ultimately, we convince people more by our presence, rather than the content we share
  • The best leaders seem to have relatively high levels of testosterone (linked to decreased fear) and relatively low levels cortisol (linked to decreased anxiety)
  • A short power pose – like those Superman or Wonder Woman poses you know very well, help configure your brain to act like a leader. And you should do one before any high-stakes situation.
  • On a conference call? Get up and walk around!

Oh, there another thing you should know: You’re an imposter. You don’t belong. You’re probably not as smart as others in the room. And yes, you’re being judged right now too. But don’t worry – you’re normal! And…you’re in luck…

Amy talks about the concept of faking it until you become it: that your body posture can help you become the “best version of yourself,” and tiny tweaks can translate into big changes. Now, this doesn’t mean you should fake it until you make it – you’re not out to deceive people or worse, yourself. But rather, you should use your natural ability to influence your willingness to take measured risks, prepare yourself for challenges and influence your body chemistry to work for you, to unlock the knowledge you already have and reveal your true self.

A 2-minute power pose has the ability to replace fear and anxiety with feelings of confidence and opportunity, and these simple life hacks like this are useful to help us get an edge, stay fresh, and make the most of any situation. And Amy’s got the science to prove it!

So next time you are walking into that big moment – duck out into the hall, check if anyone is looking, and do your best Mick Jagger chicken strut, throw in a little Usain Bolt rocket launch, and end with a dash of Freddy and you’ll probably nail it.

– Check out the photos from the SAPsv Power Pose Twitter Contest, posted by Amy Cuddy herself on her Facebook Page. Photos from the event are available on SAPsv SmugMug.

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4 Comments

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  1. Lauren Maser

    What a great blog Rob! Love your Power Pose cheat sheet! I am looking forward to “moving like Jagger” next time I need to “bring it” 🙂

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  2. Mindy Davis

    Love it!  Totally get it too — no more anxiety when I’m speaking in front of “all those people who know more than I do”.  I’m strutting like Mick Jagger in the back of my mind.  🙂

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