Fake it until you become it: Review of Amy Cuddy’s TED talk

I’d like to share the best 21 minutes I spent this week with you.  It’s Amy Cuddy’s TED talk, where she talks about the ways that our brains actually change when we “power pose.”

It’s powerful because she says a lot of things that I say to the speakers I coach:  it’s important to look confident.  It’s important to uncross your arms, your legs and to sit up straight, have an open shoulder girdle and look people in the eyes.  It’s how we show confidence to other people.

Turns out, following this “power pose” actually changes your body chemistry and makes you feel more confident!  We actually produce more testosterone when we “power pose” and continuing to do so can actually change our permanent biochemistry.  It can help us move form feeling like a church mouse and into feeling like a rockstar.

But, hey, what kind of coach would I be if I didn’t also critique her delivery?  She’s an amazing speaker.  Not because of her firmness, diction, she’s got an amazing smile, follows the body language she argues for, and that she memorized her script.  She’s great at all that.  But that’s not what wowed me about her.

She is also super genuine.  She found an angle on a topic she loves to help her love it more.  She brings herself to the stage and lets herself have emotional moments.  There’s a point in the last third where she’s thinking of a student, who’s sharing their insecurities about being at Harvard University.  Some insecurities she felt herself at some point.  And you can see how she’s feeling about those student so intensely, that she wells up a bit and we see some tears.  Watching her, I did the same thing, the shots of the people in the audience shows dozens of others doing the same thing.  I’d be surprised if you won’t also have that experience.

By her letting herself really FEEL that moment in her story, she brought it more to life for the rest of us.  That’s the step between good presenting and GREAT presenting.  Kudos to you Professor Cuddy!  You’re great!

Click here to see Amy Cuddy’s talk

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