Let Power Posing Supercharge Your Speaking Confidence
When I was a kid, I never missed an episode of "Superman". Faster than a speeding bullet; able to leap tall buildings at a single bound; the man of steel fought for truth, justice, and the American way.
As I watched each show, I would assume that signature Superman stance and feel as though I too, was a man of steel.
But alas, as time passes we "grow up". We learn that there really is no Santa Claus, Easter Bunny, or Superman. As I "grew up", the idea that I could take on super powers faded from memory.
My Rediscovery of Superman
One day in 2013, I discovered an intriguing TED Talk entitled, "Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are". The presenter was a Harvard social psychologist named Dr. Amy Cuddy.
As Dr. Cuddy's talk unfolded, she described her research about the effects posture and stance exert on the brain, mind, and body. She showed photos of birds, chimps, and other animals assuming postures of dominant power and submissive weakness.
She and her team of researchers wondered what the biochemical and emotional effects were on human beings when they assumed what she called Power Poses compared to when they assumed postures of submission and defeat.
What Dr. Cuddy Discovered
The results of her team's experiments showed that when you consciously change your posture, your emotions and physiology come along for the ride. As we assume postures of shrinking and defeat, our cortisol (a hormone associated with fear and the stress) level rises sharply and testosterone (a hormone associated with confidence and a felt sense of power) drops significantly.
When, however, we assume strong, expansive Power Poses, our cortisol level falls and the level of testosterone increases. We feel more powerful and confident. The positive biochemical and emotional effects of just two minutes of Power Posing can last for hours.
What is a Power Pose?
Examples of Power Poses include hands raised in victory as a runner crosses the finish line in first place, the dance and celebration when a football player catches a pass in the end zone, and the expansive open arms when an entertainer receives a massive ovation from the audience.
In these examples, the successful act preceded the Power Pose. It turns out, however, we can consciously choose to assume a Power Pose and experience the same physical and emotional changes as those who won the race, caught the pass, and received a standing ovation.
Power Posing and Public Speaking Confidence
A good percentage of my consulting work with clients involves helping them overcome the fear of public speaking. As I studied Dr. Cuddy's work, it became clear teaching Power Posing to clients was a way to help them achieve a mindset of communication confidence.
Having taught Power Posing to scores of clients over the past couple of years, I regularly hear from them about how effective Power Posing has been in helping them feel confident and powerful going into public speaking and meeting situations. It's effective and simple to do and works like magic.
How You Can Power Pose for Greater Confidence
Find a private place where you won't be disturbed for two or three minutes. Begin by standing up tall, shoulders back and head up. Take three comfortable slow breathes in and out.
Bring to mind a picture of Superman, Wonder Women, or another superhero of your choosing. Notice how your superhero stands and notice how confident he or she appears.
Stand with feet slightly more than shoulder-width apart. Place your hands on your hips. Think how your mother stood as she was about to scold you when you were a child.
Raise your head slightly and look up toward the sky and then bring your eyes back down looking straight out.
Stand tall, open your chest, and breathe confidently from the diaphragm.
Really get into the felt sense of the Power Pose. Feel the strength, energy, and confidence rise in your body.
Hold the Power Pose for about two minutes and end it by opening and raising your arms in a winner's pose saying emphatically, "YES! YES! YES!..."
You're now set to enter your public speaking event, meeting, difficult conversation, or any other activity that calls for you to feel powerful and confident.
Blessings and light,
=> P.S. Learn How to Combine Positive EFT and Power Posing.
I'll be conducting the 1-day Positive EFT class in Ellicott City, Maryland on Sunday, 30 April 2017. As a bonus for attending that event, you will learn how to incorporate Power Posing with Positive EFT to more easily earn more money, enhance emotional and physical well-being, and experience a happier life.