Most people are aware that our body language affects how other people view us but did you know that it
can also affect how we feel about ourselves and even affect our body chemistry
According to research by Amy Cuddy a social psychologist from Harvard Business School, “power posing” — standing in a posture of confidence, even when we don’t feel confident — can affect testosterone and cortisol levels in the brain.
Testosterone is a hormone which is usually associated with power and dominance, people in a position of power usually have higher than average testosterone levels.
Cortisol is another hormone which is associated with stress levels, and people who are felling stressed usually have above average cortisol levels.
Amy conducted a study which showed that by adopting a power pose, i.e. one where we stretch out our arms and /or legs, to take up more room than usual, for 2 minutes, actually raises the level of testosterone and reduces the levels of cortisol in our bodies. While sitting in a huddled position, minimising the amount of space we take up, for 2 minutes results in a decreased level of testosterone and an increased level of cortisol.
What does this mean to you?
To increase your confidence and authority prior to a presentation, instead of sitting hunched over your laptop reviewing the slides, stand up, stretch your arms out and “power pose” for a couiple of minutes. You will feel more confident and your presentation is more likely to succeed.
For more information check out the video of Amy’s TED talk on Youtube.
By Graham Young