Career Growth, Empower Yourself, Power Reads

Body Language Matters

Body Language matters…..what does yours say about you?

Social Psychologist Amy Cuddy is an Associate Professor at Harvard Business School and recently wrote a book called “Presence” where she discusses the power of body language and the “power pose” to potentially increase your confidence.

Here is Amy Cuddy’s TED TALK “Power Posing: How Body Language Shapes Who You Are”  Her talk has been viewed over 37 MILLION times…so maybe you’ve seen this video?

This 20 minute video shows how you can use your body language to increase your self-confidence especially in high-stakes situations like job interviews, before having a difficult conversation, a negotiation, audition, athletic event, or presentation at work or school.

Cuddy explains that power poses can also be helpful: (see page 242)

  • Before entering new situations (meeting new people);
  • When ending a relationship (professional or personal);
  • When quitting a job;
  • Before receiving or giving critical feedback; and
  • When speaking up for oneself or for someone else

She discusses “power posing” (standing in a posture of confidence)  and how adopting expansive postures causes people to feel more powerful. Adopting expansive postures does indeed increase feelings of power. In addition, many studies have shown that adopting expansive postures increases happiness, mood, and other related emotion variables.” 

Power poses can be done as a way to check your posture, either throughout the day, or before entering challenging situations. You should power pose both before an event to build your self-confidence and during the event to maintain that confidence.

There has been some criticism of her original study and its small sample size. Read how Cuddy responds to her critics here


Cuddy, Amy. (2015). Presence: Bringing your Boldest Self to your Biggest Challenges. New York, NY: Little Brown and Company.