Everyone struggles with frustrating nerves and intimidation when going into an important interview or meeting, no matter how prepared they are. Thankfully, there is a proven way to create a confident mindset when pitching your big idea or arguing why you are the perfect fit for the job. Its name? Power posing.
What Is a Power Pose?
According to social psychology Amy Cuddy, there is a simple technique that can be used to reduce anxiety and up your confidence in just a few minutes. It’s called power posing, and it’s advertised by Cuddy as ideal for a quick boost in morale before interviews or a meeting.
The poses quickly rose to fame after Cuddy performed what is the second most watched TED talk of all time in 2012. In the talk, power poses are characterized by open, expansive postures with the most famous pose being termed “Wonder Woman” in which legs are spread apart and hands are resting on hips.
Why Do Power Poses?
Believe it or not, power poses have actually come under fire recently for not being scientifically sound. One of the study’s co-authors, Dana Carney, disavowed the 2010 study’s claims to create hormonal changes that made the findings so revolutionary originally.
Cuddy has since acknowledged this unfounding, but maintains that “adopting expansive postures causes people to feel more powerful,” in response to the study’s criticism this past September. Feeling empowered is the base reason for power posing and does actually make users feel psychologically empowered as well as convince others of their assuredness.
What Are Some Power Poses You Can Do Now?
Power poses are still cited by many as effective ways to boost your confidence and help feel more at ease in tense situations. Instead of standing in the “Wonder Woman” before a presentation in hopes that your hormone levels will change, focus on changing your posture before and during your presentation to assert yourself as a stronger force. During interviews and meetings, be cognizant of how you’re sitting, like Cuddy advises in her TED Talk; do not hunch over or cross your legs and arms into each other.
Think of the posture someone would have at the head of a conference table. It’s expansive, often leaning back in a way that opens the body up. Stretch out our arms and prop them up on the chair back. It’s all about body language and appearing dominant and powerful.
Make your voice heard and your presence seen. The underlying message behind power poses is a “fake it till you make it” mentality. This does not have to be done by some quick fix or your hormonal levels, but by acting like you belong in that room as much as anyone else there. You will be able to deliver your points much more strongly, and convince others that you and what you bring to the table deserves attention.