Are you as confident and assertive as you’d like to be, unfazed, unflappable and ready for anything that big meeting can throw at you? No? Well – read on because we may have the answer.
Knowing your stuff and being as prepared as you can be is, of course, essential. But, as with so many areas of life, a great deal really does seem to be all about your presentation.
Recent research both by UCL and Harvard Professor Amy Cuddy indicates that simply standing in a certain way, proud, poised and channelling your favourite Superhero, owning the stage if you will, alters people’s perception of who you are and how well you do what you do.
Occupying your own personal space with ease really can make you appear more knowledgeable, more confident and sure of yourself. And the sheer exhilaration of just being this better version of you can’t fail to boost your sense of self-worth.
Standing tall, back straight, legs just slightly wider apart than usual and walking around like you own – or at the very least have shares in – the place, presents you as a force to be reckoned with. It subtly underlines your credibility and, provided that you are comfortable with yourself, emphasises that you are in control and are to be taken seriously.
Most women we’ve spoken to admit to feeling a little foolish at first. The mere idea of standing like some Norse Goddess at the Head of the Table, commanding respect and attention from colleagues you may perhaps think of as your superiors is nerve wracking.
And, like anything worth doing, this power stance will need some practice – ideally in a quiet space away from prying eyes and well-meaning attempts to assist. Just the mere act of striking your pose actually increases your levels of testosterone, a hormone traditionally linked to assertive and confident people.
Yes women have it too! It also lowers levels of the stress hormone cortisol which, in turn, will hopefully get rid of the tentative smile, the apologetic stance and the subservient behaviour that might well be the norm.
However to make this work, power posing has to feel right for you so work at what feels natural and comfortable. We’re not suggesting you turn into some sort of omnipresent being, just that you feel natural, in touch with yourself, comfortable with yourself and believe you can really, truly DO this.
It’s OK to come out of your comfort zone, think a little outside the box and put yourself out there. It’s even more OK to believe in yourself, in your ability to put yourself in the limelight and come out smiling. So stand tall, stand proud and work it!
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