Amy Cuddy: Your body language shapes who you are

Ted Talks are the best value. They have become my Sunday morning day starter. A couple of Ted Talks over breakfast.

Always learn something

Today I am recommending the Amy Cuddy presentation “Your body language shapes who you are” . The presentation explores the relationship between positive postures and behaviour.

I can see applications for this  for trainers and presenters especially.

I like the way many Ted Talks are backed by research and experiments – as is the case here. Having seen too many body language as entertainment presentations on tabloid TV – I am a bit wary – but I was swayed by the supporting science.

Amy also used a good presentation technique in that she gave the audience one effective technique to take away and use.

Meetings and Power/Positive Attitudes

Many years ago, as a young public servant I was also a union delegate particularly involved in the introduction of new systems and wound up going to meetings with management at the state and national level.  I was conscious of the power issues at being at a meeting with a room full of suits and outnumbered. I would wear a good sports coat  to the meetings myself – people would ask why – I would say the jacket was my “wings  of steel” (see video below). My small way of neutralising the whole power balance thing, in my head anyway, which is where it counted.

 Another Meeting Tip

If you are a small delegation meeting with a larger group at their site, the larger group will spread themselves around the meeting table, leaving spaces for you and your group dispersed around the table. This can be deliberate, (or it can be because the people you are meeting don’t get on ). You want your team together, at the very least for passing notes…

So ask people to move, I have done it several times, use the passing notes thing as a pretext if you have to, but do it.


Steven Knight