Young PR Pros: Episode #62 – How your body language shapes who you are

amy cuddy
This week, Kristine Simpson and Julia Kent talk about the power of body language and how it can shape who you are.

We pull this week’s topic from a TED Talk by Amy Cuddy a social psychologist and a professor and researcher at Harvard Business School, where she studies how nonverbal behavior and snap judgments affect people from the classroom to the boardroom.

Body language is a powerful thing, says Cuddy. The facial expression of a politician can affect 72 per cent of his or her vote outcomes, emoticons used in online negotiation can lead you to claim more value from that conversation if used properly. But more importantly, our body language affects how we feel about ourselves and then reflects that image back to the world.

First we discuss how your body posture during an interview can make or break your chances of getting a job.

We then discuss Cuddy’s concept of power posing. In her TED Talk, she talks about how there is a slight gender gap when it comes to nonverbal cues. Cuddy watches her students walk in to class and see the men try to occupy a lot of space, and stick their hand way up in the air, while the women calapse on themselves. This attributed directly to their marks – those who showed strong power posing had higher marks. So Cuddy asked herself, if you change your posture and fake your posture to a more power posing posture, will your brain interpret that as confidence?

To test her hypothesis, Cuddy had people come in and for two minutes sit in a power posing position. The individual’s testosterone level – which is the chemical in your body that increases when you feel more confident or powerful – increased by 20%. Just by sitting in a certain position.

Kristine and Julia wrap up the show by sharing how their posture helps their self-esteem. Julia mentions that it is more than just posture, but there are pre-interview routines you can follow to help you increase your confidence before an interview.

You can view the entire TED Talk with Amy Cuddy below:

Do you have a pre-interview routine that helps you walk in to an interview with confidence? Post your comment below or on our Facebook Page, or on our Google+ page, or in our LinkedIn group, or on Pinterest, or send us an email at, or send us a message on Twitter @youngprpros@kristinesimpson or @kentjulia.

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