I work with a guy who is super intelligent, sharp and clinically logical – but when he communicates it’s not real – the smile is not coming from the heart – it’s stuck on his chops because it’s was ‘needed’ not because it was felt. It’s all a bit Gordon Brown.
I’m thinking of him because I’ve just been watching Ted Talks and watching Amy Cuddy – a social psychologist – talking about body language.
She says we need ‘Presence’ – a physical and mental suggestion of power. We need presence to influence.
Confident – Passionate – Enthusiastic – Authentic – Comfortable – Captivating. These are the words that she uses to explore presence.
These are big, full words. If this is the feedback you are getting during your own exchanges consider yourself in the zone. But it’s not a check list to tick off – these are outcomes – all are grounded in our body language. Presence is not some mental to-do list.
Amy’s position is that presence is not about presentation skills. Presence is signaling that we deserve to be here. It’s about posture and how that posture promotes belief. The posture even chemically changes us – we release testosterone from the power our stance exudes. We don’t just influence others we influence ourselves.
To have presence you can never be an imposter – you need to truly see it, feel it and you need to become it. (Less like Gordon Brown and more like Tony Blair on WMD…).
But you can fake it (the Presence, the posture). Until you become it – because you want it. (Again, I’m thinking ‘like Blair on WMD’.. meh)
Tiny tweaks lead to big changes. Life is a series of “One shots”- never leave without showing who you are. Try a power pose – change the outcome of your life.
Checkout her talk – it might just nudge your choices, boost your presence… And above all else enjoy her personal storytelling – there is a treat there for you in her talk – she is quite the master.
It’s a 20 minute TED talk – are you going to give yourself a tweak and show a bigger, truer self?