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Body Language: Bigger is Better for Confidence

March 17, 2011

 

 

Focusing on your body and body language can provide a powerful path to strengthening your presence and confidence.  Harvard Business School assistant professor Amy Cuddy’s video, “Boost Power Through Body Language”, demonstrates that by physically warming up with big movements and gestures, stress is reduced and confidence is increased.

I have found applying this bodywork principle to be effective in my own work as a speaker and singer, and also effective in my work with coaching clients. Warming up the body releases tension and allows energy to flow freely. Being in a more relaxed state in the body, creates a more relaxed state in the mind. This in turn sets up conditions for high performance.

Try this warm-up before your next presentation or critical conversation:

  • Stand up straight and tall

  • Stretch out your arms on the sides of your body

  • Make yourself as big as possible

  • Inhale and exhale deeply

  • Relax your arms

  • Take some large strides around the room

  • Swing your arms back and forth

  • Continue breathing deeply.

During the actual presentation or conversation:

  • Scan your body

  • If you sense constriction anywhere, gently stretch out

  • Release any holding that you feel in your muscles

  • Allow yourself to take up more space

  • Take time to breathe deeply

Making yourself bigger will help you look more confident and feel more confident, too.

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