Posture up! Command Yourself!
Have you picked up your bottle of Natural Confidence lately? Wouldn’t that make leadership, presentation, taking risks and stepping beyond our comfort zones so much easier?
Since confidence isn’t on the shelf at your local CVS, I’ll offer you a No-Cost alternative!
What YOU feel is what THEY see. This premise, from social scientist Amy Cuddy’s research on Power Posing, concludes when you extend your spine, stand tall or take certain postures, you experience confidence AND your audience reports you looking more confident. A win-win action for all!
I’m not going to describe the research details but….
I wholeheartedly testify to this, after witnessing it time after time working with my clients: by applying good posture practices, you can experience a direct and immediate shift of confidence and presence both internally felt and externally portrayed.
So what’s the big deal about feeling and looking confident?
For You: Think back to a time when you made that home run, aced the interview and got the job, lifted 10 more pounds than the week before or were publicly acknowledged for an accomplishment. You probably expressed it with a very loud or silent, “YES!” And you felt bigger, better and proud.
For those of you presenting, leading a meeting or hosting a dinner party, a little extra confidence means you are more relaxed. When you achieve a physical ease, it…
- Relaxes the vocal chords, so your voice sounds rich and resonates; not high-pitched and inaudible.
- Allows your eyes to fully see so you make authentic eye contact to your audience. Nervousness reduces our ability to truly see.
- Keeps the frontal lobe (executive center of the brain) on board, supporting your ability to remember your content, think, respond to and answer questions intelligently.
For Your Audience: Have you ever watched a speaker on stage or a leader running a meeting that is clearly nervous and speaking ineffectively? Our response is typically one of pity or frustration. After all, we have to sit through this, too!
Your audience wants you to succeed. They want to feel inspired by your confidence. Appearing confident communicates, “I’ve got this, you can relax, I’m in charge and you can depend on me.” To accomplish this, a dignified posture is just one element to ensure that happens.
Improving posture is not about:
- Straightening your spine
- Pulling your shoulders back
- Sucking in your gut
Follow my instructions below to acquire your best posture.
Posture of Dignity!
“Pillar of Strength”
“Leader with Backbone”
“Walk Tall and Hold Up Your Head”
“Stand Your Ground”
You’ve heard them all: cultural metaphors described in subconscious and direct ways. Posture plays a tremendous role in communicating poise, power and credibility.
I call this the Posture of Dignity.
Let’s start with anchoring you.
Stand with your feet hip-width apart, toes pointing forward.
Imagine you are wearing ski boots, heavily anchored to the floor…or visualize your feet spreading wider – like a duck’s foot.
Relax your feet and ankles.
Take a full breath in and release it slowly.
By taking just 30 seconds to stabilize and anchor yourself, you’ve established yourself standing on firm ground.
Shift your attention to your upper body.
Gently lengthen the spine and neck. This is a lengthen – not a pull.
Relax your arms down by your side.
Soften the muscles of your face and your shoulders.
Your neck should move normally and easily.
Offer a slight smile!
Carry this with you wherever you go!
Now, you’ve lengthened yourself in two directions. Use this throughout your day – while walking into your boss’s office, into a meeting, through the grocery store, and even when you have an important phone call to make.