Body language and the way we hold ourselves during conversation can one of the most important ways we appear confident and in control. It this TED talk Amy Cuddy discusses “power posing”, in which a person stands in a confident position, even if they’re not feeling confident at the time.
This can actually have an effect on your brain’s chemistry, namely the levels of testosterone and cortisol, leading to more natural confidence and even improving your chances of success, adding a whole new meaning to “faking it until you make it”.
“There’s a lot of reason to believe that this is a valid way to look at this. So social scientists have spent a lot of time looking at the effects of our body language, or other people’s body language, on judgments. And we make sweeping judgments and inferences from body language. And those judgments can predict really meaningful life outcomes like who we hire or promote, who we ask out on a date.”
“Even more dramatic, Alex Todorov at Princeton has shown us that judgments of political candidates’ faces in just one second predict 70 percent of U.S. Senate and gubernatorial race outcomes, and even, let’s go digital, emoticons used well in online negotiations can lead to you claim more value from that negotiation. If you use them poorly, bad idea. Right? So when we think of nonverbals, we think of how we judge others, how they judge us and what the outcomes are. We tend to forget, though, the other audience that’s influenced by our nonverbals, and that’s ourselves.”