Presence by Amy Cuddy – Who’s Doing The Starfish?!
When I hear the name Amy Cuddy, it’s usually in reference to her very famous TED talk ‘Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are’. When Hachette had a copy of her new book Presence for review, I thought I would take a peek and see how my body language was shaping me!
Presence is about harnessing confidence and poise. How do you carry yourself? How does that make you feel? How do you think others see you? The first few chapters are all about harnessing this presence and believing your own story. In these first few pages the phrase ‘authentic self’ is used quite a lot, a phrase which has been hijacked by syrupy talk show hosts and The Kardashian’s, but don’t let this put you off. This is a really interesting book based on psychological studies, anecdotes, interviews and emails from fans who have written in to Amy.
We have all had those days where we feel ‘less than‘, or that we don’t deserve to be where we are, that at some point we might get ‘caught out‘ for being in the wrong job or class. Presence uses examples and fact based study to show how positive body language and being ‘present’ can help you in interviews and presentations; how practising power poses can calm you before an anxiety attack overwhelms you, and even how certain exercises and poses can reduce the effects of PTSD.
Amy writes clearly. You won’t get bogged down in statistics, tests and scientific jargon. It’s all written in plain English, without being patronising. One thing I liked, were the frequent reminders of names when Amy was referring back to a case study or test in earlier chapters. These name checks reminded me exactly who Amy was talking about, which is great for someone like me, whose mind jumps about a lot and tends to be forgetful!
The tips, studies and facts around positive poses and presence really resonated with me. I will not only be doing a ‘starfish’ before I start my day, but I will be looking for negative and positive poses, body language and signals in others too!
I am officially a fan!
4 out of 5 stars from me. Buy your copy here with FREE SHIPPING!
The Book Jacket
Harvard psychologist and TED star Amy Cuddy reveals how to unleash your boldest self to heighten your confidence, influence others, and perform at your peak.
Have you ever left a nerve-racking challenge and immediately wished for a do over? Maybe after a job interview, a performance, or a difficult conversation? The very moments that require us to be genuine and commanding can instead cause us to feel phony and powerless. Too often we approach our lives’ biggest hurdles with dread, execute them with anxiety, and leave them with regret.
By accessing our personal power, we can achieve “presence,” the state in which we stop worrying about the impression we’re making on others and instead adjust the impression we’ve been making on ourselves. As Harvard professor Amy Cuddy’s revolutionary book reveals, we don’t need to embark on a grand spiritual quest or complete an inner transformation to harness the power of presence. Instead, we need to nudge ourselves, moment by moment, by tweaking our body language, behavior, and mind-set in our day-to-day lives.
Amy Cuddy has galvanized tens of millions of viewers around the world with her TED talk about “power poses.” Now she presents the enthralling science underlying these and many other fascinating body-mind effects, and teaches us how to use simple techniques to liberate ourselves from fear in high-pressure moments, perform at our best, and connect with and empower others to do the same.
Brilliantly researched, impassioned, and accessible, Presence is filled with stories of individuals who learned how to flourish during the stressful moments that once terrified them. Every reader will learn how to approach their biggest challenges with confidence instead of dread, and to leave them with satisfaction instead of regret.