My Favourite Ted Talk – Amy Cuddy: Your body language shapes who you are

It really was a great pleasure to be asked to contribute to the Tedx Whitehaven Blog. Like everyone else contributing I’m a big fan of Ted talks so for me the big question was what one to pick. I could happily have chosen one of the many on negotiation skills but in the end the choice was easy – and clearly I’m not alone.

This Ted talk has been viewed over 23,000,000 times and is right up there in the top 10 most popular so if you are a Ted fan you’ve probably watched and if you’re not then it’s as good a place to start as any. Amy Cuddy has led an amazing life. Really amazing. She has overcame the hurdle of a traumatic car accident with major head injuries which were destined to have a debilitating effect to graduate and go on to become a Professor at Harvard Business School and one of the leading authorities on non-verbal communication.

The talk is in fact very simple. We all get nervous sometimes. Some of us all the time. Sometimes we cope and sometimes we don’t but by acting confidently we can trick our minds into actually being confident. The power poses and confidence stances suggest to our brains confidence and in turn the brain triggers hormones which increase confidence and help us relax. We really can “Fake it till we make it”.

I help people with their networking skills and one of the biggest stumbling blocks they have is just talking to people. I encourage the use of power poses and the effects can be dramatic. I’m not necessarily suggesting you stand like Wonderwoman at every opportunity but just give it a go and surprise yourself. Sometimes it’s less about content and more about delivery.

I love this talk – I really hope you do too. If you do then go and take a read at Amy’s paper published in Harvard Business Review – “Just because I’m nice, don’t assume I’m dumb”. Probably the best title for any scientific research paper ever.


A friendly and approachable personality with a zest for life and a love of doing things differently David firmly believes that we are all salespeople - no matter what career or profession we have chosen. Driven to share his ideas and to change perceptions for good David dreamt up highest branch as a way to share his wealth of experience and expertise with others. If you need inspired to think about your sales processes and networking skills differently or require an excellent public speaker look no further