Amy Cuddy’s Ted Talk
Communication is important and forms part of our daily routine. This basic human activity enhances both professional and personal relationships. Numerous studies have emphasized the importance of nonverbal communication, noting that is subconsciously impacts on how we view and judge people. In her presentation, Amy Cuddy adds to this body of existing research by reviewing the effects of body language. In her TED Talk, “Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are,” she presents research findings on how body language can influence our everyday conversations. By doing so, Cuddy seeks to demonstrate the difference between being powerful and powerless. She associates these differences with variations in the testosterone level, which has a dominant male hormone, and cortisol, a hormone related to stress. By combining the two concepts, she reveals how people judge and make predictions in life.
In her preview, she effectively proves why any powerful individual is often clam when faced with a stressful situation. To test her statement, she highlights an experiment conducted that associates stress changes in the levels of testosterone and cortisol. In the experiment, participants adopted high power or low power poses for some minutes and gave feedback on how they felt. This outcome was supplemented with a sample of saliva for scientific investigations. The experiment revealed that power posing just for two minutes influenced how hormones in the brain are altered by our thoughts. In her review, she proves the power and dominance of body language by showing a picture of primates to describe how people also act the same when they expand and occupy space.
Using signposting and transition, she connects her ideas by systematically using guiding questions to review how our minds change our bodies and how the bodies change our minds. She further does a comparison of a powerful mind versus a powerless mind. She concludes that having a powerful mind means being more assertive, confident, and optimistic in life. Amy effectively concludes by challenging the audience to try and perform the simple task of reconfiguring their brain to adopt a positive outlook of life.
The main body points of her speech are the dominance of body language and the scientific finding that powerful people are more confident and calm in stressful situations they produce higher levels of testosterone. Cuddy also emphasizes the power of the pose, noting that it can alter the levels of hormones in our brain, which can impact our behavior. Another important aspect of her speech is the two-minute tweaks and the big changes, which examines how taking a two-minute pose can configure our brains. Although Cuddy suggests that body language determines how we view others, as well as how we think of ourselves, I concur that the body can affect our behavior. Specifically, I believe that having positive thoughts can enable us to be more optimistic.
The research findings confirm that those who occupy higher positions in society are more powerful as compared to others in a lower power pose. Cuddy effectively proves that we can alter the body hormones to think positively. What stands out in her findings is that power posing that can have one notable implication: feeling powerful by learning how to alter one’s thoughts. I, however, feel that the evidence from the research is insufficient to be replicated by the fact that the results do not present concrete evidence on the relationship between power posing and hormones. However, Cuddy’s presentation can inspire confidence among those who feel powerless.
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