Does a Magic Pill Exist for Better Public Speaking?

Popeye has his spinach. Superman his phone booth. What do you have to become a better public speaker? You may be surprised to learn that there are various simple yet powerful techniques to give you a quick boost before getting up on stage.

Click below to discover the secret to powerful public speaking…

Besides extensive preparation, is there one attribute that all successful speakers share? Think about the presenters who have left a strong positive impression with you. What is it about their demeanor that made their performances so compelling and memorable?

Is it their smile, their swagger or the way their words flowed effortlessly? Or maybe you were attracted to the way they dressed, their perfect coif or make-up. Could it be that you were swayed by their tone of voice, their smooth delivery or their strong eye contact?

I wouldn’t be surprised if you responded positively to all of these attributes. Strong speakers capture the attention of their audience well before they utter a single word. What is the secret to their success? One word… confidence.

It’s this intangible trait that all powerful performers have in common. And it makes itself known through every aspect of their performance. If I told you that there is an easy way to develop confidence even if you’re not feeling it, would you believe me? Well, there is, but don’t just take my word for it. Science has the answer.

A few years ago, Amy Cuddy, a social psychologist at Harvard University, conducted an experiment on 74 college students. She asked them to stand in such a way which effectively made them take up more physical space than they normally would. Simple motions like extending both arms into the air at 45 degrees. Or putting hands on hips in a Superman/ Wonderwoman type stance. She had them hold these postures for only two minutes.

The psychological effects of the test were striking. To the observers of the experiment, these stances made the individual look stronger and more authoritative. In addition, the individuals perceived themselves to be more powerful and felt more confident. Cuddy calls these postures “power poses”.

Let’s look to science to explain why this occurs. Saliva was taken from each individual just before they began their pose and then taken again immediately after completing the exercise. On average, the group’s testosterone level increased by 25% and their cortisol level decreased by 20%. By the way, testosterone is the primary hormone which impacts how confident we feel. And cortisol contributes to our sense of calm and well-being.

This is good news for anyone who finds themselves in an anxiety-inducing situation such as speaking in public. Taking two minutes to strike a power pose before going on stage is an excellent use of your time.

But please don’t take my word for it and then do nothing beyond thinking that this is an interesting idea. Try it for yourself. You really have nothing to lose. It will work for you because acting confidently WILL make you feel more confident. It’s the mind/body connection in action. Or more accurate in this case…it’s the body/mind connection working its magic.

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