Amy Cuddy is known as the champion of the superman pose.

Her TED Talk from 2012 has racked up almost 52 million views, second only to this talk about educational reforms. She has since written a book, called Presence, and combatted negative press about her scientific discoveries--by doing more scientific studies.

Yet, the talk only mentions the superman pose in passing. (I wrote about it way back in 2015 when body language was a hot topic.) Her talk is filled with other tips, some of them not so obvious. Here are the best ones you can apply at work or in life.

1. It only takes a second

Cuddy mentions how we read body language in only a few seconds. That's critical to know for those of us who think body language is more obscure or hard to read, or takes a while to analyze. I've been in meetings where I immediately know when someone is irritated. My wife can read my stress easily (apparently, I arch my back forward).

2. Body language is about being open...or closed

Our body language sends a message, but sometimes the message is not so positive. Cuddy talks about how negative body language is also important, that we communicate our displeasure or irritation when we stand away from someone or fold our arms. Try relaxing your posture, unfolding your arms, and displaying an open expression.

3. You are complimenting, and not always in a good way

"Complementing" means you are mirroring what you see, and this is not always a good thing, either. If someone stands with their arms crossed, and then you do the same, you are demonstrating to everyone you are closed off to ideas.

4. Power poses make you more willing to take risks

The superman pose is helpful when you're at a conference and meeting new people. But it also helps you take more risks because you have a little more confidence. I've written before about the entrepreneurial personality, and the superman pose is all part of it.

5. Body language is mostly about you talking to you

I found this point to be the most interesting. If we are communicating with other people at an non-verbal frequency, we are also communicating with ourselves. We're building our own confidence, sending off a certain vibe, and revealing emotions.

Published on: Apr 2, 2019