Body Language and Posture

… a core concept in Communication Skills and Atlas 109

BodyLanguageConcept description

Body language (non-verbal expression) is a powerful form of communication and a speaker’s posture influences not only the listener’s assessment of the speaker, but also the behaviour of the speaker.

In her famous (31 million views, reference below) TED Talk, HBS professor Amy Cuddy, describes the results of her research on “how our bodies change our minds.” She describes how “power posing” affects the brain, and why it is possible to “fake it till you become it.”

This and subsequent research was described with useful charts and tips in a 2014 YouTube presentation (reference below) by Vanessa Van Edwards. Her advice is:

  1. Pre-power pose
  2. Use ideal-power posing
  3. Avoid low power posing

In her article, 6 Body Language Secrets of Powerful People (reference below), Lisa Marshall lists:

  1. Eye contact conveys confidence
  2. Smile: It’s good for you!
  3. The firm handshake
  4. Take a powerful pose
  5. Voice tone
  6. Appropriate gestures

In her HKS Communications handout, Creating Your Speaker Persona (reference below), describes the need to:

  1. Animate your voice
  2. Engage with your face
  3. Coordinate your upper body with your face and voice
  4. Move your lower body
Resources

Frank Damelio, 2008, Public Speaking with Impact – Lesson I Veil the Nerves, 7-minute YouTube video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bcn_3HRxvmU, accessed 2 February 2016.

Frank Damelio, 2009, Public Speaking with Impact – Lesson II Emulating Confidence, 10-minute YouTube video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JIJPFpnvdDc&index=1&list=PL0F1A0C5A1D8E0D58, accessed 2 February 2016.

Frank Damelio, 2008, Authority & Persuasion, 7-minute YouTube video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CQ6Sy9RbOkM&index=2&list=PL0F1A0C5A1D8E0D58, accessed 2 February 2016.

Vanessa Van Edwards, 2014, 3 Power Body Language Moves, 1-minute YouTube video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pdau717XfSI&index=4&list=PL_V-3HduxUzO20vwkv8gxTeX__M347DVI, accessed 3 February 2016.

Vanessa Van Edwards, 2014, Body Language for Experts, 6-minute YouTube video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ct0zVSn2qo&list=PL_V-3HduxUzO20vwkv8gxTeX__M347DVI&index=21, accessed 3 February 2016.

Vanessa Van Edwards, 2015, The Perfect Handshake, 8-minute YouTube video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0YLXBUxHgjw, accessed 3 February 2016.

Allan Pease talks Body Language, 2015 Interview by John Peachey, at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ODx5RXnQnas, accessed 31 January 2016.

Allan Pease, 2013, Body language, the power is in the palm of your hands, 14-minute TEDx Talk, at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZZZ7k8cMA-4, accessed 31 January 2016.

Allan Pease, Funny Body Language – The Complete Series, 140-minutes at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ODx5RXnQnas, accessed 31 January 2016.

Summary of Allan and Barbara Pease’s 2006 book, Thee Definitive Book of Body Language, by Malaz Mohamad, at http://www.scienceofpeople.com/2014/06/summary-definitive-book-of-body-language/, accessed 31 January 2016.

Source

Amy Cuddy, 2012, “Your body language shapes who you are,” TED Talk at http://www.ted.com/talks/amy_cuddy_your_body_language_shapes_who_you_are, accessed 31 January 2016.

Vanessa Van Edwards, 2014, Use Body Language to Increase Your Influence, 8-minute YouTube video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XYbyiFSDXnk, accessed 3 February 2016.

Lisa Marshall, 2015, 6 Body Language Secrets of Powerful People, at http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/business-career/communication/6-body-language-secrets-of-powerful-people, accessed 31 January 2016.

Holly Weeks, Creating Your Speaker Persona: A Little Larger than Life – You communicate your presence with your voice, face, and body, at http://shorensteincenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/HO_WEEKS_Speaker-Persona_10-12.pdf, accessed 24 January 2016.

Normed topic and synthetic course with which the concept is primarily associated

This concept is primarily associated with the core normed topic Speaking to Persuade and is included in the synthetic course outline Atlas109 Leadership and Communication Skills.

Page created by: Ian Clark, last modified on 3 February 2016.

Image: Lisa Marshall, at http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/business-career/communication/6-body-language-secrets-of-powerful-people, accessed 31 January 2016.