Fake It Until You Become It

I recently watched a great TED Talk by Amy Cuddy, Social Psychologist and Associate Professor of Business Administration at Harvard, called “Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are which has profound implications for anyone who gets anxious before giving a presentation – i.e. all of us.

Channel a Confident Speaker

For many years I have been encouraging those who suffer from performance nerves to “fake it”.  That’s not to say I am encouraging anyone who is speaking in public to be inauthentic.  My whole approach is about helping people be more themselves, more genuine, more open.  But when you’re about to walk out in front of an audience, and you’re feeling nervous or anxious, one of the simplest things you can do (after some deep, steady breathing) is to stand up straight, stride out boldly, plant your feet, look your audience in the eye, and smile like you are pleased to be there. I encourage presenters to “channel” a confident speaker they admire, or even themselves on a good day when they are on top of their game.

Scientific Proof

I’ve always known, and those who try it confirm it, that as soon as we start to “fake it”, as soon as we present the outward appearance and body language of a relaxed and confident person, we start to feel better, more self-assured, less nervous and anxious.  And now, finally, we have confirmation from the world of academia that this was not just our imagination.   Cuddy’s research demonstrates that the posture we adopt actually does affect testosterone and cortisol levels in the brain, and has a measurable impact on how we feel, and how we are seen by others.  Furthermore, there is a long-term cumulative effect from doing it regularly.

We used to say “fake it until you make it” – but now Cuddy teaches us to say “fake it until you become it” – because you will.


Presenting with Passion – for the speakers at all levels 

Whether you are a white-clenched-knuckles first-time speaker, or an old hand who needs to brush up their speaking skills, I can help you become a passionate and engaging speaker that audiences can’t take their eyes off.  Click here for further information.

Then contact me.

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