Posture

I hope you know how to stand If you don't then you're either a spectacular drunk or you have a serious couch potato habit

But how do you feel about standing when people are looking at you? What about when you stand to make that business presentation or wedding speech, or to chat with that girl you like in the bar? Suddenly standing isn't so easy any more because you feel self-conscious By creating a standing "pole position" you can rehearse a pose beforehand, meaning you won't feel awkward at all next time it happens I Stand normally and look at your reflection. How do your hands feel? Are you using barrier gestures like folded arms or clasped hands to make you feel more comfortable? Then unclasp them Let your arms hang by your sides as you did with your Power Pose I Now, think feet. No need to look down at them because that will just make you feel off balance, just think of them instead . Get the weight of your body firmly balanced between the sole and the heel of your foot And keep your weight right down the middle of each foot, too Stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart (less for women) and have your toes pointing either straight or slightly outward

I Now work on your legs . Straighten them but don't make them so rigid that your knees lock I Pull your spine straight, your shoulders back and down, and tilt that pelvis slightly forward as you did in your Power Pose I Look at your arms and hands in the mirror. These will need some working on Try to pick a position where they look good, rather than one where they just feel comfortable . Your ideal pole position might be so alien to you that it feels odd, but I promise this feeling will vanish after you've been doing it for a while Your body needs to learn what's called muscle memory, which means it gets used to the feeling of a new movement

There is no one-size-fits-all with your arms and hands, which is why I'm not going to be overly prescriptive A lot depends on your body shape, your arm length, the size of your belly, and so on If you're tubby with short arms it's no good me telling you to clasp your hands in front of your body because this is going to look downright silly If you're skinny and long-limbed like me you'll have arm length to spare, but then you might end up in the fig-leaf pose, which for men means hands clasped across the genitals, which is not a good look unless you're defending a free kick in soccer

You can try out a variety of hand/arm poses . Once you see how dumb most of them look you'll be glad you put in some practice now, rather than halfway through that business presentation or pick-up line I'll be giving you more specific tips in the next few chapters, coaching you through killer moments like business meetings or social events, but for now just make sure you've got at least one pose that works . Then it's up to you to keep using it until it both feels and looks natural and comfortable

Now's the time to bring your prop in. Pull that chair in front of the mirror and sit down. Your second pole position needs to be done sitting down because that's the way you usually communicate in meetings

You'll need to work on two sitting pole positions, one for a chair with arms and one without The second option is the more challenging because it makes your arm movement more limited I Sit into the back of the chair unless you're so small this means your feet dangle off the ground. If this happens sit forward until they touch the floor I Straighten your back and don't slump . I Either cross your legs at the thigh (for a man or a woman) or sit with them slightly open (if you're a man). I If your chair has arms, rest your elbows on the arms, with your hands loosely clasped in front of you If the arms are too wide apart, rest one elbow on one arm and let your other elbow rest on your leg so that your hands can be loosely clasped

I If your chair is armless, clasp your hands loosely and place

I Or try resting one elbow on the back of the chair, with your arms clasped loosely. (This is quite casual so not for formal occasions .)

I And watch that hand clasp. You can mesh your fingers or just place one hand lightly over the other but don't use a tight clasp or do what's called finger steepling, by which I mean pointing some fingers into a V-shape, either aimed at your own chin or toward the person you're talking to I'll explain why not later in the book, but for now I'll just say it can make you look very arrogant

Continue reading here: Power walking

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