Remote meetings are becoming more and more common fixtures in the business world as wireless technologies improve rapidly. And most recently, with the COVID-19 pandemic, remote meetings have become the main (and sometimes only) way in which business meetings are conducted.
Unfortunately, a lot of people, even those who are perfectly confident and composed in traditional meetings, are extremely nervous and unsure when they have to meet with business contacts remotely. Luckily, there is an easy and usually overlooked method of building confidence in remote meetings that astounds most people with how simple it is. That method is power posing.
It is common knowledge that how you talk and how you dress have major effects when it comes to your performance during a business meeting, but the huge impact of what you do with your body and its impact on your psychology is almost always underestimated. It might seem that body language is pretty intuitive, but a Harvard professor named Amy Cuddy actually developed some specific poses that “hack into” the poser’s psyche and make them have certain feelings.
Here are a few of the most effective power poses that are usable during remote meetings specifically.
- The Mr. Clean
This one is the classic on this list. When you are sitting in front of your camera listening to something, cross your arms in front of your chest and look straight at the camera. Also – and this is very important – keep your shoulders rolled back so your spine is straight and hold your head high. If you forget to roll your shoulders back and assume a slightly bent-forward position while crossing your arms, people will perceive the pose as a sign of weakness, like you are hugging yourself.
The beauty of this pose and all of those on this list is that it will not only be others who perceive you differently when you do them; it will affect your self-image, as well, and will make you perform the way the pose dictates.
- The CEO
“The CEO” is meant to communicate confident leadership. Use this pose when conducting an interview, delegating tasks during a meeting or otherwise just trying to give off the appearance of a boss while speaking. Don’t do it while listening to others, though, as you might come off as aloof. To pull off the pose, casually rest your arm on the back of your chair while reclining. If you’re feeling especially daring, lace your fingers behind your head instead of leaning on your chair. If your legs are visible to your camera, either spread your knees apart to take up as much space as possible or rest an ankle on the opposite knee.
- The Power-Closer
As the name of this pose suggests, it is meant for use while closing. Whether that means proposing a deal or simply wrapping up a presentation, the pose communicates power and charisma that will make people more likely to agree with whatever you just said. Execute the pose by planting your palms on the table in front of you and leaning slightly towards the camera. Make sure you are sitting up straight, too, or “The Power-Closer” may look a little odd.
- The Squinch
This one may sound like the title of a rejected Seinfeld episode, but it is actually a clever body language trick to make you look – and feel – more confident while listening to others. It is perhaps unfair to classify it as a power pose because it is so subtle, but “The Squinch” can be accomplished by slightly raising the lower eyebrow, which is not nearly as difficult as it sounds. This video by Peter Hurley, the photographer who noticed and named the trick, will give you a better idea:
- The Performer
This one is different from the others on this list in that it is to be done directly before the meeting. The pose gives a huge confidence boost and puts you in the right frame of mind. It can be pulled off by throwing your legs apart into a wide stance and holding your arms over your head, like a rockstar preparing to take a bow after the show. You could do this during the meeting, too, but you might look a little ridiculous. If you need to do something especially nerve-wracking like make a speech, though, it might be a good idea to step out of frame and strike this pose right before you go on so as to be in the most empowered state possible.
Some of these might sound crazy, but they are all well-proven and can really change your performance in remote meetings!
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