5 Easy Power Poses to Make Yourself More Confident During Remote Meetings

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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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:

  1. 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!

About the Author

Dustin Kemp is a professional blogger currently residing in Vietnam. He has been known to blog on a wide range of interesting topics including certified translation services.

Using a synthetic voice as a translation editing tool

Translation editing tool

I have a colleague called Ryan. He’s been with me since 2014. He’s reliable, consistent and a valued member of the team. I’m from Northern Ireland and he’s from the USA, so we’re both English speakers working in the west of France. What separates us is that I am a physical being and he is a virtual voice. In fact, I can only really refer to him as a ‘he’ rather than an ‘it’ because his/its name is Ryan and his/its masculine voice derives from a real person.

I ’employ’ Ryan to read aloud the text that I have prepared for clients: he comes in at the final stage of the translation or the editing process. In previous times I used to read this text out loud myself, but my concentration was inclined to wander after spending days poring over the same words, and although I felt that reading aloud was a sensible thing to do, I hadn’t taken the time to consider its empirical validity.

So I began to search for answers. I had to go all the way back to 1969 to find Nida and Taber’s reflections on reading aloud as an editing tool for translators:

“As the text is read, the translator should note carefully those places at which the reader stumbles, hesitates, makes some substitution of another grammatical form, puts in another word, or in any way has difficulty in reading the text fluently. Of course, some of the problems in reading may be due to inexperience in public reading, but if two or more persons have difficulty at the same point in the reading of a translation, this is a warning signal that something is likely to be wrong. Perhaps it is an awkward grammatical form, perhaps a difficult semotactic [syntax that alters the meaning] arrangement, perhaps a problem of word order. But whatever the problem may be, it should be carefully analyzed.”

It would be good to be able to quote from numerous pieces of research, but I can’t. Translation scholars have been decidedly quiet on the subject of phonological equivalence and the importance of reading aloud as an editing tool, which is a pity when reading aloud can now be undertaken by a synthetic voice. This voice may not stumble or hesitate like a human voice, but the human listener, me, is quite capable of recognising the above obstacles as the text is read out loud. Moreover, the synthetic voice can carry the listener beyond the bounds of grammatical equivalence into the textual and pragmatic equivalence of cohesion and coherence. If I lose track of the people and themes while Ryan is reading, or if I lose track of the overall meaning, then I know that something in the text isn’t right and will have to be reviewed.

As a translator who now spends more time editing than translating, I no longer need my human colleague to highlight (in yellow, which I love!) potential conflict between the source text in French and the target text in English. My remit has become one of improving an English text until it is sufficiently ‘readable’. Readable is a loaded term, defined by Anagnostou and Weir as “what makes one text more difficult or easier to understand than another” (2006), but at the very least, I would hope that the eventual reader can read my improved text with ease, which means that I have optimised the use of such devices as repetition, punctuation, sentence length, pronouns, parallel structures, polysyllabic words and syntax.

I could of course resort to one of the 200 known readability formulae to measure and adjust some of these devices – it would be quick, but these formulae focus on writing style to the detriment of content, structure and design.

And this brings me back to Ryan and the value of using a synthetic voice. Ryan does the reading; I listen; I alter; Ryan rereads; I listen; I alter, etc. I stop when the words, the grammar, the cohesion and the coherence blend into harmony. Like all translators, I have performance criteria: much of my text is read by editors from international journals and publishing houses. They are thorough, so my English has to be thorough too.

Nevertheless, Ryan has had to step in occasionally to save me from glaring errors, typographical or other, which have floated to the surface of the text after being submerged for a number of days. I had simply stopped seeing them (especially if they were missing words). What can I say? I rely on Ryan’s efficiency. Did you know that he can read about 10,000 words per hour? I could accelerate his voice within my text to speech (TTS) software, but I’m happy with his normal speed. At the moment, most TTS programs automatically highlight each word as it is read, but wouldn’t be wonderful if they could use different colours to highlight different problems, like the overabundance of passive constructions, and wouldn’t it be even more wonderful if I could set the program to highlight what I want it to highlight from a number of options?

If only…

Until then, whether you edit what you translate or you edit what others have written in your target language and you want to maximise the quality of your work, Ryan and a host of other synthetic voices may be worth considering. I have certainly benefitted from his/its input.

About the author:

Rowland Hill is a professional translator who lives and work in France. He mostly translates and edits economics/sociology articles/books and children’s books.  What does Rowland say about machine translation? “I’m not much of a machine translator. My only machine is my brain and whatever complementary software I can find, like TTS.”