Last week’s recommendation was for people who are doing shows and events to buy mats because hard surfaces make standing for long periods of time more difficult.
This week I want to elaborate more on the value of standing. As I mentioned last week, standing helps you to engage with your audience and puts you at eye level with those to whom you are speaking. That helps to build an immediate rapport with them, or at least does not try to place you on different social levels by remaining seated while they are forced to stand.
But there are other reasons for standing as well. There is a psychological impact for you in changing your position and posture and that in turn impacts how you are perceived. As a writer, I want to share the world I have created with anyone I can encourage to delve into it. No matter how good or bad my story, my interactions with them greatly impact the chances they will be willing to peak inside the cover.
Again, with the mat suggestion, this is not really limited to just writers, but to everyone. Changing your body language is incredibly powerful. It can make the difference between getting a job, a raise, a date, making a friend, … the list is endless. I highly recommend the TED talk I’ve linked below. It is Amy Cuddy: Your body language shapes who you are.
For writers, I really think this TED talk may help. As a generalization, we tend to be introverts, more willing to sit in the corner and watch than to stand in the middle of the room and say, “hey, everyone, look at me.” And this tendency can help us be great writers, because we’ve been observing all the happenings, instead of having our perceptions limited by participating in the action.
However, when it comes time to put forth a public face and draw attention to our works, we really need to get out in the middle of the room. We have to change some of the basic nature of our core being. We have to go from being introverts to being extroverts and that can be hard. One of the questions the Amy Cuddy asks in the talk is:
Do our bodies change our minds?
She mentions that we are often told our minds can change our bodies, but can it work the other way around as well? Since projecting confidence and reducing reactionary behaviors causes people to view us favorably, can we assume a confident posture and actually become confident and composed? Will pretending confidence give us the same results as being confident?
As it turns out, yes we can. Striking a confident posture before an event, which includes making yourself large and not smaller, will in turn make you feel more confident during that event. If you continue to do that, eventually you will have confidence all the time. This has led to her statement:
Fake it ’til you become it.
So, when you are at the show or event, stand up tall and proud, be confident (not obnoxious) and you will project confidence. This will help give you the chance to introduce your work to someone else who may find they really love the world you have created.
Now, watch the video and get the recommendations straight from her.