Cuddy, a professor at Harvard Business School, expands on her popular TED talk about adopting confident body postures, or "power poses," to enhance self-confidence and bring presence to social and professional situations. She defines presence as "feeling connected with our own thought, values, abilities, and emotions, so that we can better connect with... others." Drawing insights from successful venture capitalists and from a host of social psychology studies conducted by herself and others, Cuddy discusses self-affirmation, the role hormones play in confidence, mood enhancement via facial expression, and reinterpreting anxiety as excitement. She uses William James's belief that physical experiences trigger emotional states to lend credence to her own invention of power poses, providing specific instructions on how and when to use them. Further inspiration is provided by Cuddy's interviews with actress Julianne Moore about presence on film sets, Rev. Jeffrey Brown on his work reining in gang violence through active listening, and author Neil Gaiman on overcoming "imposterism." Lest the reader remain unconvinced, Cuddy concludes with letters from admirers who have used her methods effectively during job interviews, business meetings, and athletic events, as well as to overcome PTSD. Agent: Richard Pine, Inkwell Management. (Dec.)
New York Times bestseller
Wall Street Journal bestseller
USA Today bestseller
Publishers Weekly bestseller
Amazon "Best Books of December" pick and December spotlight
Amazon Canada "Best Books of December"
AARP Editor's Pick and a "Top Ten Books of 2015"
Forbes "15 Best Business Books of 2015"
Business Insider "20 Best Business Books of 2015"
Business Insider "20 of the Best Books by the Most Influential Thinkers in Business"
Washington Post "12 Leadership Books to Watch for in 2015"
Inc. #1 pick for "12 New Business Books for the Perfect Gift"
People "Book of the Week"
BusinessMirror "10 Books to Look for in Early 2016"
Bustle "10 Books That'll Inspire You to Make the World a Better Place in 2016"
Irish Independent "The 6 Best Motivational Reads for 2016"
Shortlisted for the Thinkers50 Leadership Award (UK)
World Economic Forum #1 pick for "Books on Leadership to Read This Holiday"
"Cuddy brings an abundance of humility and charm to the page. Her presence itselfher openhearted desire to help the insecure and the uneasy in this age of anxietyshines through. PRESENCE feels at once concrete and inspiring, simple but ambitiousabove all, truly powerful."
Heather Havrilesky, front page New York Times Book Review
"Amy Cuddy's must-read new book...is a triple threat: enjoyable, fascinating, and a brightly packaged New Year's resolution....There's a lot more to the body-mind connection, and that's what PRESENCE lays out so well.
Lane Florsheim, Marie Claire
"A must-read for anyone looking to achieve their personal best."Kim Hubbard, People (Book of the Week)
"Amy Cuddy fuses the rigor of a researcher befitting one of the world's finest universities with the raw empathic insight that springs from uncommonly trying personal experience."
Maria Popova, Brainpickings
"A treatise on presence."Forbes
"Filled with stories about achieving greater mindfulness, successfully coping with stress, and being present to our immediate moments, PRESENCE will help you direct all your competing energies more effectively. The first step in any great journey of change is into the self, after all."Bustle
"Want to enjoy a more confident 2016? Consider power posing. This transformative self-help tome explains how assuming the Wonder Woman stance before a big interview sends an empowering message to your mind."Deirdre Donahue, AARP
"...Cuddy is endearingly normal. And her new book, PRESENCE, is as entertaining as it is scientific."
Associated Press/The National (UAE)
"Amy Cuddy is the high priestess of self-confidence for the self-doubting. In PRESENCE, she uses her warmth, empathy, and laser-sharp intelligence to decode the mysteries of presence under social pressure. A must-read forwell, for everyone."Susan Cain, co-founder of Quiet Revolution and author of Quiet
"Amy Cuddy is making the world a braver place with her book, PRESENCE. Weaving together science, practical examples, and storytelling, Cuddy shows us how bringing our boldest, most authentic selves to challenging situations inspires others to do the same. This book is a game-changer!"Brene Brown, author of Daring Greatly and Rising Strong
"PRESENCE is exactly the kind of behavioral science book the world needs."
Robert Cialdini, New York Times bestselling author of Influence
"A captivating, charming read on harnessing confidence and poise. Demystifying a century of science, Amy Cuddy shows how we can achieve greater success and sincerity by changing the way we carry ourselves."Adam Grant, author of Originals and Give and Take
"Millions of people have already been empowered by Amy Cuddy's groundbreaking TED talk on 'power posing' but that was just the tip of the iceberg! In PRESENCE, Cuddy reveals a much bigger and deeper science: a whole new way of understanding the body-mind connection, and how our physical habits affect our thoughts, feelings and choices. Reading this book will forever change how you carry yourself, and in doing so, it will make you braver, bolder, and better able to show up for all of your life's greatest opportunities."Jane McGonigal, author of Reality Is Broken and SuperBetter
"In one exquisitely written book, Amy Cuddy illuminates for us the latest research of how the body and mind, in surprising yet elegant ways, affect who we are and how we are perceived. We have to understand how the body affects the mind and the mind working with the body changes us, changes perceptions, and changes the world around us. And no one does this better than Amy Cuddy."Joe Navarro, author of What Every BODY Is Saying
"There is one thing that separates those who do from those who don't: power. Amy Cuddy helps us understand what it means to build our personal power, keep it strong when it falters and help us steer clear of arrogance. This book is a must read for every doer out there."Simon Sinek, author of Leaders Eat Last and Start with Why
"What could be more important in life than being yourself? In this wonderfully engaging, intelligent, and practical book, Amy Cuddy unpacks the cutting-edge psychology of presence when we most need it. I recommend it highly!"
William Ury, coauthor of Getting to Yes and author of Getting to Yes with Yourself
"With advice that is both practical and profound, Amy Cuddy shows how to summon your true and best self when doing so matters most. Emotions are contagious. If you personify poise and optimism yourself, you enhance the odds that they will respond in kind."Michael Wheeler, Harvard Business School, author of The Art of Negotiation
"It's no mystery why Amy Cuddy is one of the most beloved TED speakers of all time. Her candid and incisive voice is a gift for anyone seeking to understand what makes people tick, and her research-based, inside-out approach to putting your best self forward in high-stakes situations makes this a must-read."John Neffinger and Matthew Kohut, coauthors of Compelling People
"You probably didn't know how much you were reading from your own body language. Amy Cuddy's beautiful new book explains how our minds and bodies connect and influence one another, affecting how we feel about ourselves and our place in the world."
Heidi Grant Halvorson, Columbia Business School, author of No One Understands You and What to Do About It and Focus
"I'm loving the latest from Amy Cuddy."Joanna Coles, Editor-in-Chief Cosmopolitan
Readers may be familiar with social psychologist Cuddy (business administration, Harvard Business Sch.) through her TED Talk in which she discussed how our body language shapes who we are. Here, Cuddy expands on that conversation with a thorough discussion of the concept of presence, meaning a confident physical presentation that adds to mental confidence. While presence doesn't guarantee a specific outcome, developing it allows us to face our challenges without anxiety. Presence also helps us leave a situation without second-guessing our responses. It eliminates feelings of inferiority by shedding the fear of being exposed as imposters. Drawing heavily on her own experiences overcoming a traumatic brain injury and from those of average people, Cuddy shows how employing simple techniques lessen the anxiety experienced when faced with a challenging situation. Presence encourages us to be our authentic selves and operate ultimately from a place of personal power, not fear. A background in psychology is not necessary to understanding the material. Additionally, ample references to academic research further reinforce the content and will be of interest to psychology students. Personal narratives throughout the book support the author's ideas. VERDICT Given the popularity of Cuddy's TED Talk, one would expect that this book will be in demand, and readers will not be disappointed.—Lydia Olszak, Bosler Memorial Lib., Carlisle, PA
An examination of the psychological and physiological mechanics that spark the precious, transitory sense of presence. "Presence, as I mean it throughout these pages," writes social psychologist Cuddy (Business Administration/Harvard Business School), "is the state of feeling connected with our own thoughts, values, abilities, and emotions, so that we can better connect with the thoughts, values, abilities, and emotions of others. That's it." That may be it, but it's a tall order, since presence is an exquisite synchrony of the senses and the various elements of the self in harmony, as difficult to put into words as rapture or the flow state. It's all about poise, emerging from a trust and belief in yourself, your values, and your feelings. Cuddy—whose 2012 TED talk about the significance of body language has been viewed more than 27 million times (second among the most-viewed TED talks)—seeks presence in the face of powerlessness before pressure, anxiety, confusion, and frustration. However, to describe this fleeting sense of command, the author has to break it down into its components, severing the threads that hold the feeling together. Cuddy is very sharp in her analysis of those parts: affirmation; body language; how to nudge yourself along via incremental changes; how to shut up and listen; the profound disharmony of post-traumatic stress, when synchrony is painful to even contemplate. But the author stumbles somewhat when putting the pieces back together in a working union. Honesty, sincerity, and authenticity are batted around in pursuit of realizing our values and traits, but these words are too easily open to self-deception to feel like genuine tools. Cuddy falls back too often on the unchallenged insights of "a widely recognized expert" as well as unhelpful diagnostic questions—e.g., "What three words best describe you as an individual?" An uneven book studded with genuine insights that public speakers will find useful.