Power Body Language

26.04.2016 |

Episode #4 of the course The secrets of body language by Vanessa Van Edwards


Do you look like a loser?

Or worse, do you feel like a loser?

A few months ago, I was speaking at a leadership conference and met the keynote speaker, a big-shot CEO. We were chatting about the conference sessions, and he mentioned one in particular that was not very well attended. “You know why no one wanted to go to that session? It’s because the guy leading it was a real loser!”

I was shocked by his statement and asked him why he thought the speaker was a loser. He said something that has stuck with me ever since:

“He feels like he doesn’t belong; he feels like he isn’t qualified. He feels like a loser, and so that’s exactly what happens.”

If you want to get dates, win business, and influence people, you have to prep your confidence, both inside and out.

But how do you cultivate a confident presence and mentality? Let me show you how.

Researchers at the University of British Columbia wanted to find out:

Is body language learned, or is it innate? 

To do this, they studied congenitally-blind athletes (athletes who have been blind since birth). They specifically looked at their nonverbal behavior during a win and during defeat. They found that when a blind athlete won, they would raise their hands to the sky in the classic pride expression:

4.1 The secrets of body language

When a blind athlete lost, they would roll their body into the fetal position, the classic expression of loss:

4.2 The secrets of body language

Remember, these blind athletes had never seen anyone win or lose a race. They were acting instinctively. This finding is amazing because it proves that nonverbal behavior once assumed to be acquired through environment is in fact innate.

I want you to look and feel like a winner. Are you going to networking events, parties, and meetings like you’ve just won a race or like you’ve been defeated?


Body language isn’t simply a mindset or something nice to have. This is ingrained within each of you, and it’s possible that it can actually change your physiology, meaning that when you look like a winner, you feel like one too.

Before your next date, business meeting, or any big thing, channel your inner winner with a pre-power pose. Pick your favorite:

4.5 The secrets of body language Once you’re at the date, meeting, or party, assume your launch stance. A launch stance is a toned-down version of the big pre-power pose. The best part is that you are still practicing open, powerful body language that will help you continue to look and feel confident:

4.6 The secrets of body language

When we’re nervous or uncomfortable, it’s easy to neglect our inner winner. But with practice and preparation, you can be a winner every time.

Challenge: Pre-power pose before a big thing you have this week!



P.S. Want even more? Check out my article How to Look (and Feel) Confident.


Recommended book

“Unmasking the Face: A Guide to Recognizing Emotions From Facial Expressions” by Paul Ekman


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