Advertising

Amy Cuddy: on body language and relevance in advertising

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A TED-talk by Amy Cuddy, a social psychologist and Associate Professor at Harvard Business School says, ‘your body language shapes who you are’. Its gathering a lot of traction in the social media space too – I thought I will share it here since what she talks about is so relevant to business and advertising business, more so.

Over at the TED site, the intro to the talk says: social psychologist Amy Cuddy shows how “power posing” — standing in a posture of confidence, even when we don’t feel confident — can affect testosterone and cortisol levels in the brain, and might even have an impact on our chances for success. As TED topics go, this may not be esoteric and ‘deep’ but its simply practical and reflects a lot of ground realities.

In advertising, virtually every role (be it in account management, creative or media) is about persuasion. It is about putting forth your point of view forcefully and assertively. And the business attracts a lot of talented people who are articulate and aggressive to boot, both at the agency and client side. In such a scenario being timid, shy and ‘afraid to speak up’ will only ensure that one remains ‘voiceless’ and being unable to influence others. Which defeats the very purpose of the business, in the first place. We’ve all been through situations where one feels tongue-tied when heavy weights sit in a formal meeting or informal brainstorming sessions. Or fumble and get over-awed by a situation – typically the big pitch or the big presentation to the CEO. While phrases like ‘fake it till you make it’ or ‘fake it till you become it’ may be misconstrued – it is NOT about acting as if you know a subject when you don’t. It is not saying being incompetent is OK. It is about training your body and mind to overcome inhibition and preparing to give your best in situations where you have to make your presence felt.  Any comments?

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A marketing communications professional with a keen interest in all things advertising. I share creative ads and views on the ad industry here. Views are personal. See Disclaimer for more.

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