TED Talk on How Non-Verbal Communication Changes Our Lives

Topics: Nonverbal communication, Body language, Communication Pages: 2 (519 words) Published: October 15, 2014

9 May 2014


Speaker:Amy Cuddy
Title:“Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are.”
Source: TED Talks
Main Idea:How non verbal communication can change our lives.

At the beginning of her speech, Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are, Amy Cuddy asks the audience to note their posture and how they’re sitting. Her intent is to offer some free life hacks about posture. Moreover, body language, that could change how the rest of their lives go. Amy states that humans are fascinated with body language, especially other peoples’ body language. Social Scientists have studied body language for a long time and call it nonverbal communication or NVCs. Judgements have been the target of the studies. She states that judgements can be made in mere seconds based on NVCs, and can predict meaningful future outcomes. The outcomes she refers to are things such as who we may hire, promote or ask out on a date. She delves further into the research by exemplifying laboratory experiments where subjects were shown 30 second snippets, without sound bytes, of doctor patient interactions. Considering the viewed behaviors, the subjects were then asked if they would be likely to sue the doctor based on the nonverbal communications they had witnessed. Why or why not?

Amy is particularly interested in the study of power dynamics. She compares the NVCs of humans to that of animals, wherein both species display dominance by spreading out, making themselves look big or taking up space. A common stance for humans is the motion of holding their arms up, forming the shape of a “V” to display pride. She further states that blind people often make this motion out of instinct, even though they’ve never actually seen it done. In contrast, non dominant or unconfident people tend to sit hunched or curled up to make themselves appear small and unnoticeable. Touching their necks as a sign of protecting themselves from the more powerful people....

Cited: Cuddy, Amy. “Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are.” TED Talks, October 1, 2012.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ks-_M http h1QhMc. May 7,2014.
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