Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges, by Amy Cuddy

My Copy: 9780316256575 (image from

Well, somehow I knew I’d enjoy the hell out of reading this book. It’s about 300 pages long, and while that might be a little off-putting for some casual readers, it’s really a book full of useful, practical wisdom about our own presence in the world and how to make it more.

Amy Cuddy is famous for her TED talk about power poses and confidence, and the most common quote or phrase regarding it is “Don’t fake it til you make it, fake it till you become it!”

That’s the gist of this book Presence.

Ms. Cuddy’s book is all about giving your best self whenever possible. You’re probably rolling your eyes at the idea, that “isn’t that the whole point of every self-help book ever written?” Well, yes, but not quite like this.

Ms. Cuddy’s done significant research and spoken with many other behavioral scientists, psychologists, and researchers among dozens of backgrounds who have experimented on presence and all the behaviors associated with it, which either hinder or help it along.

There are a number of facets that help us deal with being more present, and more ourselves, in the world. To be clearer, our better selves in life. We all project something in daily life, in the office or home or wherever, and how we respond to others indicates something about our presence.

The topics included in the book (only a handful of many) include owning your story and worthiness, imposter syndrome, powerlessness, aggression and expansion, testosterone vs. cortisol, body language in general and posture in particular.

I agree so much with what was said in Presence; it’s really making me evaluate my posture and how I put myself in the world. It’s one thing to be told to sit up right or to not slouch, make eye contact…but some of the things we’ve grown up having pounded into our heads aren’t always true, or at least in some scenarios they can do more harm than good.

And perhaps some of the best advice so far in these books: self-nudging.

I’ll let you pick up a copy and get a better idea of what that’s all about.

Worth reading, and now I want to go watch her TED talk in the fullest.

Happy reading!

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