According to Amy Cuddy, a Harvard psychologist featured in a Business Insider interview, in order to reach a calm state of self-confidence that is necessary to be truly successful in life, you have to be present. “Cuddy defines presence as being attuned to and able to express your full potential. When you’re present, you approach challenges without a sense of threat,” explains Shana Lebowitz. “Whether you’re interviewing for a job or pitching your startup, people can tell right away if you’re present, and they judge you more positively when you are.” Cuddy believes there are three simple ways to demonstrate that you are present to others:
- You believe your story. When you’re present, you demonstrate passion and conviction—two qualities that will persuade other people to believe in your story. “Presence matters because it signals authenticity, believability, and genuineness,” Cuddy says. “People will feel that they can trust you and that what they are observing is real.”
- You’re confident without being arrogant. Don’t be overly aggressive, pushy, or full of yourself. The more you shut down other people, the less appealing you become. “A truly confident person does not require arrogance, which is nothing more than a smokescreen for insecurity,” says Cuddy. “A confident person can be present to others, hear their perspectives, and integrate those views in ways that create value for everyone.”
- Your verbal and nonverbal communication are in sync. When you’re lying, oftentimes your body language will not match what you are saying and you become less believable. Cuddy explains that’s “because you’re constantly trying to adjust what you’re saying and doing to create the impression you think others want to see. On the other hand, when we’re present, our verbal and nonverbal behavior matches. People aren’t distracted trying to figure out why something feels ‘off,’ and they’re more likely to put their trust in you.”
To learn more about Cuddy’s philosophy, read her book, Presence.
Do you think presence is required to be successful?