Book Review: Presence

October 19, 2016

Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges
Amy Cuddy
352 pages
Hard copy edition

From the publisher:

Have you ever left a nerve-racking challenge and immediately wished for a do over? Maybe after a job interview, a performance, or a difficult conversation? The very moments that require us to be genuine and commanding can instead cause us to feel phony and powerless. Too often we approach our lives’ biggest hurdles with dread, execute them with anxiety, and leave them with regret.

By accessing our personal power, we can achieve “presence,” the state in which we stop worrying about the impression we’re making on others and instead adjust the impression we’ve been making on ourselves. As Harvard professor Amy Cuddy’s revolutionary book reveals, we don’t need to embark on a grand spiritual quest or complete an inner transformation to harness the power of presence. Instead, we need to nudge ourselves, moment by moment, by tweaking our body language, behavior, and mind-set in our day-to-day lives.

Amy Cuddy has galvanized tens of millions of viewers around the world with her TED talk about “power poses.” Now she presents the enthralling science underlying these and many other fascinating body-mind effects, and teaches us how to use simple techniques to liberate ourselves from fear in high-pressure moments, perform at our best, and connect with and empower others to do the same.

Brilliantly researched, impassioned, and accessible, Presence is filled with stories of individuals who learned how to flourish during the stressful moments that once terrified them. Every reader will learn how to approach their biggest challenges with confidence instead of dread, and to leave them with satisfaction instead of regret.


In the past couple months I have heard and seen a lot of bloggers write about this book and it was on my wish list on Amazon, but then she was announced as our keynote speaker at the Rodan and Fields Convention and I was sold! Her story is fascinating and she has a lot research to back up what she has to say. In her book (and her presentation) she talks about how when we are not present we hide our competence and warmth. How can we come across and express our authentic best self.

This book was really interesting for me to read and think about my R+F business, as well as my husbands business and life in general.  Are we comfortable when we talk to others? Are we natural? People can sense if you are present and that will affect your relationships with them. I like that she pointed out that when we are present we believe our story, we convey confidence without arrogance and we communicate harmoniously. I loved that she pointed out that when we are truly confident we are not arrogant. We don’t need to be. I think we have probably all been in a meeting where someone presenting or talking doesn’t believe in what they are saying, and you can tell…but if we believe in this product and business and convey our excitement and believe through our body language and confident it can make such a big difference.

Another thing that I really loved in her book that she pointed out that even introverts have the same ability to demonstrate presence as an extrovert. You don’t have to be an extrovert. Just believe in who you are and your core values and be passionate about it. I really loved this section of the book because I tend to be more of an introvert in a larger group.


Amy talked a lot about body language and power posing. (Basically like a super man pose. Even better and more powerful if you raise your hands in the air while doing it too!) I LOVE this and have tried it in my life, I’ve had my kids do it before school in the morning too! The kids think it’s silly, but it’s powerful! I have a sister in law who does a lot of presentation with her job, and she told me she does a power pose in the hallway before each presentation. It’s such a good thing for each of us to try every day. It might feel silly at first, but it works! When we are confident we are more present. It all ties together.


The biggest take away from her book and from her presentation that I loved was that we don’t need to fake it till we make it, we need to “fake it until we become it”. LOVE it.

I highly recommend this book – there were just SO many take aways  and it was amazing to hear her live as well.  Our body language is so important and can really impact your life.

Final Score:

5 stars

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