Contributed by the Walton County Youth Advocacy Board
As members of a Youth Advocacy Board, we find ourselves doing a good bit of public speaking. Sometimes it’s in front of peers at school, other times county commissioners or state legislators. In any case, it can be stressful and can cause a knot in the pit of your stomach. This nervousness, however, cannot be a roadblock to talking about important topics important to us like underage drinking or illicit drug use. We believe that speaking up for what you believe in is important—but it isn’t always easy.
One way that we are able to get in the zone is by hitting our favorite power pose. A power pose is a technique of changing your body language to alter how you think and feel about yourself. Amy Cuddy, professor at Harvard Business School, speaks about power poses in her TED Talk Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are. In her talk, she asserts that small changes in body language can change your body chemistry, making you actually feel differently about yourself. A power pose, specifically, is a nonverbal way to make yourself feel more powerful and likely to do things that might otherwise scare you.
Power posing is simple and takes only a couple of minutes. First, find a space you’ll feel comfortable acting a little goofy. Stand up and strike a pose that makes you feel powerful– standing (or sitting) confidently and comfortably. Perhaps sitting back with your hands behind your head, standing like your favorite comic book character or simply just putting your hands on both hips and standing confidently. Do this for as long as possible—aiming for about 30 seconds.
While having the confidence to speak up is important as a personal victory, it can also be a great victory for your cause. Being assertive, having confidence in what we’re saying and communicating our passion for specific topics helps our messages to sail far. Don’t let these moments to make a difference pass you by. Strike a pose and go for it!
The Walton County Youth Advocacy Board serves as a voice representing Walton County youth and an outlet for community youth to have a voice on issues that affect them. Comprised of high school students from all of the public schools and one private school in the county, the YAB plans, organizes and implements fun educational youth activities within the county. These activities focus on drug and alcohol abuse prevention, healthy sexual decisions, advocating for teen mental health needs and community service.