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Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges Hardcover – December 22, 2015

4.4 out of 5 stars 294 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

An Amazon Best Book of December 2015: Madonna isn’t the only person famous for telling people to strike a (power) pose. Social psychologist Amy Cuddy advocates for the same in a book that expounds on the ideas set forth in her popular 2012 TED Talk, “Your Body Shapes Who You Are.” It may sound silly, but assuming the assured body language of Wonder Woman, or that “Man Spreader” on the bus, can literally change your body chemistry and make you feel more confident in anxiety-inducing situations. I must admit I was a bit dubious when I first heard about this, but Cuddy’s Presence offers up sound science to back up her claims, and, well I tried it. Even sans the Lasso of Truth, I was less nervous about a public speaking engagement after taking Cuddy’s advice, and was therefore more successful at that endeavor. Translate this to a first date, a job interview, even those prickly conversations you hesitate to have with loved ones…and you’re conjuring self-confidence at the times you need it most. This is something that hits home for Cuddy, who overcame a traumatic brain injury to become a respected professor and researcher at the Harvard Business School, a feat she once thought inconceivable. Learning about the tenuous time in her life when she was paralyzed with doubts about her intellectual capacity, about how successful she could be in life, lends Presence a certain emotional center you don’t find in many books of its type. –Erin Kodicek

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New York Times bestseller

Washington Post bestseller

Wall Street Journal bestseller

USA Today bestseller

Publishers Weekly bestseller

Amazon "Best Books of December" pick and December spotlight

Amazon Canada "Best Books of December"

AARP Editor's Pick and a "Top Ten Books of 2015"

Forbes "15 Best Business Books of 2015"

Business Insider "20 Best Business Books of 2015"

Business Insider "20 of the Best Books by the Most Influential Thinkers in Business"

Washington Post "12 Leadership Books to Watch for in 2015"

Inc. #1 pick for "12 New Business Books for the Perfect Gift"

People "Book of the Week"

BusinessMirror "10 Books to Look for in Early 2016"

Bustle "10 Books That'll Inspire You to Make the World a Better Place in 2016"

Irish Independent "The 6 Best Motivational Reads for 2016"

Shortlisted for the Thinkers50 Leadership Award (UK)

World Economic Forum #1 pick for "Books on Leadership to Read This Holiday"


"Cuddy brings an abundance of humility and charm to the page. Her presence itself--her openhearted desire to help the insecure and the uneasy in this age of anxiety--shines through. PRESENCE feels at once concrete and inspiring, simple but ambitious--above all, truly powerful."
Heather Havrilesky, front page, New York Times Book Review

"Amy Cuddy's must-read new book...is a triple threat: enjoyable, fascinating, and a brightly packaged New Year's resolution....There's a lot more to the body-mind connection, and that's what PRESENCE lays out so well.
Lane Florsheim, Marie Claire

"A must-read for anyone looking to achieve their personal best."―Kim Hubbard, People (Book of the Week)

"Amy Cuddy fuses the rigor of a researcher befitting one of the world's finest universities with the raw empathic insight that springs from uncommonly trying personal experience."
Maria Popova, Brainpickings

"A treatise on presence."―Forbes

"Filled with stories about achieving greater mindfulness, successfully coping with stress, and being present to our immediate moments, PRESENCE will help you direct all your competing energies more effectively. The first step in any great journey of change is into the self, after all."―Bustle

"Want to enjoy a more confident 2016? Consider power posing. This transformative self-help tome explains how assuming the Wonder Woman stance before a big interview sends an empowering message to your mind."―Deirdre Donahue, AARP

"...Cuddy is endearingly normal. And her new book, PRESENCE, is as entertaining as it is scientific."
Associated Press/The National (UAE)

"Amy Cuddy is making the world a braver place with her book, PRESENCE. Courage is contagious and presence begets presence. Weaving together science, practical examples, and storytelling, Cuddy shows us how bringing our boldest, most authentic selves to challenging situations inspires others to do the same. This book is a game-changer!"―Brene Brown, author of Daring Greatly and Rising Strong

"PRESENCE is exactly the kind of behavioral science book the world needs."
Robert Cialdini, New York Times bestselling author of Influence

"Amy Cuddy is the high priestess of self-confidence for the self-doubting. In PRESENCE, she uses her warmth, empathy, and laser-sharp intelligence to decode the mysteries of presence under social pressure. A must-read for--well, for everyone."―Susan Cain, co-founder of Quiet Revolution and author of Quiet

"A captivating, charming read on harnessing confidence and poise. Demystifying a century of science, Amy Cuddy shows how we can achieve greater success and sincerity by changing the way we carry ourselves."―Adam Grant, author of Originals and Give and Take

"Millions of people have already been empowered by Amy Cuddy's groundbreaking TED talk on 'power posing' -- but that was just the tip of the iceberg! In PRESENCE, Cuddy reveals a much bigger and deeper science: a whole new way of understanding the body-mind connection, and how our physical habits affect our thoughts, feelings and choices. Reading this book will forever change how you carry yourself, and in doing so, it will make you braver, bolder, and better able to show up for all of your life's greatest opportunities."―Jane McGonigal, author of Reality Is Broken and SuperBetter

"In one exquisitely written book, Amy Cuddy illuminates for us the latest research of how the body and mind, in surprising yet elegant ways, affect who we are and how we are perceived. This generously cited book goes far beyond Amy Cuddy's TED talk. Delving deeply and widely into the research that confirms that we can transform ourselves, that we can change how we are perceived, that we can master the art and science of influence. But first we have to understand how the body affects the mind and the mind working with the body changes us, changes perceptions, and changes the world around us. And no one does this better than Amy Cuddy."―Joe Navarro, author of What Every BODY Is Saying

"There is one thing that separates those who do from those who don't: power. Amy Cuddy helps us understand what it means to build our personal power, keep it strong when it falters and help us steer clear of arrogance. This book is a must read for every doer out there."―Simon Sinek, author of Leaders Eat Last and Start with Why

"What could be more important in life than being yourself? In this wonderfully engaging, intelligent, and practical book, Amy Cuddy unpacks the cutting-edge psychology of presence when we most need it. I recommend it highly!"
William Ury, coauthor of Getting to Yes and author of Getting to Yes with Yourself

"With advice that is both practical and profound, Amy Cuddy shows how to summon your true and best self when doing so matters most. Emotions are contagious. If you personify poise and optimism yourself, you enhance the odds that they will respond in kind."―Michael Wheeler, Harvard Business School, author of The Art of Negotiation

"It's no mystery why Amy Cuddy is one of the most beloved TED speakers of all time. Her candid and incisive voice is a gift for anyone seeking to understand what makes people tick, and her research-based, inside-out approach to putting your best self forward in high-stakes situations makes this a must-read."―John Neffinger and Matthew Kohut, coauthors of Compelling People

"You probably didn't know how much you were reading from your own body language. Amy Cuddy's beautiful new book explains how our minds and bodies connect and influence one another, affecting how we feel about ourselves and our place in the world."
Heidi Grant Halvorson, Columbia Business School, author of No One Understands You and What to Do About It and Focus

"I'm loving the latest from Amy Cuddy."―Joanna Coles, Editor-in-Chief, Cosmopolitan
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company (December 22, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316256579
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316256575
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (294 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #266 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By David D. Unger on February 2, 2016
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I bought the book based on a segment I saw about the author on my favorite TV show, CBS Sunday Morning. I also saw the author's TED talk and found that interesting. The book I must admit, I found a bit disappointing. It seemed as though 90+% of the book was devoted to substantiating the science behind Ms. Cuddy's work but less than 10% on how to actually apply it. Overall, the book left me with the feeling of, 'is this all there is?'
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
What would you say if I told you that there was an essential life skill that could make you a better speaker, help you nail job interviews, get you better dates, improve your performance, and make you a better partner and parent? What if I told you that no one has ever bothered to teach you this skill, mostly because we didn't even know what it was? That secret skill is presence, "the state of feeling connected with our own thoughts, values, abilities, and emotions, so that we can better connect with the thoughts, values, abilities, and emotions of others." And Amy Cuddy's book can teach this state of "self-assured enthusiasm" to you and a whole lot more.

For example, just last month, my professional singer friend Valerie was terrified of her upcoming auditions because of crippling stage fright. Right about that time, I was fortunate to attend a talk by Amy Cuddy on her new book. Valerie couldn't attend, so I gave her an advance copy of "Presence" that Amy had kindly given us. Valerie watched Amy's TED talk, read half of the book, executed the "power pose" (i.e. expansive body postures like the 'Wonder Woman' and the 'Usain Bolt' held for 2min) and "self-affirmation of core values" techniques right before her auditions, and nailed 'em: three auditions, three jobs booked. And it all worked *that* fast.

People -- this is life-changing stuff.

As a therapist and speaking coach, I've been teaching Amy's material to to students and clients for a few years, so I was thrilled to hear that she's putting her knowledge into book form. If there were a central premise to the book, it would be this: "The lesson is clear: focus less on the impression you’re making on others and more on the impression you’re making on yourself.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The amazing thing about this book is how very REAL it all is. Amy Cuddy's personal voice comes through loud and clear. Just as she did in her famous TED talk, she presents herself as whip-smart and striving, but also acknowledges her failures and flaws. This book is so personal. It is clear that Cuddy has been touched and taught by the legions of people who reached out to tell her that her work had made a difference. Those people who found a new piece of themselves in her work are a force in the book -- they appear in abbecdotes and quotations. No less and no more important to the story and the work ahead than the luminaries she interviews.

Cuddy should be commended for the piles of research that went into this book. This is not self-help fluff; it is scholarship of the highest order.

But most of all, she should be lauded for her commitment to give this work to the world. Cuddy's book makes it clear that she wants the best for all of us. We can all benefit from these pages and the transformative ideas they contain.
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Format: Hardcover
Absolutely life-changing material inside. Any introverts who have struggled with social anxiety: this is your one-stop-shop for overcoming it.

I struggled with it for a long time. It was only because of Amy Cuddy's work, along with Mike Cernovich and Elliott Hulse, that I was able to fully overcome my anxiety. Body language is the key that unlocks everything.

The body is the mind. And when you alter the body, you feel different. Amy Cuddy is revolutionizing introvert's lives everywhere!
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I first saw and heard about Amy Cuddy during a short interview on Sunday Morning news program, which is one of my favorite Sunday morning past time activities. During this interview I was captivated by Amy's approach and explanation of how to mentally and physically prepare before going into a stressful situation. I looked up her TED talk and both her personal story and how she came to understand this physical and mental phenomenal was very intriguing to me and I decided I had to read her book.

I received the kindle edition of her book and reading the first few chapters really resonated with what I had experienced previously. I examined my past experiences where during situations, such as a job interview or making a sales pitch or presenting a highly technical solution to a handful of non-technical people, I either came out as a complete winner or a total loser. Examining these previous moments and reading more of this book made sense to me how I became completely successful or failed completely. There were times that I would walk out completely frustrated on what I should have said and did not or why I didn't think of the correct response when I had the answer all along. The anxiety I was experiencing in each of these circumstances, that I can recall, were completely explained in this book and now I feel more prepared and have a better understanding how to control upcoming events such as these.

I highly recommend this book to anyone dealing with anxiety and stressful situations who might have previously experienced a mix of failures or successes.
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