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Presence

By: Amy Cuddy
Narrated by: Amy Cuddy
Length: 9 hrs and 17 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (229 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

How can we be our strongest selves in life's most challenging situations? We often approach these situations - job interviews, difficult conversations, speaking up for ourselves - with anxiety and leave them with regret. Moments that require us to be genuine and powerful instead cause us to feel phoney and powerless, preventing us from being our best selves.

Harvard professor Amy Cuddy shows us we need to stop worrying about the impression we're making on others and instead change the impression we're making on ourselves. Cutting-edge science reveals that if we adopt behaviours reflecting power and strength, we liberate ourselves from the fears and doubts that obstruct us. By redirecting our thoughts, actions, and even physiology, we free ourselves to be our best.

Amy Cuddy galvanised viewers around the world with her TEDTalk on 'power poses'. Now she explains the science underlying these and many other fascinating body-mind effects and teaches us how to use this science to become self-assured in high-pressure moments.

Impassioned, beautifully researched, and accessible, Presence is filled with stories of individuals facing real obstacles and succeeding against the odds. Every reader will learn how to approach stress-filled challenges without fear and leave them without regret.

Written and read by Amy Cuddy, a professor and researcher at Harvard Business School who studies how nonverbal behavior and snap judgments affect people. Her research has been published in top academic journals and covered by NPR, The New York Times, Wired, Fast Company, and more. Cuddy has been named a 'Game Changer' by Time, one of '50 Women Who Are Changing the World' by Business Insider, and a 'Young Global Leader' by the World Economic Forum. Her 2012 TEDTalk is the second most-viewed talk in TED's history.

©2015 Amy Cuddy (P)2015 Amy Cuddy

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One of those life changing books

From time to time I read a book that I feel extremely fortunate to have come accross. This was one of those books for me. It was awesome to find out there are physical practices and exercises that can be done to put you in the zone.. Excellent book!

1 person found this helpful

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really for those who doubt themselves

Practical and insightful to the reason why doubt ourselves and how it effects us. Well read and performed. I learn how to bring the better me to interactions, performances and in daily life

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Would recomend

I've recently been researching ways to reduce my anxiety. I feel as though this will assist. I'll definitely start "power-posing".

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Fake it till you become it

I loved this! It's like an in depth version of the TED talk with extras. Very inspiring!

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A simple idea with huge potential!

I loved this book, especially since it's narrated by the author. Also, being an audiobook, you can try the 'power poses' as you listen to their descriptions. I've seen Amy Cuddy's TED talk, but if you're looking for more details or more context, this book is invaluable!

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Excellent build on TED talk

Some terrific insights, supported by well explained research. Connecting outcomes we can all relate with, to the behaviours, thinking, physiology and psychology that are behind the way we interact with others. Highly valuable for anyone interested to understand the role of confidence and presence in influence and how to get better or even better at it.

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Accessible, logical, brilliantly simple.

Brings the understanding of ourselves as a whole to a new level. Amy crafts the journey well - introducing each concept in an approachable manner with real world examples and application. Loved it and learned a lot!

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Transformational

This audio-book is mind blowing with actual research to back up the claims. I apply these principles everyday in my life. Worth a listen for anyone trying to tap into their true potential. I like her voice too, it's warm and easy to have you captivated.

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Could be summed up in 5 min

It goes on and on about studies. The information could be summed up in 5 min. It really drags on and becomes eye rolling.
Watch the Ted talk.

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If you have to listen to an audiobook, look at adding this one to the list

This is one of those must have audio books that can assist you and possibly the people around you. It changed my life path to better understand my own fears and how to drive past it, I am sure Amy's story can do the same for you.

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  • Lindsay
  • 07-08-2016

NOT THE SELF-EMPOWERMENT BOOK I'D HOPED!

What disappointed you about Presence?

Having immensely enjoyed Amy Cuddy's inspiring TED lecture entitled 'Your Body Shapes Who You Are', I was really excited to read her following book. I hoped it would provide greater insight on HOW to become more 'present' and self-empowered.

Instead, I found the book to be a rather rambling and exasperating tour of case study after case study, with the odd inspiring quote or anecdotal story thrown in along the way. Cuddy focuses on highlighting, again and again, that body posturing influences state of mind.

Sadly, she only dedicates one chapter (of just ten minutes!) to advice on HOW to implement these ideas in daily life, much of which she had already mentioned in her TED talk.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Mara
  • 18-04-2016

Love the story, innoying voice

Loved the research and story. However, buy the book hardcopy! Vocal tone deeply innoyed me.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Rolanda
  • 08-01-2020

Loved it!

A must read/listen for everyone! Some great pointers on how to improve how you see yourself - and that is most important thing of all!

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 21-07-2019

Amazing book for anyone facing any challenge

I enjoyed each chapter. I'm motivated to keep nudging my introverted self during challenging times.

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  • Daniel A.
  • 29-03-2019

unnecessarily long

The book seems to go around in circles around the same idea. Pretty much like Malcolm Gladwell books where all the key info could.fit a white paper but they keep atuffing it with unnecessary examples and prose.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 13-02-2018

A must read for Everyone.

Information packed yet easy to digest. This book changed the way I look at life in a real world way.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 16-08-2017

help for one to allow oneself to be oneself

One has to be present to grasp the message of this valuable book. Listening to Professor Cuddy has its impact though not the same as attending her lecture. It is helpful that she shares the science by explaining various details of multiple findings by numerous researchers that support her statements from her much acclaimed TED Talk.
Noticed change in sound of voice twice.

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  • Alicia G. Silva
  • 08-12-2016

A most read for women, teens, and parents of teens.

I enjoyed this book so deeply I want every person to read it. I kept thinking of all this amazing people that I know that sabotage their true self because of lack of confidence. This is a great and simple way to expedite human development and bring your true essence to serve humanity in a much needed time

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  • Luciana Junqueira
  • 07-10-2016

One of the best

Amy Cuddy is an amazing human being! I deeply appreciate what she has done and keeps doing for us humans in this world. Power posing has gotten me through some tough situations and I hope we keep sharing the science, as she puts it. If you haven't heard of her, I highly recommend her TED talk followed by this book! I hope it's the first of many! Thanks again, Amy! You change lives!!

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  • Brana Kosanic
  • 09-09-2016

Inspirational truth

Loved it, the narrative impressed me and inspired me to think about how we pose for presence. Read it!

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  • Bernice
  • 17-03-2016

Not as Good as the TED TALK

I bought this as I had heard Amy's TED TALK and the great reviews on this book.

Overall this book is interesting and about how presence, posing and breathing can have a tremendous outcome on how we feel. Not to be a spoiler, but I learnt that yoga is extremely good for post traumatic stress disorder. This something I did not know.

It was good but a little too long for me, some parts of the book were about endless bits of research. I understand that as a social scientist, you have to explain all the controls etc, but a shorter summary would have been enough for me.

If you do not feel that you have time for the book, start with the TED TALK.

15 people found this helpful

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  • Abby
  • 17-01-2016

Presence

I loved this book from Amy Cuddy. It's more than a "self-development" book; don't get me wrong, she definitely instills hope and self belief in her readers to develop themselves! However, the book also details many recent research studies in an accessible way so that those with no psychological or research knowledge would be able to take away the key points, and use them to their advantage.

As well as detailing scientific research, this book also offers practical strategies that you can carry out then and there to increase confidence and self belief. The book includes many inspiring stories of those that have used these body language techniques with great benefit; from those with every day work stresses to complex life struggles.

Amy's tone of reading of this book shows her to be warm and down to earth; you can really sense that she cares about the stories she has heard. She has a clear passion for her field and this really shines through her writings

I would definitely recommend this book; whether you're happy and comfortable or struggling with something life changing, everyone can benefit from a little nudge! And this is the perfect book to do it.

11 people found this helpful

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  • D7
  • 05-11-2016

Unbearable

Puts you to sleep - no new content. Monotone delivery does not help. Watch the TED talk. Don't bother with the book.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Mr. Narinder Sander
  • 17-01-2016

What you have been looking for

A book that must be used as a self- development tool. You will be the student that Amy believes in. She will guide you, your belief in You will increase. A realisation will transform itself into- hey you are the One- be present in your life- live it your not a tourist- this is your life!
Amy whole heartily instills in You-be in Presence- only then can you be the True You- you are born free- become free and enjoy the moment- the moment we call life.

6 people found this helpful

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  • S. Durao
  • 18-06-2016

Poor content and narration, VERY disappointing

What would have made Presence better?

I made sure to listen to the whole book before giving a negative review. My wife also listened in for the most part of it (mostly forced through car journeys) and agreed it was far from a positive experience.The books seems to be aimed at people with an extremely low self esteem.Having self doubts and being critical of yourself or rather shy does not come near to the cripplingy low self esteem you seem to need to be inspired by this content. The narration takes 7 hours but it feels like all could probably have been summed up in an hour or less.There is a LOT of straw and warm air in the book, endless repetition of the same point or conclusion, long readings of a sequence of tweets or quotes from random people, it can be ok to fill a page or 2 of a book with this but to read them all out comes across as irritating.There's also way too long introductions to people of relative importance who then come up with 1 quote of little importance. The reading is also done with a rather annoying voice that was too nasaly American to my taste (which would gladly have been ignored if the content was good) and filled with needless sensationalist claims, claims which are in the same sentence safeguarded by including words as "possibly, may be" This ... may be one of the best in the world" type of nonsense, which kept reoccuring and annoyed me more and more.Near the end of the book there are examples of to the theories working in the animal kingdom and the author seems to be astonished and impressed it works so well, whilst this seems quite self explanatory, it's probably another attempt to add sensationalism.This ending of the book together with one of the main conclusions and mantra's "fake it until you become it" makes for a fittingly poor ending.This book didn't work for me at all and has been my poorest book on Audible by far.Listening to the excellent Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell after this made it all the more enjoyable.

Has Presence put you off other books in this genre?

No, books like Outliers from Malcolm Gladwell are a world apart from this.

How could the performance have been better?

Less nasal vocals , less sensationalism, more content, less straw and hot air

You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

Unfortunately none that I could think of

7 people found this helpful

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  • Fearghal M.
  • 21-09-2016

Little more than the (great) Ted talk

I'm a big Amy Cuddy fan and love listening to her talk but to be honest if you have listened to her Ted talk (which I am sure almost all readers will have) then you probably won't learn any other practical tools. Most of the book is spent discussing the importance of presence so I was eager to learn how to achieve it but it turns out the way to do it is power posing etc as per the Ted talk. I guess it's good that she's consistent in her teachings but I just don't think it warrants buying the book.

2 people found this helpful

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  • hayley louise walker
  • 09-03-2016

wonderful. If you liked the TED, you'll love this

What did you like most about Presence?

I think this book is a mirror being held up to each individual. I see myself when I hold back and I see others who do that also. It gives great insight into why and how snap judgements are made of people (and how you can adjust) and why its important, particularly insightful for business/work. Everything Amy refers to is backed up by evidence, it may have come from a gut feeling, but researched and clarified. Amy shares her story and like TED you sense her vulnerability and love her all the more for bringing her authentic self.

What did you like best about this story?

Amy shares her story and like TED you sense her vulnerability and love her all the more for bringing her authentic self.

2 people found this helpful

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  • stuart
  • 04-01-2016

Awesome listening

Waited for months for this book. Loved every minute of it. Listening to it for the 3rd time

5 people found this helpful

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  • Jo
  • 18-05-2016

Interesting but repetitive

Interesting but you'll get the point pretty early on. Rest of the book goes through various examples, not sure whether they are needed.

4 people found this helpful

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  • PAH
  • 06-10-2016

Wonderful

This is a wonderful book for anyone wanting to bring the best of themselves to any situation. The simple, practical ways you can increase your presence are supported by extensive and fascinating research. I train leadership and interpersonal skills - I will be referencing this book enthusiastically in courses from Presentation Skills to Delegation; from Assertiveness to Thinking as a Leader.

1 person found this helpful