Elevate your Presentations in just 21 minutes

I had never heard of Amy Cuddy before. I chanced upon one of her TEDTalks and now I am a fan. She is an amazing speaker who is brimming with confidence and full of energy. There is so much you can learn from her presentation style as she seamlessly blends many techniques that engage, inspire and connect.

 I can promise that you will find her 21 minutes presentation an exceptionally rewarding experience.

Here is a summary of key learnings that I took out.

 Hook them in, right from the start

Amy promises her audience that the content “could significantly change the way your life unfolds”. These are powerful words and right from the onset, she has their undivided attention. It’s a great tactic to apply into our own presentations. Be explicit about how they will benefit.

Bring down the guard

I admire the way humor is used in the presentation. It’s so memorable especially the handshake at 10 Downing Street.  It, not only, lightens the mood but also makes the audience less defensive. The less defensive, the more receptive they are. Challenge yourself to create a “light” moment during your next presentation, but keep it relevant to your overall message.

Explain your passion

Amy loves her field of work and it shows. She is so natural and her energy is infectious. In your own presentations, bring this important technique to life. Don’t be shy to talk about it. It’s not self-promotion. Rather, position yourself as an authority (of a particular topic). Reassure your audience that you know it, because you love it.

Be Authentic and Human

We can relate with Amy because she is human and is as vulnerable as any of us. Her very touching personal story and struggles make her human. Bring this into your own presentations. You don’t need a sob story. All you need is to be yourself.


A very interesting observation is how Amy continuously uses the word “we”. By being inclusive, she is able to bring the audience along on the journey. Compare this to your own presentation. How often have you said “They”, “Them”,” Yours”?


Did you notice that the entire presentation is made up of about 10 text slides? She talks at a consistent speed, is easy to understand and her discussion is well structured. What can we learn? Think of how you can string together your story next time without dependence on slides. Include personal stories, like the example of MBA students that Amy uses.

Close with Value

Just as the start, Amy ends with value. She encourages the audience to implement some of her learnings, into their daily life. It’s an effective way to remind the audience of what you promised in the beginning and closing the loop. Leave them inspired.

Amy suggests that tiny tweaks can lead to big changes. This is so true. Let’s start by changing one thing in your next presentation and evaluate the response. I am sure you will find it enriching and your audience will appreciate it as well.

Happy Presenting.


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