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Pose Your Way to Confidence in English

Gabby: This is an All Ears English Podcast, Episode 202: “Pose Your Way to Confidence in English.” [Instrumental]

Gabby: Welcome to the All Ears English Podcast, where you’ll finally get real, native English conversation with your hosts, Lindsay McMahon, the ‘English Adventurer’ and Gabby Wallace, the ‘Language Angel’, from Boston, USA.

[Instrumental]

Lindsay: In today’s episode, you’ll learn three power poses that you can use to instantly sound more comfortable and more confident when you speak English.

[Instrumental]

Gabby: Every day All Ears English listeners download our transcripts, and they get to read along with every word on every episode that they download.

Lindsay: Yeah, so if you guys haven’t gotten your transcripts yet, you’re missing out on half of the experience of All Ears English. And don’t forget that by November 1st, the prices on these transcripts are going up. So go over

there today and get your transcript to get the full All Ears English experience. Go to…

Gabby: AllEarsEnglish.com/conversations. That’s c-o-n-v-e-r-s-a-t-i-o-n-s. See you on the inside at the transcripts.

[Instrumental]

Lindsay: Would you like to find a Native English speaker to practice English with online when you finish listening to today’s podcast? With Italki, you can quickly get your own professional Native English teacher with the click of a button. Working with Italki teachers is 30% more cost-effective than finding your own English teacher in your hometown and it’s so much easier. We’ve worked out a special deal for you. If you go to Italki before this offer runs out, you’ll get ten US dollars in credits to work with the teacher of your choice for free. This offer runs out soon, so schedule your first lesson for this week. Go to AllEarsEnglish.com/Italki. That’s www.AllEarsEnglish.com/I-t-a-l-k-i.

[Instrumental]

Lindsay: Hey, Gabby.

Gabby: Hey, Lindsay. How are you?

Lindsay: I’m great. Very good, very good. Thank you, and you?

Gabby: I’m doing wonderful. I’m so happy to be here on the All Ears English podcast and talking with you. So…

Lindsay: Recording another episode. That’s always good. And we’re now beyond 200. We have passed…

Gabby: I know.

Lindsay: …our, our magic number 200. So congratulations All Ears English.

Gabby: It’s amazing. You guys, it’s been an amazing journey. As you know, (you know), we started out in Boston and then I moved to Tokyo and it’s so

strange because Lindsay, (you know), we used to sit next to each other and…

Lindsay: Yeah.

Gabby: …I could totally (like) see your body language, but now I’m just…

Lindsay: I know.

Gabby: …sitting by myself…

Lindsay: Oh.

Gabby: …in my…

Lindsay: In a room.

Gabby: …in my, with my Tokyo studio and (uh)…

Lindsay: Eating sushi and drinking green tea.

Gabby: And I can’t see your body language.

Lindsay: I know. It adds a different element, right…

Gabby: Totally.

Lindsay: …but we’re, we’re making it work. We’re making it work here for you guys because we love our community, and we love our listeners and, (you know), we wanna (want to) help you guys reach your goals here.

Gabby: Yeah. That’s why in this episode, we’re gonna (going to) talk about something that’s related to language a little bit, a lot, (kind of). Communication, definitely, but it’s very related to your confidence and confidence is so important for your communication.

Lindsay: Yeah.

Gabby: Right, Lindsay?

Lindsay: Yeah. I think we’re gonna (going to) be talking a lot more about how to be confident in English, how to be comfortable in English ‘cause (because) we

know that that’s really what you guys want. And what we’re gonna (going to) be talking about today is something that I think a lot of English teachers in English schools don’t talk about.

Gabby: Right.

Lindsay: They forget about how important it is. But I think it’s (su-), we think it’s super important.

Gabby: Well…

Lindsay: Right, Gabby?

Gabby: …speaking… Totally, totally. And speaking of classes, it’s funny because I was just, I was just helping out a class. (Uh), we were talking about greetings in American English and it was quite basic. (I mean), basic greetings, we talk about, (you know), the language, “Hi, hello how are you?” We also talk about gestures such as shaking hands, or hugging, or, (you know), even a kiss on the cheek, (you know), what do these mean and when do we use them? And actually, we’ve talked about that before in Episode 131, but now…

Lindsay: (Um), good memory. Wow.

Gabby: I was just talking about it today, so (um) – yeah, but, (you know), it goes beyond that with body language. And…

Lindsay: Oh, it goes beyond.

Gabby: Yeah. And so, I wanted to talk with you Lindsay, a little bit more about that. So, (you know), we can talk about body language outside of just greetings, (I mean), more…

Lindsay: (Uh-huh).

Gabby: …than just shaking hands. We wanna (want to) talk about your body language like, (you know), how you hold yourself.

Lindsay: Yeah, and I think it goes beyond – for me, this goes beyond just the way the world sees you. It actually is more about the way you – what happens in your brain, when you strike, (uh), as Amy Cuddy terms it in this TED talk that we’re gonna…

Gabby: Yeah.

Lindsay: …show you guys how to find when you come back to our website at AllEarsEnglish.com/201 – you can get that TED talk. Okay. But it’s really about the way you start to feel in your brain, the chemistry that changes in your brain when you strike a power pose as she (te-), as she calls it.

Gabby: Yeah, that’s right. (Um), and actually come back to Episode 202. 201…

Lindsay: 202, not 201.

Gabby: Yeah. Sorry. Come… Yeah. AllEarsEnglish.com/202. (Right), and so when you strike a, a pose or, or you have a certain posture like Lindsay was saying, like we learned from Amy Cuddy, it, it does two things. It changes the way that you think and it also changes the way that other people think and it’s just amazing when you think about the way that you hold your body. There are poses that are more, (uh), kinda (kind of) inward poses…

Lindsay: Sure.

Gabby: …versus outwards, versus confident. If you think about, (uh), your shoulders for example. Are your shoulders slouched forward in an inward movement, or are they back? Are your shoulders rolled back and is your chest open to the world?

Lindsay: (Uh-hm).

Gabby: Those are two very different postures.

Lindsay: Right. And then what are you doing with your hands? (Like)…

Gabby: (Uh-hm).

Lindsay: …are your hands in your lap, or are they – (you know), we can even lace our fingers behind our head. You see a lot of men doing this. This is also…

Gabby: Yeah.

Lindsay: …a gender-related issue, isn’t it?

Gabby: Yeah, it can be.

Lindsay: It (rea-)…

Gabby: Yeah.

Lindsay: It can be, it can be. And so, (you know), scientists has proved that when we go ahead and we put our hands, (um), interlaced behind our head, and put our, (you know), that, that pose – I wish we were doing a video episode today Gabby ‘cause (because) we could demonstrate.

Gabby: We should, we should.

Lindsay: We should be doing that.

Gabby: Yeah.

Lindsay: Automatically, the, the chemicals change in our brain and we feel more confident. I know that I’ve used this power pose idea when I get on – (you know), I work from home…

Gabby: (Uhn).

Lindsay: …but when I need to make an important phone call, I’ll actually stand up and I’ll put my phone, (um), and my headphones in and I’ll pace around my room instead of sitting at my desk and curling up, so that I…

Gabby: Oh, absolutely.

Lindsay: …(you know), and I find that I, I’ll get nervous, so I’ll, I’ll actually be out of breathe sometimes on the call, but I’ll be standing up. So that makes me feel a lot more confident in communicating what I need to communicate.

Gabby: Yes, and speaking of that, (uh), phone call situation, it definitely helps if you smile…

Lindsay: (Uh-huh).

Gabby: …and you make gestures. If you, if you have a pleasant face and you express yourself in the same way that you would face to face, it makes a huge difference in your voice.

Lindsay: Well, you can hear a smile.

Gabby: Yes.

Lindsay: You can hear a smile on the call. (I mean), you guys can probably hear that we’re smiling a lot of times…

Gabby: Yeah.

Lindsay: …on All Ears English, (right). You can hear, you know that.

Gabby: Yeah.

Lindsay: And you want other people to know that you are smiling. That’s why it’s important to be doing something you actually care about in life…

Gabby: Yeah.

Lindsay: …(right). So people…

Gabby: Yeah.

Lindsay: …know you’re smiling. Yeah.

Gabby: Yeah, to have that, that positive attitude, but make sure that it’s, it’s expressed through and through, not just in the words you’re saying. That’s why, (you know), emotion and expression, and your posture are all tied together because you have words. You might say, (you know), “I’m doing great.” But if you don’t really express them through your, your facial expression or your gestures, then it’s not true. It’s not going to ring true.

Lindsay: Yeah, and a-a-another suggestion that Amy Cuddy makes in this TED talk is actually, okay, we wanna (want to) strike a power pose, but sometimes it doesn’t make sense, for example, you’re in an interview.

Gabby: (Uhn).

Lindsay: You can’t just stand up and start talking. You can’t just, (you know), maybe lace your hands behind your head. That’s a little casual, right?

Gabby: Yeah.

Lindsay: So what do you do? You could do – what she suggests is you can go into the bathroom just before your interview and put your hands in the air and jump around in front of the mirror. So take up more space, more space physically.

Gabby: Oh, interesting.

Lindsay: And you’re actually gonna (going to) get that change in your brain, you’re gonna (going to) get those endorphins moving. You’re gonna (going to) feel more powerful and more confident, and you can walk into the interview in a different state of mind.

Gabby: Yeah, that’s very interesting, and I know that there are certain poses, (uh), such as, (uh), well, (kind of) the, the opposite of what you’d wanna (want to), (kind of) the, the smaller, more guarded poses like crossing your arms. If you cross your arms, you’re sending a message to yourself and to others that you’re a bit more guarded. You’re on the defensive. So…

Lindsay: Right.

Gabby: …(you know), if you’re in an interview, you probably don’t want to be defensive. You, you shouldn’t cross your arms. You could keep your arms, (you know), at your sides or in your lap or something, but just more open.

Lindsay: Yeah, and I think this really comes down to the power of, (like), selfobservation and being aware. So you guys can experiment with this. When

you’re at home, (you know), just try putting your hands on your hips and standing back a little bit…

Gabby: Yeah.

Lindsay: …and seeing how that makes you feel different. Because I just did it. (Like), I just put my hands on my hips and I’m sitting up more straight. I feel different now than I did a few minutes ago. It’s amazing.

Gabby: Absolutely. Absolutely, yeah. Keep your shoulders back. Breathe more deeply. Breathe into your diaphragm. I do breathing exercises even when I’m training people with English because you have to start with your posture and with your breath. There are no words and there are no sounds if you don’t have breath.

Lindsay: Yeah, I think this is really important, and this is something…

Gabby: Yeah.

Lindsay: …that we overlook. (You know) we go straight to the grammar, we go straight to the phrasal verbs, but this has to be a fundamental step here.

Gabby: Yeah. Actually, there’s a fun exercise you can do if you want to just, (uh), get ready to speak, if you’re feeling, (uh), a little bit tight, maybe, a little bit stiff, you can just, (um), yawn. So if you bring, (you know), bring some air in – breathe in and then yawn. {yawns]

Lindsay: You wanna (want to) demonstrate for us?

Gabby: Exactly.

Lindsay: That was funny.

Gabby: So this actually opens your throat and it relaxes you and it brings oxygen to your brain.

Lindsay: (Um). Does it make you feel more tired?

Gabby: No, actually, no. I… well, I, I would say no, but yawning is the point, is to bring more oxygen to your brain. That’s why…

Lindsay: (Uhn).

Gabby: …we do it when we’re feeling sleepy because our brains need more oxygen to stay awake.

Lindsay: Absolutely.

Gabby: So if you force yourself to yawn…

Lindsay: Yeah.

Gabby: …you’re (sort of) giving yourself an extra dose of oxygen.

Lindsay: Right. And that’s along the lines of also getting up. (You know), often when I’m stuck in my head trying to come up with a solution at my desk, I’ll just get up and take a walk around the block, maybe grab a coffee and the solution always comes to me while I’m walking, physically, (you know)…

Gabby: Wait.

Lindsay: …physically moving, (right).

Gabby: Wait. Is it because of walking or because of the coffee?

Lindsay: Oh, well, it might be a little bit of both. We can do another episode about how caffeine can supercharge your English.

Gabby: (You know), I’ve been seeing a lot of articles that talk about why you should or shouldn’t drink coffee.

Lindsay: Oh, my god.

Gabby: So that might be an interesting episode…

Lindsay: Yeah.

Gabby: …in the future.

Lindsay: There’s (there are) so many different theories about that aren’t there?

Gabby: Yeah.

Lindsay: It seems like a new study comes out every week. (Um)…

Gabby: I know.

Lindsay: …I’m not giving up my coffee. How ‘bout (about) you Gabby?

Gabby: (Uh), no.

Lindsay: I know.

Gabby: Not yet, not yet.

Lindsay: No, no, no.

Gabby: But that’s another episode. Let’s, let’s wrap up with just a quick, (um), maybe a quick, (like), two or three, (uh), poses that people could try to feel more confident.

Lindsay: (Uh-huh).

Gabby: So what’s one that you mentioned?

Lindsay: Okay. So stand up, put your hands in the air and spread your legs out a little bit, so you’re actually just taking up a lot of space. Now, you obviously…

Gabby: Nice.

Lindsay: …you don’t have to do this in the middle of a meeting. This is something you can do before the meeting. So just do it now guys and see how you feel. Just do it.

Gabby: Yeah.

Lindsay: Just try it.

Gabby: Okay, and I would add roll your shoulders back and stick your chest out so you open your lungs.

Lindsay: (Uhn), I like that.

Gabby: And you can also breathe deeply now that you have your lungs more open. When you breathe, breathe all the way into your diaphragm, which is just kind of at the base of your (um), your rib cage.

Lindsay: Yeah. Another one is if you’re sitting down and you’re not able to get up, you can, you can sit back a little bit and spread your arms out…

Gabby: Yeah.

Lindsay: …like if there’s a, if there’s chair next to you, you can, (you know), if there’s someone else in the chair, maybe you don’t do it, but if there’s a chair next to you, put your hand, (you know), spread yourself out. Take up…

Gabby: Yeah.

Lindsay: …more space. Take up more space and see how that feels.

Gabby: Yes. And just one small, last suggestion. If you can’t do any of these, but you feel like you need to have more confidence or relax, just imagine that you’re doing these things mentally, even if you can’t do them physically.

Lindsay: (Um).

Gabby: There’s a…

Lindsay: Because…

Gabby: …lot of power in that.

Lindsay: Yeah, I like that Gabby because the brain doesn’t know the difference. (You know), when you go through – we’ve talked at one point about, (uh), gratitude practice and studies have shown that when people go through a gratitude practice by writing down what they’re thankful for at the end of the day, you actually relive that moment and the brain doesn’t know the difference.

Gabby: Whoa!

Lindsay: It thinks it’s actually experiencing it, so I think that might be the same thing that we’re talking about here.

Gabby: Wow. Yes, absolutely.

Lindsay: When you imagine yourself doing something your brain thinks you’re actually doing. I’m not a neuroscientist, so don’t quote me on that, but that’s my feeling of that’s what’s happening there.

Gabby: So if I imagine that I’m getting a raise…

Lindsay: Well, you could check your bank account. I’m not sure that’ll work out Gabby.

Gabby: Okay. Okay. But physically, or, yeah, different experiences that give you emotions, yeah.

Lindsay: (Uh-hm).

Gabby: Makes sense.

Lindsay: Visualizations. Yeah.

Gabby: Cool.

Lindsay: Awesome. This is a great idea guys. So why don’t you guys come back to AllEarsEnglish.com/202…

Gabby: Yes.

Lindsay: …and let us know how this worked for you.

[Instrumental]

Lindsay: If you wanna (want to) put your ears into English more often, be sure to subscribe to our podcast in iTunes on your computer or on your smartphone. Thanks so much for listening and see you next time.

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