“Posture is your Business Card”

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“Posture is your business card”.  I declared this statement for the first time at a workshop that I presented to actors. Later it occurred to me that the concept applies to everyone. It is now my personal motto. Similar to a firm hand shake or the tone of your voice, your posture makes a huge impact on the first impression that you make. It reflects your level of confidence and competence.  For example, at a job interview, an individual with a low self-esteem looks down at the floor with their shoulders rounded forward. An over-confident person sticks out his or her chest and stands with a broad stance. A confident person stands tall with their shoulders back.  If you were the interviewer, who would you give the job to? 

Posture and your voice:

There are times when you will need to speak to an audience.  Tension and bad posture are your worst enemies. You will notice that when you are nervous, it may be difficult to project your voice because your muscles are tense.  For your voice to work efficiently and effortlessly, your air stream needs to have a clear, unrestricted passage through the vocal tract. If your stance or posture is not optimal, this passage will be restricted and you will work harder to project in order to overcome this restriction.  

Tips to improve your posture:

Most people admit that their posture is “bad”.  Obesity, pregnancy, tight muscles, poor footwear, ergonomics, improper sitting and standing habits and simply being unaware can cause poor posture. Here are three tips to improve your posture. Firstly, imagine that a string is pulling upward from the top of your head, so that your spine elongates.  Secondly, bring your shoulders back and down away from your ears so that your neck is longer.   Thirdly, place your feet hip width apart with both feet equally planted on the ground.  If you forget some of these tips, a smile goes a long way. Even if you are not feeling confident today, now you know how to play the part. Good luck! 

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