Beth Schofield was stood, hands on hips, chest broad, feet apart, surveying her classroom. And she couldn't have felt more awkward.
“Standing still, with my legs shoulder-width apart; that didn’t feel natural. It felt quite manly," says the newly qualified English teacher, who works at Aldersley High School in Wolverhampton.
Schofield was one of three volunteers recruited by TES to try out some power poses. As outlined in a TED talk by Harvard social psychologist Amy Cuddy, power poses are stances or body positions that are supposed to change the way that others perceive you and, ultimately, the way that you perceive yourself. Cuddy's research found that making powerful poses increased testosterone and reduced the stress hormone cortisone.
But what exactly is a power pose? Here's our guide to five poses you can try, based on Cuddy's research.
TOP 5 POWER POSES
1. The Clubber – hands in the air (like you just don't care) and feet apart
2. The CEO – hands slammed down on the table and leaning into the space of those you are addressing
3. The Jagger – hands on hips and strutting around like the Rolling Stones frontman
4. The Teenager – hands behind your head and feet on the table, lazing backwards
5. The Overlord – standing on a chair, arms apart, staring down at your audience
To find out how Beth and her colleagues got on - and for more information about Power Poses – get the 21 August edition of TES on your tablet or phone, or by downloading the TES Reader app for Android or iOS. Or pick it up at all good newsagents