Presence by Amy Cuddy – Book Review

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I did not know who Amy Cuddy is before the release of this book. After knowing about this book, I felt curious about the author and wanted to know a bit more about her. Apparently, it turns out that apart from being an Associate Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School, she has under her name the fame of delivering one of the top viewed TED talks ever. On discovering this fact, I was propelled to watch her TED talk and watching it convinced me completely that this book will be an insightful read. Here’s her TED talk…

The very next day, I purchased the book. The fact that she is a first time author, does not seem to be evident in any page of this book. Her conversational writing style is a winner and amplifies the presence of the author when she is talking to you about ‘Presence’.

Very early in the book, she reveals one of the most challenging situations she faced as a young girl. The incident is scary in itself and its after effects are nerve wrecking. An accident she was unfortunate to be a part of and lucky to survive. Losing yourself is not what you expect to face after turning down death, but that happens to her next. What follows is aptly scripted in the sub title of the book, its all about – ‘Bringing your BOLDEST SELF to your BIGGEST CHALLENGES’.

Another gripping incident is the one she shares about making her first ever elevator pitch. It is not as serious as the one I mentioned previously, but it is still equally engaging. After shuffling a few more pages, you will find how faking presence is equally harmful as lack of presence. This fact is established by first sharing and then digging deep, into the reasons that investors and venture capitalists most commonly admit for brushing aside proposals.

According to the book, the term ‘Presence’ is multifarious. Different takes on the same word is showcased throughout, in the form of quotes the author collected from people inhabiting different parts of the world. At least one of the ideas (if not more) about ‘presence’ is ought to connect with every reader. Have a flip through the pages of this book to augment your ‘Presence’.


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