Keep Walking, Keep Winning: How Staying on Your Feet Helps You Succeed

R Gawlas“Hold on, I need to stand for this.” Harold, my CEO makes it a point to routinely stand before giving a presentation, conference call or even just a chat. I understand the impulse and sometimes do the same thing. I think he does it to keep some of the excitement he exudes under control, but there are some very subtle and valuable reasons for standing up and even walking around a little, during a meeting.

Walking Around

At Toastmasters (an organized group where members practice their public speaking and leadership skills), we’re taught that walking around the room helps us connect with our audience better (instead of just standing still). You’ll notice that the best presenters are slowly, casually pacing around their stage, meeting your eyes with theirs and using the negative space around them to their advantage with big arm gestures.

Orators who stand in one spot the entire time aren’t quite as engaging with the audience. Those who sit down during their presentation, literally don’t project their voices as well (standing opens up their chests and diaphragms). Lastly, there’s something mysteriously alluring about watching someone stand and present – we tend to look for confident leaders who stand and guide us through their presentations.

Power Stance

A few years ago a career coach told me that before an interview or meeting, I should do my Power Stance. What’s a Power Stance?

Think of your favorite Superhero. Now, stand up, keep your legs shoulder width apart, put your hands on your hips and puff out your chest. Hold it for 10 seconds, then repeat. That, is a Power Stance.

It may sound silly (and look even more so), but again – psychologically, adopting a stance that takes up space helps boost your confidence. With your hands at your hips, you naturally open up your chest and your breathing gets easier. With your legs a couple feet apart, your back is forced to balance itself upward.

You certainly don’t have to do a Power Stance during a meeting (unless you’re talking about Superheroes) but it’s a good thing to hype yourself up beforehand. I do every time I have an interview coming up.

Walk Around Some More

Taking routine breaks from your work (once every 30 minutes) helps keep you limber and gives you a short (and more often than not) much-needed mental break.

During my lunch, I try to make it a point to take a 30 minute walk around the neighborhood to clear my head and prep myself mentally for the afternoon’s priorities – I can’t even begin to explain how great this feels. It’s the perfect mid-day reset.

Do you have a routine that helps get you out of your seat? Have you tried any of these tricks and has it helped? Do you Power Stance before giving a presentation? (If so, we’d love to see it! #PowerStance)

Richard Gawlas, Guest Blogger & Marketer, PR Manager, Storyteller

Originally published on

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