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Amy Cuddy
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Exclusively available through WSB

Amy Cuddy

“Trust is the conduit of influence; it’s the medium through which ideas travel.”

Social Psychologist, Award-Winning Harvard Lecturer, and Bestselling Author

“Amy Cuddy was a true inspiration to our audience and a joy to watch. Her work is interesting and relatable, and her presentation resonated with our attendees.”

Phi Theta Kappa

Expertise In:

  • Peak Performance
  • Personal Growth and Achievement
  • Courage
  • Communication
  • Leadership

Audience & Industry

  • Associations
  • Senior Management Groups
  • Corporations
  • The Professional Services Industry
  • Women's Events

A bold and captivating voice in the field of social psychology, Dr. Amy Cuddy, demystifies the science behind power, presence, and prejudice – and their influence on human behavior. The question that drives her work: “How can we take control of our own thoughts, feelings, and behaviors in ways that boost our confidence, presence, performance, and overall well-being?”

Amy Cuddy is a smart and passionate proponent of self-empowerment through evidence-based techniques. Through her writing, speaking, and impressive depth of research, she galvanizes others to summon their best selves in approaching life’s biggest challenges with presence – by accessing their personal power.

For over 20 years, the bestselling author, award-winning Harvard lecturer, and game-changing social psychologist has rigorously researched stereotyping and prejudice, nonverbal behavior, and presence and performance under stress. Findings by Cuddy, and other behavioral scientists and physiologists, reveal how the body-mind connection impacts personal success, and people’s ability to connect meaningfully with others.

Cuddy’s doctoral dissertation at Princeton University presented a paradigm-shifting scientific model that has become one of the most cited theories in social psychology — and has ultimately changed psychologists’ understanding of the nature and mechanics of prejudice, stereotyping, and discrimination and even more broadly, how we form first impressions of each other. In short, her research revealed that (1) people immediately evaluate each other on two dimensions: warmth/trustworthiness and competence/strength; and (2) these evaluations, accurate or not, powerfully direct how feel about and interact with each other. This theory has changed both academic and popular thinking on leadership, marketing, and diversity and inclusion.

Her highly-cited research has been published in top academic journals, including the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), Science, and Psychological Science, and a range of internationally-known publications, like The Economist, The Guardian, Wall Street Journal, Wired, and Fast Company. She has been a guest on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert, The Today Show, CBS This Morning, and BBC World News, among others. Cuddy also has written for The New York Times, The Boston Globe, Harvard Business Review, and CNN.

Cuddy is widely recognized for her enduringly popular 2012 TED Talk, “Your Body Language May Shape Who You Are” — the third most-watched TED Talk of all time with over 57 million views. In the talk, she explores the debilitating effects of anxiety and high-stress situations, and how expansive postures can improve confidence and performance.

Cuddy’s first book, Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges – a national and international bestseller published in 35 languages with over half a million copies sold – digs deeper into the impacts of self-doubt in high-stakes situations, and how small-scale changes can condition us to face our biggest challenges with confidence.

As described in The New York Times Sunday Book Review, “Presence feels at once concrete and inspiring, simple but ambitious – above all, truly powerful.”

Inside the book, Cuddy shares the underlying science behind her principles, along with examples of real people who learned to flourish amid personal anxiety – including her own deeply personal story.

Early in her college career, at age 19, the gifted Cuddy suffered a traumatic brain injury in a car accident. Doctors said she would struggle to fully regain her mental capacity and finish her undergraduate degree. She proved them wrong, eventually going on to earn her doctorate from Princeton in 2005, and serving as a full-time professor at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management (2006-2008) and Harvard Business School (2008-2017). She now serves on the Harvard Business School Executive Education Faculty in the women's leadership development program, which aims to empower women in senior leadership positions to lead with lasting impact and build strategic advantage for their companies.

Her remarkable road to recovery, battle against imposter syndrome, and ultimate ascension has become a foundational part of her journey as a social scientist. It’s also a facet of her life that resonates powerfully with a strikingly broad range of people.

A sought-after speaker, collaborator, and researcher, Cuddy has been honored with numerous awards over her esteemed career. Among the most prominent, she has been named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, one of 50 Women Changing the World by Business Insider, a Top 50 Management Thinker by Thinkers50, and one of the BBC 100 Women, honoring inspiring and influential women around the world. She has also received the Harvard Excellence in Teaching Award.

Her commitment to personal empowerment is a theme in her newer work, as well. Cuddy recently co-founded the Citizen Confidence Project, an initiative of the World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leaders. Through the program, she seeks to help people reclaim their status as citizens, so that they can become more active participants in tackling some of society’s biggest problems.

Cuddy is currently writing her second book, Bullies, Bystanders, and Bravehearts, which delves into the psychological causes and consequences of bullying among adults – a pervasive and often devastating problem. Propelled by extraordinary new insights, she’ll share the concrete steps that we must all take to move toward social bravery in our daily lives and broader culture, concluding that we all have the power to become bravehearts.

With her eloquent, relatable, and warm-hearted delivery, Cuddy moves and inspires listeners through her transformational theories that show us how everyone can harness their own power and bravery.

No matter the forum, she conveys a rare combination of wisdom and deep expertise — and with an honest, accessible openness. Whether she's talking to an audience of 100 or 20,000, she creates an unparalleled intimacy with her audiences.

Bestowing advice that is both practical and profound, she enthralls listeners with evidence-based and immediately-actionable tips for achieving greater success – highlighting scientifically-grounded strategies for becoming more present, influential, compassionate, and satisfied in their professional and personal lives.

Engaging deeply with even the most skeptical of thinkers, she demonstrates how harnessing presence can liberate us from fear and connect us with others, to empower a new era of better thinking.


“Presence is about facing our biggest challenges without dread, executing them without anxiety, and leaving them behind without regret,” says Cuddy. When we are present, she adds, we convey conviction, passion, authenticity, and true confidence – making us both more compelling and better able to truly connect with others. But we don’t master presence overnight. We nudge ourselves gently and incrementally, every time we face and conquer a big challenge.

Relevant to:
  • Corporations
  • Women's Events

“Trust is the conduit of influence,” says Cuddy. When leaders project strength before establishing sincere connections, they run the risk of eliciting fear, rather than respect. In order to facilitate the communication and absorption of ideas, she says, leaders must first build trust with others through real listening and understanding. When leaders have established trust, Cuddy adds, their strength comes not as a threat, but as a welcome gift.

Relevant to:
  • Senior Management Groups

“Confidence is a tool; arrogance is a weapon,” says Cuddy. The social psychologist argues that arrogance is a smokescreen for insecurity – a wall that people put up to prevent others from challenging them. But why do you need to be arrogant, if you are truly confident, she asks. When we believe our own story, others can believe our story – and we can be open to their feedback, even if it’s critical. True confidence invites others in, she says. Arrogance pushes others away.

Relevant to:
  • Corporations

“How we carry our bodies affects how we carry out our lives,” Cuddy says. Hundreds of studies have examined and demonstrated the body-mind connection. Cuddy accessibly summarizes the mountain of evidence showing that our bodies are pushing, shaping, and even leading our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. By simply adjusting how we carry ourselves – through our posture, movement, breathing, and speaking – we can both embody and exude more confidence and happiness, she says.

Relevant to:
  • The Professional Services Industry

Featured Videos

Amy Cuddy's Speech Topics

Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges

Some of life’s biggest hurdles call for moments of sincerity and control. Too often, we approach these high-pressure moments with fear, and execute with anxiety. Based on her best-selling book Presence, social psychologist Amy Cuddy shares revolutionary research and personal narratives in this impassioned, engaging and innovative presentation. You will learn simple techniques to complete inner transformation, harness the power of presence and perform at the highest levels of confidence.  

How to Lead with Confidence and Be More Influential

From the classroom to the boardroom, nonverbal behavior directly impacts the levels of trustworthiness and strength we present to others—and to ourselves—in our daily interactions. Social psychologist, award-winning teacher and best-selling author Amy Cuddy shares the groundbreaking and compelling research for which she has garnered national acclaim to teach audiences how to become more influential in their personal and professional lives. Explaining how nonverbal behavior and snap judgments influence people, Cuddy examines how leaders can use this cutting-edge science to prepare the brain for high-stakes situations, perform at their best and empower others to do the same.

The Science and Social Impact of Bravery

Social media is a rocket fuel for our worst impulses, says Amy Cuddy, exacerbating incivility and bullying among adults both online and offline. But the same psychological mechanisms that elicit bullying – tribalism, the influence of norms, and desire for status – can just as easily be used to decrease bullying and increase bravery. The same human tendencies that are activated for bad, argues Cuddy, can be activated for good.

“Now, more than any other time, we have the science – and the stories – to build a brand new program to fight against this menace,” Cuddy says.

In this talk, based on her upcoming book, Bullies, Bystanders, and Bravehearts, she covers the staggering psychological, physical, and socio-economic costs of bullying to individuals, organizations, and societies – and the unprecedented and surprising opportunities we have to engage in and lead through social bravery. She compellingly demonstrates that when we understand the psychology of these dynamics, virtually all of us will have the power to be bravehearts, rather than passive bystanders.

A renowned social psychologist, Cuddy shares an acute combination of scientific expertise and first-hand experience, drawing both from her personal journey and the stories of others to communicate important human truths.

With urgency and hope, she uncovers the psychological levers that trigger bullying, provides a fascinating and unique lens on its toll, and inspires audiences to galvanize their own bravery so we can all be better together. 

Workshop on the Power of Prejudice: Exploring the Anatomy of Bias at Work

For more than twenty years, Amy Cuddy has been studying and writing about prejudice and the psychological underpinnings of how we judge and treat others.

She breaks down who and why we envy, pity, admire, and hate. Why we bend over backwards to help some people – while turning a blind eye to the mistreatment of others. Why we assume some people will be allies and others, predators. And how those feelings and interactions affect how we see ourselves, and how we feel and behave in the future.

As her primary area of research, Cuddy draws from a deep well of knowledge and science to present a powerful and provocative evidence-based discussion that helps audiences understand how bigotry often plays a starring role in prejudice and workplace mobbing.

Our biases – whether simple or complex – impact the quality of our interactions and our productivity at work, says Cuddy.  With potency and warmth, she shares with audiences how to reject and transcend stereotypes that divide and disempower, so that we can band together to categorically reject harassment and bullying at work.

Works by Amy Cuddy