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  • Writer's pictureChuck Cusumano

Having Charisma Is As Simple As Having 3 Things!

By Chuck Cusumano + Jillian Broaddus

The book currently on top of our bookshelves – or, if we’re being honest, currently sitting in our backpacks and pulled out to make work flights pass a little faster – is “The Charisma Myth: How Anyone Can Master the Art and Science of Personal Magnetism” by Olivia Fox Cabane, a leading executive coach to CEOs.

When coaching clients, making a sales presentation, speaking in front of audiences, or even simply meeting someone at a party, it’s important to have “charisma.” Many people will often say, “I wish I could be more charismatic” or “If only I could bring more charisma to my meetings.” Our society has somehow framed the trait of “charisma” in a window that makes it seem innate, instinctual, ingrained into our personalities – you’re either born with it or you’re not!

However, as Olivia Fox Cabane reminds us in her book, this couldn’t be further from the truth! Charisma isn’t a trait, but a skill that can be learned, nurtured, and developed and which requires practice, focus, and diligence. Charisma is nothing more than a combination of “Presence,” “Power,” and“Warmth.”

It isn’t about changing your fundamental personality – it’s about adopting specific practices that will help change how people perceive you!

Here are a few tangible tips:

1. Lower the intonation of your voice at the end of your sentences.

2. Reduce how quickly and how often you nod.

3. Pause for two full seconds before you speak or respond in a conversation.

4. Maintain “deep, warm” eye contact.

5. Adopt a stance that broadcasts power and confidence.

Make a conscious effort to practice these, and watch how others’ perceptions of you may evolve!

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