Think that charisma is something that some people are born with, and you either have it or you don’t? False. After reading The Charisma Myth by Olivia Fox Cabane, I have found that charisma can, in fact, be an applied science. Olivia’s book shows “How anyone can master the art and science of personal magnetism.” At first I was a but skeptical, but after reading The Charisma Myth I am fascinated by how much of charisma you can control with your behaviors and mental state!
Marilyn Monroe is a prime example of how charisma can be an art. Walking through a busy crowd at Grand Central in NYC on a sunny day in 1955, not a single person recognized the star. Trying to prove a point, Marilyn wanted to show that by simply deciding to she could be the famed star Marilyn Monroe, or the plain Norma Jean Barker. Walking through Grand Central, she was Norma Jean Barker, but with the flip of a switch she decided to “become” magnetic Marilyn Monroe and was instantly mobbed by paparazzi and adoring fans! People who had been standing next to her the entire time suddenly recognized her and could not believe the star had appeared in their midst! There were no grand gestures, no wardrobe changes, no dramatic cries- simply the decision to be charismatic.
Wish you had the “sparkle” of Marilyn Monroe? You can! Here’s how:
Charisma in Conversations:
-At the end of sentences, lower the intonation of your voice. -Do not nod as much, and when you do- do not nod as quickly. -Before you speak, pause for a full 2 seconds.
Charisma in Presence:
-Do not let your mind wander or get distracted, but be fully present and focused in an interaction. -A five minute conversation where you are fully present is more effective, memorable, and charismatic then an hour long conversation where you have only given someone your partial attention. -A confident posture causes onlookers to ASSUME that you must have something to be confident about. As a rule, people will tend to accept what you project.
Charismatic Mental States:
-Your facial expressions reveal your mental and emotional condition at every moment. Because your subconscious controls most non-verbal signals, whatever is in your head will show up in your facial expressions. -Your brain cannot decipher fact from fiction, so you can create somewhat of your own placebo effect by just thinking about a charismatic mental state. Since your mind cannot distinguish the fact from fiction, it will send your body language the same commands as if you were in the real situation. -Use visualization to help you increase internal confidence as well as projecting confidence. By using good mental images you can “trick” your brain into projecting nearly any body language!
Charisma can help you gain power in the workplace, become an effective public speaker, and even be the highlight of every social event. I highly recommend reading The Charisma Myth to learn or perfect the art and science of personal magnetism! I have used Olivia’s tips in interviews, speeches, and in everyday life and have found it to be extremely effective! Hopefully you will too!