The word itself sounds attractive… but what exactly is charisma? The word itself comes from the Greek word “charis” that means “grace”; however, by definition, charisma is actually not an easy trait to describe as it encompasses a variety of elements that are found in some people who have magnetic personalities and extreme charm.
These individuals have a superb ability to dissuade or persuade others. They are excellent negotiators and usually get what they want with relative ease. Often times, charismatic people are leaders and masters of their trade. This enables them to inspire, charm and influence or persuade people that come in contact with them, either on a professional or a personal level.
Among some of the traits of charismatic people are: charming smiles, assertiveness, self confidence and high self esteem, focus, unusual calmness, authenticity, and have the gift of public speaking. These people are either loved, or envied by most.
Several historical leaders have been considered charismatic personalities. Amongst them are Princess Diana, Nelson Mandela, Mother Theresa, Martin Luther King, Mahatma Gandhi and, Bill Clinton. Many actors and actresses are also considered charismatic. Stars such as Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe, James Dean, Meryl Streep and Bruce Willis are often considered to have this type of personality because they seem to know how to influence others. After all, they all have raving fans left and right to back this assertion.
So how is it that these people got charisma? And more importantly, how can you and I develop this wonderful trait called charisma? According to some scholars and researchers, charisma cannot be learned that easily. Some say these personality traits are innate, an individual characteristic that just a few lucky ones are born with. Apparently, people who are born charismatic become aware of their trait as they notice they are likeable, and develop their magnetism further as the years pass.
That would be bad news for most of us; however, Professor Richard Wiseman from the University of Hertfordshire in the UK, says that charismatic people have three attributes that enhances their likeability and that can be learned by anyone who wants to acquire this personality trait.
The three attributes are:
~ A sophisticated sense that allows them to feel emotions strongly
~ The ability to generate emotions in others
~ They are not easily influenced by others
Professor Wiseman says that charisma is so powerful, that people will naturally mimic body language and facial expressions from those they feel drawn to. Based on this, here are some tips by Professor Wiseman on how to become a charismatic person:
The first thing is to assume a relaxed, straight and tall posture with your hands away from the body as you talk to the other person. Then, appear genuinely interested in what the person is saying. Nod, smile and of course, maintain eye contact throughout the conversation. Intercept by expressing interest in what they say without interrupting abruptly.
Offer compliments freely but make sure you are being honest. Pay close attention to the tone of voice and emotions of your interlocutor. Show empathy. Ask questions related to their life interests. Listen attentively. People like to be listened to.
If you are a public speaker, move around and walk on stage with enthusiasm. This will convey genuine interest in delivering your speech, and the underlying message is that you care about them learning whatever you are presenting.
Watch your tone of voice and place emphasis where needed to prevent monotonous and boring tones. Be clear and concise, and always be prepared to answer questions caringly and politely. Ask for opinions, and comments, and if appropriate, make them laugh. People will always remember somebody that made them laugh or enjoy themselves.