How to Fake Charisma
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has been described as personal magnetism or charm. To me, charisma is
all about an individual’s infectious positive attitude and personal
energy, as projected through his or her body language.
are the most charismatic when they are genuinely enthused, confident
and upbeat about themselves and their topic. And as a leadership coach,
I help clients develop their own unique brand of charisma.
also help them fake it.
to display confidence when you’re actually feeling uncertain, or to be
seen as upbeat and positive when (for any reason) you are feeling the
opposite, is a tricky thing. From "The Silent Language of Leaders: How
Body Language Can Help - or Hurt - How You Lead," here are two valid
options: You can use a Method acting technique or you can work at the
somatic level with a “powerful postures” strategy. The first require
practice. The second takes less than two minutes.
1) Become an actor -- or at least
borrow one of their techniques
Method” refers to an approach to acting that draws on real but past
emotions. For example, an actor preparing for a role that involves fear
would remember something that had actually frightened him or her in the
past, and bring that memory into the current role to make it
a leader, you have different goals than an actor in a play, but the
sense of conviction and believability you want to project is
fundamentally the same. For example, if you were going into an
important meeting, and you wanted to exude confidence and charisma,
here is how you might use “The Method” to help you prepare:
Think of an occasion where you were enthused, confident and successful.
(This could be a memory of a professional achievement, but it doesn’t
have to be taken from your business life. What’s important is
identifying the right set of emotions.)
Picture that past event clearly in your mind. Recall the feeling of
certainty, of achievement, of clarity of purpose – and remember or
imagine how you drew people to you as you embodied that state of mind.
Then, picture yourself at the upcoming meeting exuding that same
positive attitude and personal charisma. The more you repeat this
mental rehearsal – seeing yourself at the upcoming meeting, assured,
confident and charismatic, the more you increase your ability to enter
the meeting room with body language that is triggered by that
authentic, positive emotion.
2) Hold that powerful pose
know that the way you feel affects your body. If you are reluctant or
depressed, you tend to round your shoulders, slump, and look down. If
you are upbeat and assured you tend to hold yourself erect and expand
your chest. But did you know that the reverse is also true? Your
posture has a powerful impact on your emotions and on the way that
others perceive you.
at Harvard and Columbia Business Schools, shows that simply holding
your body in expansive, "high-power" poses (in the study they had
subjects lean back with hands behind their heads and their feet up on a
desk, or standing and leaning over a desk while planting their hands
far apart) for as little as two minutes stimulates higher levels of
testosterone - the hormone linked to power and dominance - and lower
levels of cortisol, the "stress" hormone.
addition to causing hormonal shifts in both males and females, the
researchers found that these powerful postures lead to increased
feelings of power and a higher tolerance for risk. They also found that
people are more often influenced by how they feel about you than by
what you're saying. (Which is exactly why body language training is so
effective for my executive clients!)
the next time you go into a situation in which you want to project your
most charismatic self, start by standing up straight, pulling your
shoulders back, widening your stance and holding your head high. Then
smile and stretch your arms out wide (or place them on your hips –
“arms akimbo”). Just by holding this pose for a minute or two you will
begin to feel surer of yourself and to project real confidence and
About the Author
Kinsey Goman, Ph.D.is an international
Keynote speaker on collaborative leadership and the impact of
language in the workplace.
coach to executives to improve their leadership presence and
Leadership blogger for Forbes and author of "The Silent Language of
Leaders: How Body Language Can Help - or Hurt - How You Lead.”
Carol@CarolKinseyGoman.com Authors Google+
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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2011-04-21 10:30:13 in Personal Articles