5 Essentials for Presence and Charisma

By Lou Solomon

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Natural presence and charisma are not reserved for the lucky few with a special gene. They result from self-awareness, emotional intelligence and the discipline of practice. Here are five essentials required to create presence and charisma:

1.) Build your physical confidence.

Presence cannot happen amid restless shifting, fidgeting and pacing. Presence requires a degree fiveof intentionality and owning your space. If you haven’t developed the habit of standing tall and taking purposeful steps, look for a physical activity to help you practice. Whether it’s walking, dancing or playing a sport, find one that you can do while directing intentional energy through your movements.  Draw on that intentionality in your presentations.

2.) Bring your full attention into the room.

Have you noticed that children thrive in your attention? When you’re at the ballpark, they play well.  When you’re watching, they run faster. We all have that increased range of expression triggered by another person’s attention, regardless of age.  Give people your attention. You will empower them to express themselves fully.

3.) Look people in the eye.

It’s possible to have an intimate conversation with a group of people when you hold one person’s gaze at a time for just a few seconds. You can create a connection that makes people want to stop and pay attention. This takes practice. Begin by noticing how you make eye contact throughout the day and choosing to extend it for just a second or two.

4.) Stop Talking.

When things stop, we notice. When there’s silence, we pay attention. If you talk non-stop through your entire presentation, it all runs together for the listener. If you learn to pause before you make your main point, just as you are about to transition, or after you say something important, you will not only be more listenable; you will help us understand your message.

5.) Bring it.

If you’ve lost your ability to get excited, you have lost your electricity. Never sleepwalk through a presentation. Stand out by tapping into your invested interest in your topic and work.  Don’t wait for our approval of your material. If you are engaged, we will be engaged.

More Charisma Building Advice

  • Give team members appreciation but do more than pass out “atta-boys.” Be specific about their contribution by saying, “Here’s what I noticed about your contribution…”
  • If you have to give someone tough feedback, be calm and specific about the behavior and events, but never unload emotional blame.
  • If a conversation becomes tense, practice appreciation and empathy.  Ask the individual about their point of view and recognize its value.
  • To deal with inner negativity, go through the day noticing the things you are grateful for.  Positivity will show up in your conversations.

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