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Thursday, January 13, 2011

Be Charismatic while you Talk

Charisma. It's a quality we associate with movie stars, leaders, sports figures.

But ever wish you could have more of it yourself? Ever wish you could give a presentation so memorable people will be talking about it for days, weeks, months and even years to come?

Sadly, most presentations are all too easily forgotten. Psychologists say we forget about 50% of what we hear in a presentation within 48 hours. Two weeks later we can barely remember we were even in the room.
Some people study charisma. They think it can be learned and affected in mannerisms, facial expressions and body language. They frequent cosmetic dentists for a, million-dollar smile. Or undergo plastic surgery to achieve dazzling good looks.
Others try to acquire charisma through fashion or a sense of personal style. And many people say that when it comes to charisma, you either have it or you don't.
Actually, charisma comes from none of the above. It's an inner quality that all of us have. Charisma is something that shines from within. It cannot be acquired, learned or pasted on. Problem is, most people's natural charisma is deeply buried beneath layers and layer of psychological stuff.
One of the greatest enemies of charisma is narcissism. Here's why:
The narcissistic speaker is more concerned with looking good and speaking for glory than they are with giving to the audience. They speak to get noticed and to pull energy towards them, rather than speaking to radiate energy outwards in the form of information, motivation, affection and inspiration.
True charisma is nurtured and enhanced by selflessness and a dedication to higher ideals. Every presentation, even the most dry and businesslike, can be enhanced by this paradigm shift.
We've all seen speakers who didn't have charisma - they were no fun to either watch or listen to. The reason that we didn't like being in their audience is because they spoke with a monotone voice and displayed almost no emotion. Clearly they weren't connecting with us.
In order to work more of that powerful charisma stuff into your next speech, you need to start to vary your voice to match what you are talking about. If you are trying to convey fear, then you need to raise your voice. If you are trying to communicate wisdom, then take it down a few notches.
Your face needs to match the words that are coming out of your mouth. So much of our emotions are played out over our faces that if you can use your face to its fullest extent while you are delivering your speech, then you'll be able to draw your audience into the emotions that go along with your story.
In order to connect with an audience, a charismatic speaker needs to be able to build vivid images in their audience's minds. Having a shared mental image can do remarkable things in terms of bringing an audience closer to a speaker.

So next time you have to give a talk, don't merely hope and pray that you get through it as quickly as possible.
Look for any opportunity to improve someone's life through the information and unique perspective you bring.

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