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Charisma isn’t elusive – train yourself to become magnetic

Charm and self-belief come easily to some, but all entrepreneurs – and finance professionals – can teach themselves to win people over, as Richard Reid explains.

What do entrepreneurs Oprah Winfrey, Richard Branson and Elon Musk have in common? Apart from their huge net worth, they are all highly charismatic. But what exactly is charisma?

The charismatic can infect others with their own enthusiasm. They convince us, not only of their own self-belief, but make us feel more confident in ourselves, too. As an entrepreneur, charisma is a winning formula for your personal brand. If you exude self-belief, angel investors, prospective clients and the press will see your potential and be more inclined to invest in your story.

Perhaps because it is hard to describe, there is a popular misconception that charisma is an innate quality. In fact, a lead researcher in charisma, Richard Wiseman, estimated that it is 50% innate and 50% learned. This would mean that just about anyone can bolster their charisma to help achieve their professional  and personal goals.

Charisma is a set of behaviours that each of us can integrate into our personality. We may already embody some of its qualities, such as presence, warmth or gravitas. Tweaks to body language, the way you speak or how you listen, if practised regularly, can soon become habitual and greatly improve your perceived charisma.

This is an extract from an article in the Communication skills special report, March 2018.    

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This full article is usually only open to Business and Management Faculty members and subscribers to Faculties Online, but for a limited time, it has been opened to all.