Charisma is Contagious

I spent the past 48 hours in Los Vegas with the legendary hair stylist, Oribe. His backstage event transformed women into jellyfish and genies: their beauty endlessly unconcealed and revealed.

Think of it as the Cirque de Soleil of hair.

Much of the event’s magic had to do with Oribe, himself. His love for his craft is palpable—and contagious.

All of which got me thinking, again, about the formula for charisma: something I’ve given a lot of attention to over the years.

Why? Because one reason I started my company was my belief that—given the right tools– everyone is charismatic. I simply don’t buy into the idea that “You’re born with it or you’re not.”

To me, that’s a cop out given by a media trainer (or presentation coach or whatever it is you want to call what I do) who can’t help their client find their passion/their commitment/their voice.

So, how can you find yours?

My best advice is the next time you find you have to give a speech/interview/presentation begin your preparation by asking yourself the following two questions:

Why do I have to tell this story?
Why does my audience have to hear it?

In my experience, most presentations fail because they are weighted heavily to one side or the other. The speaker isn’t emotionally connected to why s/he has to tell the story – their boss told them to/it’s part of their job description/they need the cash… Or they aren’t connected to why the audience has to hear it— their ego just wants to tell it.

That middle ground is where charisma, happens, however.

When someone is absolutely committed to telling their story—and simultaneously totally clear on how or why it is going to make our life better—we can’t help but perk up. Why? Because we can both see how it has transformed that person’s life, and we can see how it will transform ours.

And when our energies connect with others’ –wham—charisma. We see our potential in their potential. We are reminded of what the poet, Matthew Arnold, told us, “The seeds of god-like power are in us still. Gods are we, bards, saints, heroes, if we will.”