Have you ever heard a presentation and later realized how attracted you were to the presenter? No, not that kind of attraction. I mean that you felt connected and uplifted while you were listening. You came away feeling happier. The speaker was so eloquent that you were touched in some way. Even if the presentation was about selling shoes!
That quality you experienced is called charisma. Webster defines charisma as “that special spiritual power or personal quality that gives an individual influence or authority over large numbers of people.” A charismatic speaker leaves an impression on the audience, large or small, that makes them want to come back for more. It’s just what you want if you are trying to sell or influence a customer. Charisma is not just for selling; the best university professors are often charismatic speakers as well.
We associate charisma with preachers, like Billy Graham, or old-time politicians, such as Winston Churchill. Could you become a charismatic speaker? The answer is yes! By breaking down charisma into its 12 individual qualities (listed here in no particular order), you can attain each quality with a little time and practice:
- Charismatic speakers are self-confident and assured. They don’t appear nervous or ill at ease.
- Charismatic speakers seem to be enjoying themselves; they are playful, humorous, happy.
- Charismatic speakers are lively & energetic.
- Charismatic speakers are knowledgeable about their subject.
- Charismatic speakers look good, they have a stage presence.
- Charismatic speakers speak without stumbling, using full sentences and correct grammar, without “ers” and “uhs.”
- Charismatic speakers have an opinion about their subject. They care about it. You can sense their emotion, enthusiasm, and conviction.
- Charismatic speakers relate their topic to the broader scheme of things, they are expansive, inspiring, and uplifting.
- Charismatic speakers create a strong rapport with their audience, they connect.
- Charismatic speakers are positive in outlook, cheerful, and cooperative.
- Charismatic speakers are organized; their points are clearly connected and logically follow one another, with an overview at the beginning and a conclusion at the end. They are precise and complete.
- Charismatic speakers (genuine ones) are honest, well mannered, patient, fair, and responsible.
By developing these 12 qualities, you too can become a charismatic speaker. You can be that person that audiences feel attracted to and connected with, whose eloquence leaves people uplifted and enlivened. Work at it and you will succeed!