The Charisma Myth: Summary and Review

The Charisma Myth

The Charisma Myth: How Anyone Can Master the Art and Science of Personal Magnetism by Olivia Fox Cabane

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The Charisma Myth


A grab bag of techniques for charisma.


Three fundamentals of Charisma

  1. Power: Ability to offer value to others
  2. Warmth: Willingness to offer value to others
  3. Presence: Being present with the other person

How to communicate the fundamentals

  • Speak concisely (reduce “ums”)
  • Use metaphors
  • Provide high value
  • Have good control over the pitch, tone, and tempo of your speech and don’t let it run off-hand
  • Limit superfluous gestures
  • Listening well
  • Not interrupting
  • Pausing before speaking
  • Create positive associations with yourself
  • Avoid negative associations with yourself
  • Make other people feel valued and important

Four types of Charisma

  • Authority
  • Visionary
  • Focus (being in a “bubble” with your conversation partner)
  • Kindness

Taking compliments

How would Bill Clinton respond to a compliment?

  1. Stop (in your tracks)
  2. Absorb the compliment. Savor it.
  3. Let the absorption show on in your body language
  4. Sincerely thank them

Imagine yourself as the “big gorilla” in order to project non-verbal power.

JALIR (Envy-prevention)

  • Justification: Create an excuse for getting in touch
  • Appreciation: Thank the person for what they’ve done for you
  • Lay it all out: Demonstrate how the person helped and acknowledge that they went out of their way
  • Impact: Let them know the positive impact they’ve had
  • Responsibility: Give them as much credit as you can, and they will feel responsible for your success.
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