How to Master Charisma

Charisma is key to success. But it can be diminished by stress, especially when stakes are high. Learn how to deal with stress and boost your charisma.

Stever Robbins
4-minute read
Episode #215


Charisma is powerful. Charismatic people walk into a room and conversation pauses. "Who is that?" people ask in hushed voices. Then they elect the person President, regardless of qualifications, and then spend the next decade wondering how they got into this mess (no, I'm not talking about the politician you're thinking of). For the charismatic person, however, it's an awesome deal. So awesome that I thought I wanted to get me some of that there charisma.

Fortunately, a friend sent along a copy of The Charisma Myth by Olivia Fox. In it, Olivia shows what makes charisma happen, and how it can be learned.

One charisma key is staying calm, even when the stakes are high and you have great responsibility. Imagine a great, charismatic hero like Odysseus. There he is, setting off on his heroic quest. He stands straight and tall, staring off to sea, about to embark on his great destiny.

If he suddenly breaks into tears and starts bawling, "Who's going to look after my stuffed animals when I'm gone?" all that charisma would be gone in a second. In fact, he might be remembered not as charismatic, but as downright whiny. Here are 5 tips to help you boost your charisma factor:

Tip #1: Transfer Responsibility Mentally

The problem is that we're responsible adults. The more we're responsible for, the more some of us stress about those responsibilities. Stress shows in our body language, our bearing, and in our facial expressions. It kills our charisma almost instantly.

Unloading the stress of responsibility is quite easy using Olivia's simple visualization technique.

Step 1. Relax and close your eyes. See? We're off to an easy start.

Step 2. Inhale. Imagine drawing air in through the top of your head and exhaling with a slow, even breath. Let yourself relax as you exhale.

Step 3. Choose a kind, all-powerful deity. If you believe in God, Goddess, Zeus, Fate, the Universe, the Eternal IS, the Tao, or any other kind, all-powerful being, choose them. If you don't believe in one, make one up—your brain won't know the difference. My personal favorite benevolent deity is Hello Kitty.

Step 4. Visualize! Make a mental movie. Imagine lifting the weight of everything you're concerned about off your shoulders and putting it on the shoulders of Hello Kitty. She smiles and gently takes on the weight of your burdens, purring in the process.

Step 5. Relax. Feel the weight lifted from your shoulders, and feel gratitude towards Hello Kitty that she assumed your burden. You'll feel free.

As simple as this sounds, I've found it really works for me. This exercise reduces the stress of responsibility, freeing you to fulfill your duties with power and charisma, instead of fear and trembling.


About the Author

Stever Robbins

Stever Robbins was the host of the podcast Get-it-Done Guy from 2007 to 2019. He is a graduate of W. Edward Deming’s Total Quality Management training program and a Certified Master Trainer Elite of NLP. He holds an MBA from the Harvard Business School and a BS in Computer Sciences from MIT.