Charisma. It’s that je ne sais quoi – that way some people light up a room when they confidently walk through the door or make you feel like you’re the only person on the planet when they speak directly to you. This week, take a lesson in executive presence from famously charismatic Virgin Group founder Richard Branson.
Some assume that charisma can’t be taught – that you’re either born with it or you’re not. But as Richard Branson knows, the key to charisma may be as simple as radiating confidence. His confidence and self-efficacy have proven instrumental to his entrepreneurship, giving him the ability to win over investors and get the green light on risky, high-stakes projects like Virgin Galactic.
So boost your executive presence by adopting a confident demeanor, courtesy of a few tips from Olivia Fox Cabane, author of The Charisma Myth:
“Stare like a lover”
Maintain deep, but warm eye contact. An easy tip to convey genuine warmth? Actively think positive thoughts when you greet and interact with people, and you’ll light up from within.
“Stand like a gorilla”
Your physical presence should broadcast poise, power, and self-assurance. Assume a wide, stable stance with your spine straight, chest out, and shoulders back.
“Speak like a preacher”
You should try to speak in a deliberate, resonant, and warm voice. Breathe deeply and slowly from your diaphragm, and use strategic pauses and pitch modulations to draw in your listener.
Put these principles into practice today. Not only will you experience a change in how your co-workers perceive you, you may also experience a change in your self-perception and self-confidence.