I know I have said it before many times: ‘People buy from people that they like, know and trust’ and here’s the thing – we all sell! Every time we speak we are saying “Listen to me, believe me, and please, do as I suggest”. Studies show the more charismatic you are, the greater your influence on others.

So, what is your CQ? (Charisma Quotient)

Here are five skills that charismatic people display and how you can develop them.

  1. Charismatic people have a high EQ

Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is the ‘ability to identify, assess and control the emotions of oneself, of others and of groups.’

In other words, charismatic people realise that we are all emotional beings and that they are able to recognise their own and others emotions and react accordingly. This is important for building rapport and creating a connection with others.

So… Get in touch with your emotions. Smile and demonstrate warmth and friendliness when working with people.

  1. Charismatic people listen


They really listen. Charismatic people make you feel as though you are the only person in the room. Charismatic people listen with their ears and eyes as well as their heart. They look you in the eye, they listen more than they talk and they pause before they speak.

So… take a breath and slow down. Focus on not only what you hear, but the message behind the words. Ask them open ended questions with  ‘What, how, when, where and why’ and allow yourself to relax into their story.


  1. Charismatic people speak clearly


Being articulate is not about using the biggest words, it’s about being concise and using words that connect. Martin Luther King said “I have a dream” not “I have a 5 point interracial interaction strategy”

So… in the words of Roosevelt, “Be sincere, be brief and be seated.”


  1. Charismatic people are comfortable in their skin


Charismatic people have a presence. They may only be 5ft tall but they walk like Magic Johnston. They own the space and act as though they are wearing a $5,000 outfit.

So… Be aware of your posture. Having a strong and confident posture not only improves others perception, it will also make you feel more confident as well.


  1. Charismatic people are passionate


Charismatic people are passionate and they realise that they have the ability to infect others with their passion. Psychologist Howard Friedman devised a test to gauge charisma levels and found that charismatic people tend to emote more and that these emotions were contagious.


So… If you are excited about something  – let your face and body know. As I say – passionate people persuade!

One other thing….

Charismatic people come in all sizes, shapes and colours. Don’t think you need to be an extrovert to be charismatic. There have been many introverts who are high in the CQ rating. Think Steve Jobs, Mother Theresa, Tenzin Gyatso and Dianna, Princess of Wales. It’s all about being true to yourself and letting yourself shine…


I admire Bill Clinton, Oprah Winfrey and Winston Churchill (and I don’t think I would be upset to be stuck in an elevator with George Clooney…) But we can also look locally.

Along with many professional speakers I have seen, of the people I have met I count Dr Fiona Wood, Amanda Vanstone (seriously, you have to see her speak!) and Michael Angelakis as ranking highly on the Charisma Quotient.


Olivia Fox Cabane author of The Charisma Myth believes that charisma can be acquired through knowledge and practice.


The suggestions above will get you started and practice will help you polish.


What are other elements of charisma?  Please post your comments below.

Sharon Ferrier
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All Good Presentations Start With a Confident Speaker

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