Can You Teach Charisma?


A new book entitled The Charisma Myth: How Anyone Can Master the Art and Science of Personal Magnetism says “yes”:

The charisma myth is the idea that charisma is a fundamental, inborn quality—you either have it (Bill Clinton, Steve Jobs, Oprah) or you don’t. But that’s simply not true, as Olivia Fox Cabane reveals. Charismatic behaviors can be learned and perfected by anyone.

Drawing on techniques she originally developed for Harvard and MIT, Cabane breaks charisma down into its components. Becoming more charismatic doesn’t mean transforming your fundamental personality. It’s about adopting a series of specific practices that fit in with the personality you already have.


The author believes there is no magic to charisma, but rather it is a set of learned behaviors. She gives lists of pointers to achieve a charismatic personality — for example, in the beginning of the book, she simply gives three quick tips to achieving charisma in a conversation: lower the intonation of your voice at the end of your sentences, reduce how quickly and often you nod, and pause for two full seconds before you speak. The book seems like a worthwhile read if you desire more charisma in your life.

What do you think, can charisma be learned?


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