book review: the charisma myth

The myth is that charisma is something that you’re born with. The Charisma Myth by Olivia Fox Cabane sets out to prove this wrong. Continuing in my journey in becoming a better conversationalist I read this book right after I read Just Listen; both of which are a good branch off from the classic, How to Win Friends and Influence Others. 

This book is full of practical nuggets in how one can become a more charismatic person. One of these nuggets is to pause for a moment before answering someone. Pausing mid sentence as well, strategic pausing if you will. This technique, of course is most brilliantly demonstrated by President Obama. 

Another nugget I picked up is nodding less when agreeing with someone. Nodding to agree in conversation is something that is taught in high school, maybe even elementary school. While a sign of respect, it is often over used, leading many to look like living bobble heads when they are speaking. Things like nodding less, pausing, is a sign of confidence. It’s knowing people will give you the time for you to speak because they value you. Charisma is as much as physical state as it is to what one says. It’s not so much how you speak, it is how you are; a state of being. 

These two things alone were discussed in the first chapter of the book! I highly recommend this book to anyone who’s looking to become a better speaker of any capacity. 

Wilson Lau

Photographer of weddings, and people alike.