You can increase your command of the room with charisma: Yes, even you.
Strong executive presence is crucial for success in your professional career. The first thing most people think of regarding executive presence is command of the room with charisma.
We have all seen people who project ease, competence and courage. They appear to own their space, no matter what the situation requires. These people have captured a sense of authentic confidence and charisma to command a room.
Some believe you have to be born with charisma or you’ll never have it. We know this is a myth that is not true – at all!
We’ve seen far too many legendary leaders who have intentionally developed charisma in a credible manner. Winston Churchill, John Kennedy and James Earl Jones were all awkward, shy children. Churchill stuttered and James Earl Jones was effectively mute until he was 11-years-old. Each of them became charismatic and confident communicators because they chose to work at building their charisma.
Commanding the Room Without Charisma
There are those who can command a room without charisma. Strong, powerful people who appear cold and arrogant; they lack charisma, but command with their power. They are typically seen as out for themselves and only interested in control. The type includes dictators of countries, and some leaders of companies. These leaders are at much higher risk of people turning on them when problems emerge. It’s called rebellion.
Charisma is Not a Gift
The early definition of “charisma” was to be divinely inspired. The definition has evolved to describe those have compelling attractiveness or charm that inspires the devotion of others.
When you couple and combine the appearance of confidence and charisma, you create a memorable legacy of leadership that serves you well in good times and bad. Notice the term “appearance of confidence”. We are not here to tell you how to gain confidence internally. That is a tremendously personal journey. However, we can tell you how to authentically show what we’ve found to be effective approaches to increase perceived confidence and charisma.
Charisma is not a gift given just to a select few who have the gift of gab or an innate love of people. Far from it!
Did you know that 60% of all CEOs are introverts? They’re just not comfortable in the public-facing activities. But those who do it well had to learn how to demonstrate charisma when it counts, whether they like doing the highly visible functions or not.
Commanding the room through gracious charisma allows you to inspire a group you lead by the power of your presence, no matter what is happening around you. Our most memorable leaders are engaging, authentic, and powerful at the same time. That does not require those characteristics to come easily for them. It does require they have the maturity and skill to overcome their fears to maximize their impact as a leader.
You only need a little more charisma to stand out. You need to be calm in most situations. You need clear, simple messages that flow fluidly in conversation. You need to be gracious toward others; like they are guests at your party. You need a warm listening style.
Even slight improvements in each of these areas makes an enormous increase in your perception. These are skills you can build and use effectively to have more command of the room with charisma. We have seen it happen time and time again. It is an important part of improving you executive presence. It is the first attribute of our seven attributes of executive presence from our book, “Seeing Yourself as Others Do – Authentic Executive Presence at Any Stage of Your Career”
Like ice cream, command of the room and charisma, comes in many flavors. There’s no single way to show executive presence. It does require awareness of how others see you and the skills to show confidence and caring – even on the days it does not come easy.