“Charm is an intangible. Chutzpah, charm, charisma, that kind of thing, you can’t buy. You either have it or you don’t”. Colm Feore
Whether you want to be an effective manager, leader or trainer, it helps to have charisma or the X factor. That indescribable something that makes people more attractive and words more powerful. It works more often than not because it is based on an intimate, personalised style of interaction. Charisma is even more potent in a training or learning environment. It helps get the main message across in a more effective fashion and gets the participants’ buy-in.
This article explores the value of charisma in training and challenges the view that charisma is inborn. It is a trait that can be learnt over a period of time. Some of the ways in which a trainer can build charisma will be explored in the course of this article. Trainers can become more charismatic is by learning how to use metaphors in their conversations. Charismatic people have a way of communicating that shows off their intelligence and smartness in a manner that is not overt.
Another quality of charismatic people is their ability to connect with their audience. Being able to choose anecdotes and examples that the audience will be able to relate to is an attribute of a charismatic person. This is a skill that one can learn quite easily by picking up the art of observation. Another way that trainers can become more charismatic is by using contrasts well. Contrasts combine reason and passion and clarify points with dramatic effect. Trainers can use this skill to convince participants of their point of view.
Rhetorical questions may seem pointless, but charismatic people know how to use them to initiate participation and debate. Anita Roddick, founder of Body Shop started her social responsibility movement by asking 3 rhetorical questions: How do you make business kinder? How do you embed it in the community? How do you make community a social purpose for business?”
To make the message clearer, charismatic people master the usage of the three part list. It is an old trick of persuasion because it distils any message into clear takeaways. Most importantly, charisma consists of showing integrity, authority and passion. Expressions of moral conviction help reveal the quality of your character to the group and people will automatically identify and align themselves with you.
The three non-verbal cues that of voice, body and face are also an integral part of charisma. Although these are not easy to master, they are the most culturally and individual sensitive. Now that you know some of what it takes to be charismatic, the key is to put it to practice every time you are in a training or conversation of any sort.
This week we would like to hear from you about the value of charisma to a trainer. How easy do you think is it to develop this quality and how do you think it helps one in becoming an even more effective trainer.