Let’s face it, charismatic people have the world at their feet. They can easily persuade, inspire and captivate. And for those who lack charisma, it seems almost unattainable, a trait you’re just born with.
However, Harvard psychologist, Amy Cuddy says there’s another trait, a more attainable and equally important trait, that people should use, and that’s presence.
Cuddy has written a book on presence of the same name, and she defines this important trait is about being attuned to and able to put across your full potential.
Cuddy explains in a recent talk the difference between charisma and presence, and that presence isn’t something you’re born with (no excuses!).
“Charisma seems to be more about the intoxicating quality that you have on other people, as opposed to presence, which is more about the self in relation to others, and how you feel you represented yourself in a situation, and how you were able to engage. So it’s less about how others see you and more about how you see yourself.”
In her book, Cuddy explains that presence can be found through “power posing” in which you imitate the body language of powerful people — according to Cuddy it makes you feel and act more confidently. We tried it, and it works. You can do “power posing” in a toilet cubicle before an important meeting or a job interview.
Self-affirmations are another tool to create presence. You basically write down your core values and why those values are meaningful to you.
So practice presence, because while charisma is important, it’s much harder to attain and much more difficult to pull off well. Presence is the key.