CHARISMA: Can it be learnt?

Have you ever failed to come across the way you wanted to when you needed to the most?

Did you ever find yourself struggling to make a good impression or persuade the person you’re talking to whether in social situations, at interviews, or at presentations?

Does speaking to an audience or someone new make you anxious, stammer or get all sweaty?

You are not alone! Over the years I’ve helped hundreds of people with low self-esteem, lacking confidence, and not being able to communicate effectively.

Some people resign themselves, they think that they are just shy, that they are not good with people, or that people just don’t like them.

Other people open up to the possibility that even if you are shy, you can get to be more extroverted. You can learn to become a more effective communicator and more appear more charismatic in your interactions, so people will like you more.

Charisma is not something some people are born with and others are not born with. Yes, there are people who are naturally more charismatic than others, but charisma is an impression you create in another person’s mind. And there are a set of skills that can allow you to appear more charismatic.

I recently interviewed Owen Fitzpatrick, TV Psychologist and Charisma Expert on this subject, and according to him charisma involves two main skills:

1. The skill of being yourself without worrying what others think

2. The skill of making a really great impression of yourself onto others

And both of these skills can be learned. You can learn to like yourself and feel comfortable with who you are. You can also learn to dress better, become funnier, more interesting, more persuasive or a better speaker.

“Small children are never boring because they are fully themselves, unafraid of failure, rejection or embarrassment” says Owen, “we learn to hold ourselves back and what I do is help people overcome these learned fears so that they can be who they are at their best to others”.

Think of someone who you consider charismatic. Whether they are a celeb, a politician or your next door neighbour, notice the qualities that make you think of them as charismatic.

Charismatic people are often full of life. They don’t try and be anyone else or hide who they are. They show self-belief, don’t take themselves too seriously and have a zest for life. These are very attractive qualities.

Owen also reckons that just as over time many comedians get funnier, people can become more stylish, and you can even boost sales by learning how to become better at it.

“There are a whole host of skills that you can learn that will lead you to becoming a far better communicator” says Owen.

Owen runs a Charisma Bootcamp where he and seven other speakers teach people how to communicate more effectively.

His guest speakers include Sonya Lennon, Top Stylist&Presenter of Off The Rails, Karl Spain the Irish Comedian, Paul Boross -‘The Pitch Doctor’, Ruairi O’Connor – a Professional Magician, Robert Orr – a Leadership Guru, Kevin Fitzsimons ‘Social Media Expert’ and Poll Moussoulides ‘a Voice Coach to Hollywood Celebrities’.

The course will cover how to boost your confidence, look and sound your best as well as how to become funnier, more interesting, more persuasive, a better speaker and leader.

It takes place over four days from the 9th-12th December, 2010 in The Burlington Hotel in Dublin.

For more details visit



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