Book: The Charisma Myth

The Charisma Myth: How Anyone Can Master the Art and Science of Personal Magnetism by Olivia Fox Cabane

How Anyone Can Master the Art and Science of Personal Magnetism by Olivia Fox Cabane
Charisma is not something set in stone. It is ultimately a set of habits and we can train ourselves to make them part of our lives. Charisma can be learned and it is powerful tool to influence people.

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My takeaways

  • Creating internal charismatic state is the easiest way to appear genuinely charismatic and interesting – similar to placebo
  • Use positive visualisations
  • Wight first impression is of utmost importnance. It is best to appear similar to people you are meeting.
  • Presence charisma is important – concentrate on what the other person is saying, show the interest
    • People appreciate full attention
  • Dont interrupt people
  • It is more important to make the other person feel good than it is to show how smart I am
  • Good speakers are keeping the spotlight on the other person
  • If someoone is calling, be very professional and cold. Only when the person introduces themselves, become very warm
  • It is good to start witha high note and end with a high note. Q&A is worthless
  • It is good tosit close to another person or at a 90 degree angle
  • When I am apologizing over the phone, it is important to listen
  • Handshake is important

Fun facts & Trivia

  • Marilyn Monroe was able to switch between Marilyn and Norma Jones so easily that she was able to ride the subway without people noticing her and be surrounded by paprazzi the moment she emerged from the platform

3 ingredients of great charisma

  • Presence
  • Power
  • Warmth

4 types of charisma

  • Focus charisma
  • Visionary charisma
  • Kindness charisma
  • Authority charisma
You can express different kinds in different situations. There is no one size fits all.

Dealing with stressful situations

  • First, focus on the physical situation and physical senses
  • If a person is boring, you can imagine her as star of a movie you are currently watching
  • If you are frustrated -> “maybe I am explaining it wrong”
  • Destigmatize, Dedramatize and neutralize
  • You can overwrite reality by imagining circumstances that explain the behaviour and change the optics
  • Remember that it is normal and we all go through it from time to time. Remember all the people that go through it, in particular people you admire. In this moment, many people have this experience

Pre-event checklist

Things to consider before a big event to keep peak performance:
  • Aviod circumstances that can throw my composure off (it is better to not look perfect than to rush in the last minute)
  • Playlist matching the state of mind – can throw my mind into autopilot and govern the mood
    • pre-speech
    • morning wake-up
    • pre-family gatherings
  • Pause. Breathe. Slow Down.


Small meditations to regain composure during small crises
  • Sit comfortably, close eyes, get 3-4 deep breaths
  • Remember the time when you made something good to someone
  • Remember a person that can be fond of you
  • These feelings are covering you
  • They give you forgiveness for all that your internal critic is deeming as infirgiveable
  • They give you complete acceptance with your imperfections in this step of the way

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