As an executive speaker coach, I'm often asked: How can I be charismatic? How do I connect and engage an audience like other elite presenters? Or, I want to have the impact of a TED Talk presenter. Can you show me how?
A TED Talk I often share with my presenters is Frank Warren's "Half a Million Secrets." Along with Sir Ken Robinson and Brené Brown, the secret to Frank's ability to draw in his audience is his charisma.
Charisma is elusive. Presenters who truly connect have a way about them that's hard to quantify. What is it they possess that those who struggle with public speaking don't? It's simply the full confidence to be real with themselves and others. They are comfortable in the essence of who they are.
This is where the charismatic chasm lies, and crossing over it is a big leap if you're someone who'd rather have your wisdom teeth removed than address an audience. When we're standing in front of an audience, it's human nature to be anxious, so it's tempting to build a wall between you and your audience.
You can be the charismatic presenter who quickly connects by reaching deep and unearthing the following shining qualities Frank demonstrated while speaking to his TED audience.
Frank is brilliant at sharing his concepts at a pace that allows us to take them in. Notice how he often pauses to let you drink in his thoughts and ideas.
You'll feel different when you cram too much content into your presentation and deliver it quickly, versus delivering only what your audience needs to hear at an accessible pace. Pausing and speaking at a speed that allows your audience to assimilate your words connects you to your audience.
Frank also has a gift for self-deprecating humor. It doesn't get much rawer than talking about bathrooms and bodily functions.
Frank speaks to our human foibles, which creates an instant bond to his audience. Think back to those conversations where there was a quick connection to someone you've just met. It's our ability to be open with others that creates the bond and allows others to view us as charismatic.
Frank is a natural smiler and has a quirky laugh. When we smile and laugh (at ourselves and with others) our defenses are down. We become approachable. Endorphins course through our bodies, which has us feeling like we're on top of the world, and want to have others join us there.
Charisma is intangible. You can't find it in a playbook or from following a formula.
The minute you are disingenuous, your charisma will deflate. Your audience can spot a phony a mile away.
Frank showed up, warts and all, with full belief in who he is and what he knows. Challenge yourself to do the same.