Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

The Charisma Myth: How Anyone Can Master the Art and Science of Personal Magnetism

Rate this book
What if charisma could be taught? For the first time, science and technology have taken charisma apart, figured it out and turned it into an applied science: In controlled laboratory experiments, researchers could raise or lower people's level of charisma as if they were turning a dial. What you'll find here is practical magic: unique knowledge, drawn from a variety of sciences, revealing what charisma really is and how it works. You'll get both the insights and the techniques you need to apply this knowledge. The world will become your lab, and every person you meet, a chance to experiment.
The Charisma Myth is a mix of fun stories, sound science, and practical tools. Cabane takes a hard scientific approach to a heretofore mystical topic, covering what charisma actually is, how it is learned, what its side effects are, and how to handle them.

264 pages, Hardcover

First published February 16, 2012

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Olivia Fox Cabane

11 books166 followers
An expert in the fields of charisma and leadership, Olivia Fox Cabane has lectured at Stanford, Yale, Harvard, MIT and the United Nations. As a frequent keynote speaker and executive coach to the leadership of Fortune 500 companies, she helps people increase their ability to influence, persuade, and inspire others.

From a base of thorough behavioral science, Olivia extracts the most practical tools for business; giving her clients techniques she originally developed for Harvard and MIT. Her course at Berkeley's Business School was so popular that university staff had to guard the entrance to ensure that only admitted students gained entrance.

In addition to being a regular columnist for Forbes, Olivia is often featured in media such as The New York Times, Bloomberg or BusinessWeek; and was recently profiled in The Wall Street Journal. Olivia is the author of "The Charisma Myth," published by Penguin's business book imprint, Portfolio. The book will be released February 16th, 2012.

Olivia has both French and American nationalities and is fluent in 4 languages; she is the youngest person ever to have been appointed Foreign Trade Advisor to the French Government.

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
5,671 (33%)
4 stars
6,181 (36%)
3 stars
3,709 (21%)
2 stars
1,036 (6%)
1 star
427 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 998 reviews
Profile Image for Greg Swierad.
44 reviews211 followers
July 8, 2020
This book helped me a lot with the skills of public speaking. It’s due to the practicality of it. To be honest, there are not many books that would be so loaded with different exercises and strategies. As we know, charisma is something we see, however, being charismatic starts from within. It starts with the way we perceive ourselves. Our internal state is presented externally, so we cannot be charismatic if there is something wrong going on within our body and mind.

My top 3 takeaways are:
* Learn to transfer your responsibility to reduce anxiety from uncertain situations.
* Model your posture after royalty.
* When communicating with others, always give value to the listener.
From this book, I distilled 57 strategies and principles on how to be charismatic, and also I wrote a detailed book summary that you can read here: https://www.mentorist.app/books/the-c...
Author 6 books95 followers
April 16, 2014
If we define an introvert as someone who loses energy from social activity and an extrovert as someoe who gains energy from them, then I have usually been an introvert, enjoying social interaction but needing considerable time to recharge afterwards. Since reading this book, however, this seems to have changed: I just came back from a three-day meetup feeling refreshed and energetic, and the very thought of being social has started feeling much more enticing. I stil get momentarily drained of mental energy *right after* social interaction, but I recover much quicker and feel better afterwards.

In principle, these effects might be temporary, as the effects of many self-help books tend to be. But this book feels different, because rather than giving me some new technique that I might use for a while and then forget about once it was no longer exciting, it made me realize that I was already doing some of the things that it said that I should be doing, just without realizing it.

Previously I had always felt bad about the fact that I wasn't very talkative, and often had difficulties coming up with things to say. Naturally, being self-conscious about this fact would make me nervous and panicky about "what should I say!" in conversations, making the issue worse. Probably the biggest single thing that the book did was to make me realize that the most of a person's charisma actually comes from general demeanor and body language, meaning that a person can be charismatic even if they're not very talkative.

The book also made me realize that I already naturally had some of the kinds of charisma that it described, particularly the ones that it calls "focus" and "kindness" charisma. In brief, "focus" charisma comes from giving the other person your full attention and being genuinely interested in what they have to say, whereas "kindness" charisma comes from having compassion and warmth towards them. Both kinds of mental states then become reflected in your facial expressions, body language and voice. Being interested in other people and being sympathetic to their concerns and problems are already among my natural tendencies, and the book taught me that I can actually improve my social skills by just focusing on and tapping into those two tendencies. (The book also discusses "visionary" charisma, which I don't tap into as often but which I do still access to times, and "authority" charisma, which goes more outside most of my natural tendencies.) In addition, the book also gave a number of exercises and techniques which I could use to further strengthen those tendencies, or to improve my social skills in general.
Profile Image for Loy Machedo.
233 reviews192 followers
August 29, 2012
Loy Machedo’s Book Review: The Charisma Myth: How Anyone Can Master the Art and Science of Personal Magnetism by Olivia Fox Cabane

There are some books which you cannot put down. And then there are certain books that you can read over and over again. Olivia Fox Cabane’s book fuses the ethos of Social Psychology, Neuro-Linguistic Programming, Neuropsychology Research with Emotional Intelligence and the Zen Buddhist Philosophies to come up with The Charisma Myth. After reading Robert B. Cialdini’s book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion and Yes!: 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive, I would say this another landmark book in my collection.

In The Charisma Myth, Olivia Fox Cabane makes a compelling argument that charisma is the product of a certain mindset and behaviors which are both attainable and trainable. The book proves effective with its list of quotes, anecdotes, thought-provoking theories and logical explanations.

For a NLP & Hypnosis practitioner like me, any book that involves a practice-till-you-perfect approach is always a welcome addition. So if you feel this is a book that only gives you an entertaining read, well get surprised. It also has a list of to-do items that you can keep working on and perfect over a period of time. Oh by the way, there are a lot of processes described in this book which are nothing short of the NLP model of behaving. Most of the principles stated give you a Déjà vu of the Principles promulgated by Richard Bandler & John Grinder and yes, in time made famous by Tony Robbins.

To grab your attention in the beginning, Fox begins her book by stating the amazing story of Marilyn Monroe and how she incorporated Charisma that made her transform from Norma Jeane Mortenson to the Legendary Sensual Goddess of Hollywood.

Then she states the following tips, that makes you want to read more.
1. Lower the intonation of your voice at the end of your sentences
2. Reduce the speed and rapidity of nodding
3. Pause for two seconds before you speak

The book takes the approach of focusing on your mindset, your attitude, choice of behaviors, what you think, your body language and that in turn affects and impacts how you communicate.

The chapters in the book are as follows:
Chapter 1 - Charisma Demystified
Chapter 2 – The Charismatic Behaviors: Presence, Power and Warmth
Chapter 3 – The Obstacles to Presence, Power and Warmth
Chapter 4 – Overcoming the Obstacles
Chapter 5 – Creating Charismatic Mental States
Chapter 6 – Different Charisma States
Chapter 7 – Charismatic First Impressions
Chapter 8 – Speaking and Listening with Charisma
Chapter 9 – Charismatic Body Language
Chapter 10 – Difficult Situations
Chapter 11 – Presenting with Charisma
Chapter 12 – Charisma in Crisis
Chapter 13 – the charismatic Life – Rising to the Challenge.

If I were to compile her words of wisdom, here are some of the pointers she shares.
1. Presence - mindful attention, patient listening, avoiding interruption
2. Power - appearance, clothing, occupy space, positive wording (avoid "don't"), placebo effect
3. Warmth - chin down, eye contact, Duchenne smile (mouth corners, eye corners), gratitude, compassion, appreciation - counteract "hedonic adaptation"
4. Goodwill - wishing the other person well
5. Empathy - understanding the other's experience
6. Altruism
7. Compassion - a combination of empathy+goodwill
8. Forgiveness of self and others
9. Self-compassion - self-acceptance. Positively correlated with emotional resilience, sense of personal responsibility, accountability, sense of connectedness, life satisfaction, positive relationships with others, self-confidence, willingness to admit errors, low self-pity, low depression, low anxiety, improved immune system functioning
10. "Metta" - loving kindness to self, others

Overall, I enjoyed this book thoroughly and feel there is a lot I can learn from this book – but then the only question is, how much are you willing to apply and practice? That is the question which I believe will make the big difference.

A worthwhile read and amazing investment.

Overall rating
10 out of 10.

Loy Machedo
Profile Image for Austin Burbridge.
27 reviews17 followers
June 25, 2012
Reader, pass by! How is this book different from so many other self-help books which promote good deportment? Answer: Not very. For an author who brags throughout the book about her lofty credentials and celebrated clientele, this is pretty thin stuff — and rather stingy with its insights, too.

“Charisma” is a myth in American commercial culture — the world of magazines and TV pundits. “Charisma” is a word deployed as a figure of public relations (or uncritical journalism), to suggest that a person's popularity, or celebrity, is not the result of anything so mundane as an affable manner plus good publicity, but rather some ineffable quality known as charisma.

The Charisma Myth does not explain the myth of charisma; instead it says that charisma is not innate, but can be taught. It is at least half-right about that.

However, what the book expounds is merely that which, in a previous era, would have been called, “deportment.” Good deportment may be a necessary condition for charisma, but it is far from sufficient.

You could follow all the lessons in this book and you still wouldn’t have “charisma,” because it attaches to a person who — in addition to good deportment — has already achieved some measure of fame or infamy, celebrity or notoriety, among the persons she (or he) meets.

Charisma is in the eye of the beholder, and it cannot be controlled entirely by the vigor of one’s handshake, the rhythm of one’s speech, or even the sincerity of one’s attitude.

If you need to improve your meet’n’greet tactics, this book will do fine. But if you want charisma, make sure your strategy includes the services of a good public-relations firm, a savvy advance team, or — best of all — a journalist who will describe you as already possessing “charisma.”
Profile Image for Ben Nesvig.
Author 2 books26 followers
October 27, 2012
Add this book to the list of things you should learn in school but don't.
A few things I recall from the book off the top of my head:
- Easiest way to be more persuasive is mirror body language.
- To practice "authority charisma" when in public don't move out of the way for other people when walking.
- The response "No problem" or "No worries" isn't a great response since it makes people think of a negative.
- You become charismatic by giving 100% focus to another person. No fidgeting with hands. No cell phone. No looking around. 100% focus on them.
- Body language is the one universal language. It's embedded into humans to react stronger to body language than the spoken word since we've been paying attention to it longer.
Profile Image for Payam.
35 reviews15 followers
February 4, 2013
Note, I listened to the audiobook vs. reading the book.

The book stays the point and delivers in what it promises regarding the science of personal magnetism. It presents the multiple styles of chrisma, details each chrisma, and dwells into how one can use it within their own lives. The book is detailed and gives you a strong understanding of the different actions a charismatic person uses. Unfortunately, the detailed nature of the book is its own demise.

In the book "7 habits of highly successful people", the author states that there are numerous books that are focusing on "personality improvement" vs. "character improvement". To the author, personality improvement are quick fixes to problems and only create the shadow of a person with the desired personality. As such, the author believes that focus should be placed deeper down on the character. Personality stems from the character of the individual, and focusing on personality is not as effective as on the character. This is what I accept as well.

"The Charisma Myth" focuses on the personality of the individual and never changes any part of the individual's character. It has numerous quick fixes to problems, but never gives core principles to carry away. It is difficult to remember the quick fixes mentioned in the book. It would have been more effective if the author presented core principles with quick fixes for each principle. In this way, you can take away the principles with you.

Having said that, I did listen to this book rather than read it. This has an inherent impact on the absorption of the material. It may simply be the case that reading the book will be more effective and you will remember more of it. In either case, I still recommend this book to get the overall picture of a charismatic individual.
Profile Image for Jay Kamaladasa.
56 reviews39 followers
March 11, 2013
This is a practical book.

I read this book a week before facing to a stressful interview. So I really had an incentive to learn. I practiced the techniques on total strangers I met the street as well as on people at work. The results were immediate, amazing and they turned out to be some of the most memorable interactions that I've had with anyone, ever. (I apologize for using that over-used american superlative, but it really is true.) A week later, I faced the interview, breezed through it, and felt really good about myself. I'm sure I left an impression on the interviewers, but more than that I left a lasting impression on myself.

Do yourself a favor. Get this book. Read it, but more importantly, practice the things in it. Your interactions with others will change by orders of a magnitude.
Profile Image for Holly.
305 reviews25 followers
February 22, 2013
This review is for the Audible version, not the printed version.

There is some pretty good information in here, but it's limited. I didn't benefit from much of it because the narrator sounds like a teenager. I think that it's quite possible this book could be worth 4 or 5 stars if actually read instead of listened to, but I wouldn't know because the narrator was so off-putting that I tuned her out over and over.

There are a lot of stories and impressive anecdotes, but the step-by-steps and how-to's are few and far between. This, I think, is more of an 'inspire you to be better' book than a 'teach you to be better'.
Profile Image for Ying Ying.
270 reviews109 followers
June 27, 2017
This book was a great accompaniment to my commute. I listened to it daily and treated it like a great daily vitamin. It gave me valuable input to think about my own behavior. As the author defines the term, charisma is an acquired set of behavior, verbal and non-verbal, that display confidence and power.
The findings are not ground-breaking, but I highly enjoyed some interesting pieces of information here and there: e.g. that charisma is like hypnosis, and that one must be very careful where one takes the hypnotized; that there are side-effects of charisma, etc.
Profile Image for Candice Carpenter.
18 reviews12 followers
May 23, 2012
So what is charisma? According to Cabane, it is the trifecta of power, presence, and warmth. All three can be cultivated, promoted, and used in both serene and stressful situations.

Olivia Cabane does an exquisite job of breaking down charisma into a manageable and replicable form for anyone. Contrary to the popular myth, technical wizardry and intellectual brilliance are not enough to win the day. Instead, infusing yourself with powerful charisma can transform your personal and professional life. Cabane also offers many practical and easy-to-implement techniques (e.g. destigmatizing guilt and shame; dedramatizing stressful situations; rewriting negative realities). These techniques are powerful ways to design a "charismatic mind" that will automatically produce an 'aura of charisma'.

The four types of charisma described in the book are:
(a) focus charisma - the ability to keenly listen, understand, and empathize with people so that they feel deeply understood
(b) visionary charisma - the capability to describe a grand vision for the future and galvanize people to work toward the fruition of that vision
(c) kindness charisma - a powerful force that allows people to connect with others using loving kindness and unconditional regard
(d) authority charisma - an ability to project a highly influential power that causes people to follow and comply with your requests

Although it may seem like this is a book ONLY for the charismatically challenged, let me assure you, it is not. Anyone interested in increasing or optimizing their personal effectiveness, leadership skills, or influence in the workplace, this book is for you. As I read through it, I often wished that bosses-of-times-past had become intimately acquainted with the book.
Profile Image for Annie.
791 reviews848 followers
February 5, 2020
Despite the title, the book didn't dispel the myth that charisma can be learned. If you've read articles or books on public speaking, you'll find many of the same recommendations in this book -- be authentic, really listen to people, be willing to be vulnerable and reveal something personal about yourself, practice and visualize your presentations, and mirror the person whom you want to build a rapport. There were a few suggestions that were new for me: divide and conquer (convince your detractors separately, not when they're all together in a big, important meeting), dress well and comfortable (look good but not go overboard that you're uncomfortable and give off a negative body language), and reframe stressful situations into positive ones (such as instead of thinking about how you might mess up a presentation, think about how you got this assignment because your boss has such confidence in your abilities).

While the author may have helped her clients become charismatic, I don't think it's something that can simply be learned from a book. It probably requires a coach understanding what you're facing and giving advice that specifically address your problems. If charisma could be gained through authentically wanting to connect with the person, listening intently, and mirroring, we would have learned it in high school.
13 reviews
March 13, 2013
One of the troubles with writing up book notes long after the book has been read is that only a vague impression remains. Having reviewed it now, though, I can say that I actually absorbed some of it (woohoo, this doesn't always happen!) and there's plenty of interesting things in it.

I'm interested in charisma mostly because a) I don't think I have much and think it's useful and b) my ex-boss had it in bags and it was kind of fascinating. Crazy, horrible, self-obsessed, psychotic and still she could make people like her (including me) and do what she wanted. Kind of like a superpower being used for evil ends. She made me really wonder, what are the component parts of this thing? How does it happen?

Right at the beginning Fox Cabane establishes that charisma is not something one is born with - "Contrary to popular belief, people are not simply born charismatic- innately magentic from birth. If charism were an inherent attribute, charismatic people would always be captivation, and that's not just the case…As extensive research in recent years has shown, charisma is the result of specific non verbal behaviours, not an inherent or magical personal quality. This is one of the reasons why charism levels fluctuate: its presence depends on whether or not someone is exhibiting these behaviours." (Loc 109) (using Location references rather than pages as that's why my Kindle is doing at the moment!)

Still in the early part of the book, she says "The equation that produces charisma is actually fairly simple. All you have to do is give the impression that you possess both high power and high warmth, since charismatic behaviours project a combination of these two qualities…A final dimension underlies both of these qualities: presence." (Loc 134)

One point that is made repeatedly is that you can't fake any of this. Whatever is in your mind will show in your face or body language and humans are built to interpret micro-expressions. So you have to believe the warmth you are exhibiting or it will come across as insincere.

She makes a great point regarding uncertainty that I've actually held on to for these weeks. She writes "It's worth learning how to handle uncertainty, not just because it increases charisma but also because the ability to be comfortable with uncertainty and ambiguity turns out to be one of the strongest predictors of success in business." (Loc 580) The technique she most recommends for dealing with uncertainty is Responsibility Transfer - it is what it sounds like, visualising that a benevolent entity takes charge of whatever is worrying you. My impression is that it isn't so much about *believing* in a particular entity, rather it's about diverting your mind from chasing around in circles worrying about something over which you have little or no control.

A few interesting things come up in the discussion about handling obstacles. "Skillfully handling any difficult experience is a three-step process: destigmatise discomfort, neutralise negativity and rewrite reality." (Loc 735). The point is made that often we beat ourselves up for feeling bad about something, which of course makes everything worse. Destigmatising is simply remembering that whatever you're feeling is a normal part of being human. I also really like a quote about rewriting reality - "One charismatic entrepreneur told me: "I decide to interpret everything favourably toward myself. It's not just that I'm optimistic, I'm actually conveniently deluded. Why does this work? Once again, we can thank the brains' tendency to accept imagination as reality." I love the idea of "convenient delusion". I at least get so wrapped up in trying to think things through correctly, be right, predict correctly…but it does me no good in many cases because you can't know lots of things…bring on the convenient delusions, I say.

She moves on to discuss different types of charisma, what differentiates them, and when to use each (if you're able) - there's Authority Charisma, Visionary Charisma, Focus Charisma, and Kindness Charisma.

There are exercises and key takeaways in each chapter and chatter summaries and exercises gathered separately at the end of the book which is really useful. So, all in all, well worth a read if you're interested in the topic and you will probably come away having learned something useful. Now, I'm off to mesmerise my husband. heee.
Profile Image for Santhosh.
65 reviews10 followers
January 8, 2015
This is a book about for the people who wants to be charismatic. This book tells us how to be successful, how to make people think you are a leader, how to present yourself on a stage, How to make someone feel positive about you and what it takes to be the best person whom people see’s everyday.The Art of being Charismatic starts within you. There is no such thing for us to do to be just you, But to be a charismatic one, there are certain things which needs to be followed. Basically, Practice. This books starts of with how Marlyn stole the show by just showing her charismatic appearance out. Charismatic people impact the world whether they’re starting new projects, companies. Charismatic Appearance - Everybody likes to be noticed in a positive way!Charisma gets people to like you, trust you, and want to be led by you. it can determine whether you’re seen as a follower or a leader, whether your ideas get adopted, and how effectively your projects are implemented. Charisma is very critical and crucial join business. This book is a complete guide for people who want to be charismatic and successful.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Fay Wu.
95 reviews7 followers
March 30, 2017
This book reminded me of Dale Carnegie's How to Win Friends and Influence People. To me, it seems that the key differences between the two books are that HTWFAIP creates a list of clear and practical to-do items whereas The Charisma Myth is more conceptual with fewer to-dos. The Charisma Myth describes the various types of charisma: focus, visionary, kindness, and authority, giving overviews and examples of notable leaders who excelled at each (some multiple at different times). One of Cabane's key points is that we can learn to adjust our charisma and employ a different one depending on the situation and your own goals. Meditation can help us improve any type of charisma in order to increase emotional resilience and awareness of both the nonverbal and verbal cues we emit.

One of the more interesting points Cabane makes is that the people around you tend to try to match nonverbal cues with verbal cues, with nonverbal cues taking precedent over verbal ones if they don't match. If your nonverbal cues, which are rapidly and subconsciously absorbed, are followed with consistent verbal cues, the latter amplifies the former. Thus using visualisations can help us to believe our own words, which will help with making our nonverbal actions more closely align with anything we then proceed to say.

Other topics Cabane touches upon: how to listen well (wait before answering), first impressions (the handshake being one of the most important in North America), how to receive compliments (make them feel good about complimenting you), using more visualisations in speeches, and limbic resonance (mimic to establish trust). Worthwhile one-time read though the book could really be summarised in a ~20 bullet points.
Profile Image for Mario Tomic.
159 reviews301 followers
August 10, 2014
Most people think charisma is something you're born with, this book successfully debunks that myth proving that charisma is simply a set of behaviors that can be learned and developed gradually over time. The author wrote detailed guidelines on how to do developed these behaviors combined with very interesting examples and role-models for different types of charisma, which for me was definitely something I was always curious about. All in all I really enjoyed reading this book and I can say that I learned a lot from it. Definitely gonna re-read it soon and would recommend you to check it out!

PS. The exercises included as unimportant as they might seem at first do make a difference so give them a try!
Profile Image for Inga Pizāne.
Author 4 books189 followers
February 26, 2018
Harisma kā parādība vai mīts mani vienmēr ir interesējusi, tāpēc nolēmu izlasīt šo grāmatu, kas harismu pasniedz kā īpašību kopumu, ko var apgūt vai uztrenēt katrs. Harismas pamatā, autoresprāt, ir klātesamība, sirsnība, spēks/pārliecība. Ir vairāki harismas veidi - autoritatīvā, fokusētā un citi; katram no šim veidiem ir savs mērķis, tomēr kopumā harismātisks cilvēks liek savam sarunu biedram vai no auditorijas uzrunātajam cilvēkam justies labi; un centrā liek nevis sevi, bet otru; ir gatavs uzklausīt un būt klātesošs. Acu kontakts, ķermeņa valoda - arī par to rakstīts šajā grāmatā. Īpaši daudz atklājumu man nebija, taču interesi grāmata noturēja.
Profile Image for Paria shn.
114 reviews20 followers
July 12, 2019
کتاب خیلی کاربردی بود، پر از چیزایی که معمولا جایی یاد نگرفتیم، از نحوه ی درست دست دادن، زبان بدن، اینکه چه جوری تاثیرگذار باشیم.
یکی از بهترین نکاتش این بود که علاوه بر اینکه اخر هر فصل نکات کلیدی رو دوباره میگه، یه سری تمرین راحت و کوتاهم داره که اثر گذاری‌کتابو بیشتر میکنه.
آخر کتاب هم خلاصه مهم ترین تکنیک های کاریزماتیک بودن رو دوباره میگه،انگار که کتاب رو خیلی سریع دوباره بخونی.
من ترجمه فارسیش رو خوندم از نشر شباهنگ، ترجمه ی‌خوبی بود ولی ترجیح میدادم زبان اصلیش رو بخونم.
Profile Image for Andy.
1,320 reviews455 followers
July 24, 2013
This is a mishmash of clichés, magical thinking, bunk from other self-help books, etc. The valuable bits are common sense or ancient wisdom that you can find expressed better in many other sources. It is another of these books that just seem like an infomercial for the author/corporate-coach.
Profile Image for Zack Zefferini.
18 reviews1 follower
August 2, 2015
Fantastic book. Cabane is clearly an expert in this field and the techniques described are immediately employable. Not only that but (and here's why the book is really exciting) the speed at which you will notice how people begin responding to you differently is almost instantaneous, or at least I found it to be after finishing the book. Bonus points to Cabane for explaining that one must actually go through all of the exercises to ultimately reap the benefit. The layout of the book is also expertly crafted with a handy reference guide at the end. Plus her writing style makes it mostly a pleasure to read. I feel like this book is a modern day 'How to Win Friends and Influence people', or more accurately is like Dale Carnegie's teachings on steroids.

Some key things you will learn: There are different styles of charisma, and you can employ different styles based on your own personality, your audience, and your goals. The principles of being in a charismatic state are tied largely to how you feel, and Cabane will give you a plethora of ways to tweak and enhance your state to achieve this. Also: The book goes into some detail on why charisma is tied largely to human evolution, which is fascinating, and never crosses the border into the realm of 'interesting but not useful'.

Everything in this book is there for a reason, there is no fluff or filler, and it is all useful.

Finally, simplified to the extreme, the three cornerstones of mastering charisma are power, presence, and warmth. The book teaches you how to cultivate and express each of these states, meaning if you largely forget much of what you've read, by and large accessing charismatic states should remain a skill that you can almost always count on. Though you will naturally need discipline to practice and balls (read: courage) to take action. Ten out of ten book.
Profile Image for Christine.
1,133 reviews13 followers
February 28, 2014
I had to give up on this one. I kept falling asleep. ;)
Profile Image for Lizzie Jones.
698 reviews15 followers
February 13, 2017
This is one of the better business psychology books I've read. I think it is actually more of a blend of several psychology-based books, and brings up many interesting topics. The author touches on the work of Brene Brown, Dale Carnegie, Dan Gilbert, Charles Duhigg, Chip and Dan Heath, Stephen Covey, Kristin Neff, Susan Cain, and Ori and Rom Brafman. She goes over research and studies on shame, self-compassion, warmth, negotiation, extroversion vs. introversion, connection, anxiety, winning people over, first impressions, and even the science behind body language and vocal intonation. It is well-researched and well-presented.

Charisma is essentially made up of three things: presence, power, and warmth. These three skills can be learned and honed, allowing anyone to develop charismatic abilities. I loved that she included warmth, because I feel like this one is so important and is often dismissed in professional settings. The author details specific things that individuals can do to improve the way they are perceived. While some of her advice is downright hokey and laughable, much of it is actually very interesting and I think her thoughts could help anyone improve, whether they are a public speaker or just someone trying to understand people on a higher level. I only wish she wasn't as enchanted with Bill Clinton. She talks about him incessantly, and I think he is one person who has used his charisma in some really despicable ways. Other than that, I really enjoyed this one, and think it would merit a re-read at some point. Charisma is such a valuable skill, especially when used well and with kindness.
116 reviews71 followers
December 19, 2018
ایک ہی فن تو ہم نے سیکھا ہے
جس سے ملیے ۔ ۔ ۔ اسے خفا کیجے

سالوں کی وقت بربادی کے بعد ہم ہار مان گئے ہیں۔ ہم سے یہ کام نہ ہوپائے گا۔ ہماری کڑوی طبیعت، جدت کی خواہش، مروجہ رسوم سے تنفر ، اور ظواہر سے
آلکس ہمیں ناپسندیدہ ہی رکھے گی۔ ویسے یہ باتیں لکھتے بھی دل میں کیسی انانیت ابھرتی ہے کہ میں جیسا ہوں مجھے ویسا رہنا چاہیے۔ جیسے میں کوئی مرکز کائنات ہوں جسے کسی تبدیلی کی ضرورت نہیں ہے۔ مگر سچ بات تو یہ ہے کہ خود کو سمجھنا مشکل اور تبدیل کرنا ناممکنات میں سے ہے۔ عادتیں سالوں میں بنتی ہیں مگر ٹوٹنے میں آتی ہیں تو کچھ دنوں میں ٹوٹ جاتی ہیں۔ کچھ عرصہ ایک کام کرنے کے بعد اسے کرنے کی موٹیویشن نہیں رہتی، ہر چیز سے دل بھر جاتا ہے۔ کسی چیز میں معنی محسوس نہیں ہوتا۔ یہ سیلف ہیلپ بھی ہم اس لیے پڑھتے ہیں کہ کچھ دیر کو اچھا محدسوس ہوسکے ورنہ لکھنے والوں کو بھی یقین ہوتا ہے کہ کچھ نہیں بدلے گا اور پڑھنے والوں کو بھی۔

اک ہنر ہے جو کر گیا ہوں میں
سب کے دل سے اتر گیا ہوں میں

کیسے اپنی ہنسی کو ضبط کروں
سن رہا ہوں کہ گھر گیا ہوں میں

کیا بتاؤں کہ مر نہیں پاتا
جیتے جی جب سے مر گیا ہوں میں

اب ہے بس اپنا سامنا در پیش
ہر کسی سے گزر گیا ہوں میں

وہی ناز و ادا وہی غمزے
سر بہ سر آپ پر گیا ہوں میں

عجب الزام ہوں زمانے کا
کہ یہاں سب کے سر گیا ہوں میں

کبھی خود تک پہنچ نہیں پایا
جب کہ واں عمر بھر گیا ہوں میں

تم سے جاناں ملا ہوں جس دن سے
بے طرح خود سے ڈر گیا ہوں میں

کوئے جاناں میں سوگ برپا ہے
کہ اچانک سدھر گیا ہوں می
Profile Image for Manuel Allgaier.
2 reviews8 followers
March 8, 2021
The book is aimed at professionals keen to improve their charisma, but it's about so much more: The author describes how people form opinions of each other, decide who to trust and who to join in their mission. I'd recommend it also if you're not interested in professional development but only want to know more about how humans work. It's well-written, easy and even entertaining to read and backed up mainly by stories from her extensive coaching experience, and occasionally also by scientific studies. Pretty much all her claims seem plausible to me.

For those interested in changing their charisma style, there are plenty of exercises described.
Profile Image for Grace.
124 reviews9 followers
July 29, 2016
this is a book that i finished, and automatically felt like i should read it again just to further absorb all of the points that she presented. cabane did a great job of distilling something as seemingly elusive as charisma down to attainable points that anyone can practice. she gave very practical tips that i have remembered randomly throughout my day.

she believes, and demonstrates through accounts of her clients, that anyone can be charismatic, even if you are introverted. i can't wait to try everything out!
Profile Image for Nick.
Author 21 books97 followers
November 21, 2012
This is a topic I'm passionate about -- which makes me hard to please. The book is great for people new to the field or individuals trying to increase their star power. Olivia has a strong fundamental grasp of the basics and she explains them very clearly. She's obviously a real pro and I recommend this book highly for people who are new to the world of public speaking, charisma, and presence.
Profile Image for Terguunjargal Jane.
98 reviews63 followers
August 23, 2021
Хүнтэй зөв харьцаж сайхан сэтгэгдэл төрүүлмээр байвал заавал унших хэрэгтэй санагдлаа. Орчин цагийн хүн хоорондын харилцааг зохицуулахад хэрэгтэй техникүүдээр баялаг. Яг яахыг минь хэлээд өг гэж асуудаг хүмүүст тохиромжтой. Бусдыг байлдан дагуулах гэдэг утгаар бус бусадтай хэрхэн зохицох вэ гэдэг талаас харизмыг харж мэдэж авлаа.
Profile Image for Renee M..
7 reviews1 follower
April 27, 2015
Great read, definitely going into my "re-read" rotation. Lots of clear and direct guidance on how to make impactful changes in your day to day interactions.
Profile Image for Sean Goh.
1,454 reviews83 followers
July 17, 2015
When you meet a charismatic person, you get the impression that they have a lot of power and they like you a lot.

Individuals with strong internal skills are aware of what exactly is happening inside them and know how to handle it. They can recognise when their self-confidence has taken a hit and have the tools to get back to a confident state so that their body language remains charismatic.

When the physical discomfort can't be alleviated, it's even more important to prevent other people from taking your tension personally.

The single most effective technique I've found to alleviate the discomfort of uncertainty is the responsibility transfer.
The responsibility transfer does not actually dispel uncertainty, (the outcome remains uncertain), instead it makes the uncertainty less uncomfortable. This distinction matters. People will go to great lengths to get rid of the anxiety produced by uncertainty, from making premature decisions to forcing bad outcomes to numbing their anxiety with mind-altering substances of various kinds.

Self-criticism is one of the most common obstacles to great performance in any field. It's often called the silent killer of business.

This mindset (stigmatising discomfort) is one of the main reasons that negative thoughts, emotions, and internal experiences are difficult to handle; we feel they shouldn't be happening. So not only do we feel bad, we then feel bad about feeling bad.

Understanding that my thoughts were not necessarily valid was a revelation for me.

Which mental state would be most useful in this situation? And which version of reality would help you get there?

Practice: Getting satisfaction -
1. Think of one person in your life who has aggrieved you.
2. Take a blank page and write that person a letter saying anything and everything you wish you had ever told them, Really get into this - you have nothing to lose. Make sure you write it out by hand.
3. When you've gotten absolutely everything off your mind and onto paper, put it aside.
4. Take a fresh sheet and write their response just the way you wish they would respond. You might have them take responsibility for their actions, acknowledging and apologising for everything they've ever done that hurt you. You don't need to find any justification for their actions, just an acknowledgement and an apology. It's your imagination, so you get to decide exactly what you'd like to hear.

Delving into sensations - sustained partner eye contact

To view your life through a third-person lens, write a narrative about yourself cast in a positive light.

Imagine your own funeral.

Self-compassion is how much warmth we can have for ourselves, especially when we're going through a difficult experience.
It is what helps us forgive ourselves when we've fallen short; it's what prevents internal criticism from taking over and playing across our face, ruining our charisma potential. In this way, self-compassion is critical to emanating warmth.

Kindness charisma is perfect anytime you want to create an emotional bond or make people feel safe and comfortable. It can be critical in some situations, such as when you have to deliver bad news. It can also be surprisingly effective when dealing with difficult people.

As always, body language trumps all other signs of charisma.

Authority charisma (strong displays of status and confidence) has several disadvantages:
-It can inhibit critical thinking in others
-It doesn't invite feedback, so you risk not receiving information you actually need.
-It can easily make you appear arrogant.

One way to exit a conversation with grace is to offer something of value.

One way to make people feel listened to: Pause before you answer. (showing consideration)

You'll know you've listened enough when they say: "Am I talking too much?"

Don't try to impress people. Let them impress you and they will love you for it. Believe it or not, you don't need to sound smart. You just need to make them feel smart.

Increasing voice fluctuation means making your voice vary in any of the following ways: Pitch (high or low), tempo, volume, tone (resonant or hollow), or rhythm (staccato or fluid)

To truly understand the difference when your eyes are relaxed and open, go see the transformation for yourself.

Cut out verbal and nonverbal reassurances like head bobbing and excessive uh-huh-ing.

Do not answer the phone in a warm or friendly manner. Instead answer crisply and professionally. Only when you know who it is do you let warmth or enthusiasm pour forth in your voice.

When you craft the closing of your presentation, keep in mind that we remember primarily beginnings and endings. Just as you want to start on a high note, you also want to end on a high note, so avoid ending with Q&A. It's hard to have Q&A as compelling and energetic as your main speech. Almost inevitably Q&A lowers the energy.
Personally, the author avoids Q&A, announcing that any questions have to be asked in the middle of the speech. This also serves to keep the audience more engaged and energetic.

Studies consistently show that in times of crisis, people instinctively turn to individuals who are bold, confident and decisive. Crisis creates uncertainty, which creates angst, and people will cling to whatever they feel diminishes this angst. This is why faith, vision, and authority have such power in times of crisis.

What you're trying to counter act is shame, and few things work better against shame than admiration.

Showing vulnerability and humility make you more relatable and helps to avoid the feeling of alienation, which is a real risk when your charisma gives you a touch of the superhuman.
147 reviews29 followers
November 8, 2020
قد يكون هناك شخصان بنفس الصفات الجسمية ولكن أحدهم قد يلتف الناس حوله ويجذبهم بطبيعة شخصيته التي قد تكون فريدة غالبا وهي ما تعرفها الكاتبة بخرافة الكاريزما وانه يمكن الوصول لهذه الحالة وفق القواعد الاعتيادية لكتب تطوير الذات (الاهتمام بلغة الجسد والاخرين ....) وتضع شروطاً بديهية يستطيع اي شخص اتباعها ومن المعروف ان الشخصيات والحكم عليها يختلف باختلاف المجتمعات فقد تكون الشخصية مميزة في مجتمع معين ومكروهه من قبل مجتمع اخر وهو ما يقود الى ان ارضاء الناس غاية لا تدرك وانه بطبيعة الحال لو كان التميز يدرك بهذه الخطوات لعملها الجميع ولما تميز احدٌ بعدها
Profile Image for Wendy Bunnell.
1,230 reviews29 followers
September 9, 2020
Some fun tidbits about different types of charism, real-life examples, and exercises to improve your own charisma.

It confirmed what I already knew, I need to be a better listener, but I did learn a few new things also.

Overall, an interesting read.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 998 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.