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

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  10,034 ratings  ·  658 reviews
What if charisma could be taught?

The charisma myth is the idea that charisma is a fundamental, inborn quality—you either have it (Bill Clinton, Steve Jobs, Oprah) or you don’t. But that’s simply not true, as Olivia Fox Cabane reveals. Charismatic behaviors can be learned and perfected by anyone.

Drawing on techniques she originally developed for Harvard and MIT, Cabane brea
Paperback, 272 pages
Published March 26th 2013 by Portfolio (first published February 16th 2012)
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Incy Not mine! Probably need to have workshops and attend seminars.
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3.96  · 
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 ·  10,034 ratings  ·  658 reviews

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Loy Machedo
Aug 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Kaj Sotala
Apr 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 me ...more
Austin Burbridge
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 per
Nov 05, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Ben Nesvig
Oct 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012-reads
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
Jay Kamaladasa
Mar 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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, an
Ying Ying
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
Candice Carpenter
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
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
Dec 18, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 23, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Mario Tomic
Nov 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Renee M.
Apr 27, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Sean Goh
Jul 17, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ta
Zack Zefferini
Aug 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 expe ...more
Lizzie Jones
Feb 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
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 peop ...more
Jun 23, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Despite the title, the book didn't dispel the myth for me 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 d ...more
Sep 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
+ I liked the division of charisma in different styles and examples of people having those different charisma styles
+ great overall tips and techniques to boost your charisma in various situations, I found the responsibility transfer and gorilla technique to be the most useful for me at this time
+ chapter and exercise summary at the end of the book, easy to get back to should you want to refresh what you learned

- too much internal reference (e.g. "We will cover this in detail in chapter 13", "Lo
Peter Mcloughlin
This book surprised me. I opened it being very skeptical and some nasty comments I made in the early updates showed my early skepticism. The author does start out weak. I thought I was reading yet another inspirational life coach. The author grew more specific and concrete as she went on in the book and gained my respect. She talks about specific steps backed up with a rationale in dealing with social situations such as conversation, public speaking, signals in clothing, making a good impressio ...more
Jul 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
On my first re-read. This book is so insightful and helpful. My only wish for this book is that Cabane would speak more to the experiences of women and PoC. Most of this book she talks about the perspective of business executives, so we can safely say women/PoC are not included.

This book is full of very accessible and realistic exercises to do to increase your charisma. There are so many things mentioned, in fact, that I will have to reread at some point to be able to incorporate more things
Oct 09, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think this book had a lot of great points to it that I do follow myself, and some that I would like to try out. I have listened to certain parts over again and made some useful notes to reference in the future. This has to be my 4th favorite book so far from the books that I have read, as far as self-help books. I was just a little surprised at the confidence level of the author with the definite assurance given that charisma will be achieved after reading this book. It was a good book, but no ...more
Mukesh Emes
Feb 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is really an outstanding book. Olivia Fox Cabane explains how to embrace and develop our charisma in order to become more influential. In this book she tell us what is charisma, how it can be achieved, how it can be handled and what is the effect of charisma. She says to focus on three key behaviors: presence, power, and warmth. These three key behaviours need to flow together in order to make the most of our charisma. While ending the book she also remind us that charisma a powerful tool u ...more
Jul 10, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Highly recommend for any one who feels that charisma is some inherent talent which can't be learnt. Author stresses the fact that it is like any other skill that can be picked up by anybody over a period of time. She throws light on lot of simple stuffs that charismatic people follow that can seem trivial to the rest of us. The summary and exercises at the end of the book are well curated. Good read indeed.
Nov 21, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Mar 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
really creative and succinctly put. some ideas were familiar, others very intriguing. I like that it also focuses on dealing with anxiety and the unknown. I want to read again and actually do the exercises. (borrowed audiobook, now considering buying ebook). thanks esther for the rec!
2018: Bought the audiobook, relistened to again. So good.
Dominique S
Nov 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was an insightful book and I was able to learn a lot from it. Also, I was able to figure out some new, useful methods to practice for various interactions with people.
Karen Chung
Nov 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Highly recommended. This is one of the user manuals we should have been given when first coming to this planet.
Dec 13, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
learn to delude yourself, so you can be a more convincing liar.
c'mon! all the kids are doin' it.

i had to stop reading it.
I had to give up on this one. I kept falling asleep. ;)
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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
“One of the main reasons we’re so affected by our negative thoughts is that we think our mind has an accurate grasp on reality, and that its conclusions are generally valid. This, however, is a fallacy. Our mind’s view of reality can be, and often is, completely distorted.” 11 likes
“Resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.” 6 likes
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