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

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  14,941 ratings  ·  858 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, C
Kindle Edition, 273 pages
Published March 29th 2012 by Portfolio (first published February 16th 2012)
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Alex When I went entered the business arena in 2012, I didn't have this book to reference, so I figured it all out on my own. And, I came up with the same …moreWhen I went entered the business arena in 2012, I didn't have this book to reference, so I figured it all out on my own. And, I came up with the same formula as Olivia is suggesting.

Yes, it works. Let go of having to overanalyze and be right all the time, learn to read people (HINT: listening and observing and asking questions go a long way), and be willing to adapt a fluid communication skill set (HINT: listening, asking questions once again).

Charisma is really just an invitation for others to receive more.

At the time I had a tribe of fellow business women with whom to bounce ideas and talk shop. It really helps to be around people moving forward at the same speed you are. (Doesn't that seem like the solution to all of life, really?)

This response appears to have taken on an entrepreneurial flavor, but it can work in any position or situation.(less)
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Greg Swierad
Jul 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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:
* Lear
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
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
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
Jun 23, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 detracto ...more
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
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.
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
Jul 24, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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.
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. ...more
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
Wendy Bunnell
Sep 09, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Fay Wu
Mar 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...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
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. ...more
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. ...more
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.
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.
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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 tool

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