Galway Advertiser 2007/2007_05_17/GA_1705_E1_020.pdf
May 17 2007
H E A LT H
Ways to improve your charisma
* Develop a trademark that people will associate with you, a smile or sense of style. * Aim to improve your overall health and vitality. * Look people in the eye. * Develop a firm handshake. * Walk tall. Carry yourself well, keep your head erect and try not to look at your feet all the time! * Smile more. * Look your best. Aim to dress well and appropriately. Invest in a few tailored outfits which make you look and feel good. Ensure your shoes or hair do not let you down. * Work at building up your communication skills. Try to focus more on those to whom you are speaking and less on yourself. * Learn to listen better. * Adopt an optimistic attitude people warm to cheerful people faster than to negative, defeatist ones. * Be willing to expose your human frailties. Vulnerability has its own allure, look what it did for the images of Ben Dunne and the late Diana Princess of Wales. * Read widely and work at developing a good vocabulary. * Learn to love yourself unconditionally. * Build up your confidence and avoid being a ditherer at all costs. There is an attractiveness about people who know where they are going and what they want in life. * Get involved with activities and people that excite and motivate you. * Boost your energy levels. Eat healthily, get plenty of sleep and find time to relax. * Connect with people. Get involved in conversations. Share thoughts, feelings and emotions. Do not be afraid to expose your real self. * Be well mannered. Respect people's positions and viewpoints. Do not put down others or engage in point scoring or knowledge parading when in company. Work at making people feel comfortable. What have Bill Clinton, Elizabeth Taylor, the late John F Kennedy, Princess Diana and Marilyn Monroe got in common? They all possess charisma, that difficulty-to-define magnetic something which draws people to them and makes them want to listen and follow. Charismatic people are engaging and persuasive, they connect effortlessly with people and are perceived to be extraordinary. Their shortcomings are often overlooked and their talent overemphasised as people bathe in the glow of their halo effect. They come across as charming, fun, lively and energetic. People who have spoken to former US president Bill Clinton rave about how interested he appeared and of how connected and uplifted they felt as they listened to him. Even those who disagreed with his politics and the way he behaved in his personal life were often bowled over when they came faceto-face with him. The late Princess Diana wove a similar magic. She created a strong rapport with people of all ages and backgrounds. They loved her trademark coy smile, identified with her human frailties and supported her charity campaigns. Contrast that with Prince Charles, who try as he might, tends to fail to set people alight emotionally. He might wear a bespoke suit, want the best for the environment and love his sons but he is found monumentally lacking in the "C" department.
Closer to home, Finance Minister Brian Cowen may be good with numbers and indeed with stepping it out (insiders say he is a great dancer) but he was not at the top of the queue when that magical yet indefinable something was being dispensed. Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny, whom many describe as very affable, hit the headlines recently over claims he lacked the "C" word, too. Today FM DJ Ray D'Arcy accused him of being "anaemic" and "insipid" with about as much charisma as a four day old boiled potato! The Castlebar man with his eye on the Taoiseach's job laughed off the allegation but admitted he did not have "buckets of charisma to dish around". So if you are found wanting in that area how can you brush up your skills or are you doomed to a charmless cold spud life forever? Be consoled by the fact that to be charismatic you do not have to be rich, famous, a genius, good looking or have a healthy bank balance although these factors may help boost your appeal considerably. The secret lies in an ability to build a rapport with others, a positive attitude, good social skills and a genuine interest in people. Local PR consultant Mary Coen says like style, charisma is "indefinable and unquantifiable". thoughts about yourself and others. Forgiving and wishing one's adversaries well is difficult to do but is essential for one's own mental equilibrium. Writing and saying positive affirmations can improve self confidence, eg, positive affirmations such as `I love and accept myself just as I am'." The way we communicate with others, whether verbal or through our body language, speaks volumes, too. "Speak clearly and audibly. When nervous, the voice can be clipped and sound cross. Speaking softly and slowly has a calming effect on others and can diffuse heated arguments." Mary Coen believes charismatic people often share certain body language, including walking tall with back straight and using open gestures.
Developing your charisma
Mary Coen.Photo:-Mike Shaughnessy
"Yet we all know it when we encounter it. Just as true style may have little to do with fashion so charisma has little to do with good looks. In an era where western society is becoming more and more obsessed with celebrity culture, size zero bodies and plastic surgery, individual charisma stands apart."
"Closed gestures such as folded arms and legs creates barriers and says `I am not interested in you or open to your ideas'. Likewise eye contact is incredibly important and suggests not only self - confidence but also interest in others." She recommends dressing with flair and individuality. "Try to be true to your own personality rather than impersonating the style of some celebrity. Dress for comfort and to suit the occasion. If a particular colour suits you and makes you feel good then incorporate it into your dress whenever appropriate. Men can be flamboyant with colours now as shops are stocking an increasingly vibrant palette in shirts, sweaters, ties and even shoes." Health and vitality is important, also. "Nurture your body with good nutrition and avoid toxic substances. Remember exuding energy is a key element in charisma. Exercise in the fresh air and appreciate the beauty of natural surroundings. "Remember to meditate and give thanks. For most people belief in a higher power brings a great source of inner strength. Meditation has been scientifically proven to control stress as well as benefiting health and vitality. New Age gurus claim that by thanking God or the universe for abundance we attract more into our lives."
We all know someone who has that "glowing aura" quality, she says. "Famous people who have been acknowledged as having charisma include JFK, Gandhi, Churchill and Marilyn Monroe. "Each had the ability to light up a room with their presence but what they had most in common was their vibrant energy and their ability to truly connect and communicate with everyone they encountered." Poet Brendan Kennelly, Bill Clinton, the late Princess Diana and the Dali Lama have the same spellbinding qualities, she says. " Charisma cannot be cloned, moulded or handed to you as part of an elaborate makeover. I believe everyone has their own brand which can be nurtured and honed." She believes this can be achieved by thinking positively, appreciating life, becoming a good communicator and by making the most of your appearance. "Try to only entertain positive
Will Enda Kenny top Bertie Ahern in the charisma poll. Photo:-Mike Shaughnessy
Learn how to be a golden goddess this summer with a little help from Heat Wave, the summer beauty event which runs at Brown Thomas stores until May 27. Experts will be on hand to help you achieve a sunkissed glow with everything from sun protection advice to details on how best to fake it with self-tanning products. A number of international make-up artists will be on hand to recommend the best summer colours, looks and styles for face, hair and body. Expert Alan Pan will be at Brown Thomas Galway on May 22. To celebrate Heat Wave Brown Thomas in association with the Galway Advertiser is giving away five sets of Molton Brown Pure Plum Kadu shampoo and conditioner. All you have to do is send your name, address and telephone number to Heat Wave competition, Galway Advertiser, 41/42 Eyre Square, Galway by Friday 18 May.