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Trying to Build Charisma? Pay Attention to How You Speak

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Have you ever listened to yourself talking and said how on earth do I sound that terrible? Most of us don`t realize they have voice issues until we accidentally listen to our voice or seek professional help. But the truth is, 38 percent of your charisma comes from the way you talk.

The more appealing your voice is to people, the more trust they`ll put in you, but the opposite is also true. Stuttering, talking too fast, not breathing properly, can ruin your charisma and make people unable to enjoy your company.

Here are a few things you can do to sound more charismatic anytime you open your mouth:

Learn how to talk slowly

Talking fast is anti-charismatic. I was a fast talker, in fact, I was the quickest talker my debate team ever had – a teacher whispered to me fifteen years ago – and it drove me crazy until I did the right thing and hired a coach. What I learned later was so simple, yet so useful, and it helped me to this day control the rate at which I speak.

First off, you need to figure out your exact rate of speech. Get an article and record yourself reading it at your natural rate for 2-5 minutes. Now, divide the total number of words you`ve read over the total number of minutes and you`ll get your words per minute count “wpm.” If your rate exceeds 175 wpm then you, my friend, are a fast talker and we need to change that.

How? Pay attention to the rate at which most people talk, especially on TV and radio. You need to get a feeling for how fast you should speak and bring that feeling into your consciousness. Next, set some time every morning to read out loud. Practice the same article/passage you started with earlier until you can hold it to +160 wpm. Once you`re okay with it, move to different reading materials.

“Each time we face our fear, we gain strength, courage, and confidence in the doing.” – Theodore Roosevelt

The third step is to bring what you`ve practiced to you daily life. Each day, pick one person and dedicate the entire conversation to speaking at a controlled pace. If you`re in this with someone, ask them to stop you as soon as you begin to talk faster. When this happens, stop, adjust, and get back to your controlled pace. You may feel pretentious but stay on the line. The more you practice, the more comfortable you will feel.

Use the power of pausing

Charisma is the mix between being liked and being equally respected. You need to convey power and you need to convey warmth both at the same time. And you can do this using two simple tricks: First, start reducing how quickly you reply to people and add more pauses to your speeches. Whenever it`s your turn to speak, pause for a couple of seconds before saying your first word. The second trick is to lower your tone at the end of important sentences to make an impact. Simply raise your voice at the beginning of the last sentence then go downhill from there.

Warm up every morning

If you have a morning routine, which I recommend you do, then you should integrate a few exercises to warm up you voice for a stronger tone and better pronunciation. This is what any self-respected voice coach will tell you.

So how to warm up? There are many things to do, some of which are:

  • Blowing through your lips
  • Blowing through tongue
  • Doing circles with your tongue and touching all your teeth
  • Yawning to exercise your soft palate

Overcome indecisiveness

You can call him wicked, morally corrupt or dishonest but how do you think Donald Trump has got his way into the White House? You can`t deny the fact that without his unbelievable conviction, the man who spends more time on Twitter than presidents of the P5 group combined wouldn`t have beaten all the odds and won the election.

The world, my friend, is a place where your ideas can mean nothing without the conviction to back them up. Hell, you can have people follow your utter nonsense and call you a leader with enough confidence and a few sharp words sprinkled on top of it. Several studies found that people follow leaders for the faith they convey not the ideas they pose, so imagine if you have both the right ideas and the rock-solid conviction in them. You`ll rock the world and bend it to your will.

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

From my research, there are three ways to induce conviction in your conversations: preparation, intonation, and controlled practicing.

  • Preparation: Rehearsing what you`ll say before important meetings will help you sound more confident. Pick three interesting topics to talk about as you leave home, it`ll only take five minutes.
  • Intonation: Elevate your pitch as you stress over important words and keep it down as you finish a major sentence. Notice the difference between the following phrases: You can`t talk to me this way. You can “NOT” talk to me this way… Ever. Same words but different degrees of power. By raising your voice as you say “NOT,” you force the other person to take your words seriously. Watch CNN and see how reporters use a wide range of tones as they speak. Mimic them.
  • Controlled practicing: The next time you`re out with your buddies, pick a topic you know nothing about and talk about it with absolute conviction as if you`re the baddest badass of that topic. Eight times out of ten, your friends will accept your POV without much resistance. Pick-up artists use this exercise to overcome indecisiveness, and there`s nothing to stop you from using it to build your confidence.

So, where to start? Obviously, the best thing to do is hire a voice coach. They will hold you accountable and make sure you do the exercises on time. Warren Buffett still has his Dale Carnegie public-speaking certificate hung on his wall because of how it improved his life.

But what if you can’t afford a coach? Then I suggest you at least do 5 minutes of warming up each morning and set aside 10 more for reading out loud. If you can guarantee those 15 minutes every day for a year, then I’m sure your charisma will multiply.

How do you build charisma? Comment below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Aaron Force

    Mar 23, 2018 at 4:07 am

    You are so right about the power of the pause, Marwan. I think it could single-handedly be the mark of maturity for a speaker. It puts a person in true command of their words which is a key ingredient in charisma. Thank you again for these great reminders!

  2. Tanrose Anomuogharan

    Mar 20, 2018 at 4:56 am

    Beautiful article Jamal. Thank you for the tips. What i need to grow my charisma. Am a fast talker. Will use these mentioned points to become a better talker.

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Life

6 Reasons Why You Should Never Glorify Failure After You’ve Failed

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Many people are ashamed of failure. If they so much as smell a whiff of failure, they quit instantly because the public notices it quickly. But you shouldn’t be ashamed of failure. A lot of people have failed. I’ve failed over and over again in my career, business, relationships and more. Yet, I keep trying because failure isn’t the final verdict. (more…)

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How to Move Forward When All Seems Lost

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A few weeks ago, the relationship of my venture with a long-term client turned rocky. Losing them would mean a huge loss for my business, but it appeared like that’s where we were headed. My mind raced with unpleasant thoughts. Maybe the client had figured out that I couldn’t lead my team well. Maybe I was not good enough to be an entrepreneur. Maybe I was not good enough to do anything.

Why was the world so unfair?! Within moments, my anxiety had shot through the roof and my heart was racing faster than an F1 car engine. But I know I’m not the only one who feels like this.

Why Problems Overwhelm Us

As human beings, we’re good at solving problems, so they shouldn’t stress us out. Yet, they do just that. Why?

Consider some of these situations in life. When a relationship is headed for troubled waters, we wonder whether our partner loves us anymore. Our mind unearths memories of when we got dumped or rejected. We blame ourselves for falling for the wrong people and tell ourselves that we’re not worth receiving love.

How do you think the relationship will steer after that? If we cannot stick to a diet, we think of other times when we gave up. We remember what people said about things that we couldn’t do and ask ourselves, “were they right?” We tell ourselves that we don’t have what it takes to succeed at anything.

Do you think we’ll find the grit to stick to the diet after this? So here we are… thinking we’re not good enough to be entrepreneurs, to be loved, to get promoted, or to achieve our personal goals. Notice a pattern yet? We move in the wrong direction. The destination is to achieve the goal. And unless we stop giving into emotions and start addressing situations, we’ll keep failing to get there.

Negative emotions (and even extremely positive ones) blur our vision. The more we focus on them, the deeper we go into how we feel. We either get angry because things aren’t the way we want them to be, or get paralyzed by the fear of the worst possible outcome. This means we pull away from the one thing we must do to set things right — take action.

“If you can’t sleep, then get up and do something instead of lying there and worrying. It’s the worry that gets you, not the loss of sleep.” – Dale Carnegie

How to Take Action in the Face of Problems

Most human beings are good at solving problems. Where we get blindsided is at diagnosing the right problem. To diagnose the right problem, we must address the situation instead of emotions. We must see things for what they are, collect facts on what we’re worrying about, and then ask ourselves, “What should I do next?”

In his book “How to Stop Worrying and Start Living”, Dale Carnegie wrote: “Neither you nor I nor Einstein nor the Supreme Court of the United States is brilliant enough to reach an intelligent decision on any problem without first getting the facts.”

To address the tricky situation with my client, I took the following three steps:

1. First, I acknowledged the feeling

Solving a problem doesn’t mean ignoring emotions. It’s important to acknowledge how you feel because it reveals the path, but domesticating your emotions is more important. I acknowledged how I felt by saying, “I feel anxious because the client might not want to work with us anymore and this will be a financial loss for us.”

Note how I said “I feel anxious” and not “I’m a loser.” If I had given into negative chatter, I wouldn’t have uncovered the direction to move in (the part after “because”). This is why domesticating emotions is crucial.

2. Next, I prepared for the worst

We often run from our worst fears rather than facing them despite knowing that the worst outcome rarely comes true. The result is that we stay stuck in fear instead of pushing beyond it. And we never discover what we’re really capable of, which sucks.

In my case, the worst meant losing the client. It would hurt but it was the truth. However, we could get more clients. Plus we already had other clients who helped us pay the bills. In other words, I wouldn’t have to live on the street.

The moment I accepted this, a huge weight got lifted off my chest. This prepared me for the third and final step.

“Expect the best. Prepare for the worst. Capitalize on what comes.” – Zig Ziglar

3. Lastly, I examined the situation

Examining a situation means setting aside your emotional baggage and focusing on facts. When you trust that you’ll be okay, you become better at diagnosing the real problem. Once I felt lighter, I could see things clearly.

I used the 5 Whys Technique (asking “why” five times) to figure out the real reason for the client’s dissatisfaction. Then I collected data on the issue and on what we had previously delivered.

Finally, I reached out to the CEO of the client and held a detailed and constructive discussion based on my findings. Within four days, the CEO and I were back to the way things were before.

The best way to prepare for tomorrow is to give today your best. I’m not sure whether the issue with the client got resolved for good or whether the client won’t pack up and leave one day. However, I am sure that I’m prepared to handle such cases better today than I was yesterday.

Control your emotions instead of letting them run amok. Accept things for what they are instead of what you want them to be. Be realistic instead of delusional. Address the situation instead of succumbing to emotions.

Don’t preempt what lies ten miles ahead and get paralyzed by fear. Address what lies clearly in front of you and keep moving. One day you’ll be surprised about how close to your destination you are.

How do you move forward when all hope seems to be lost? Share your advice below!

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8 Effective Tips to Improve Your Emotional Wellbeing

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You know what they say, “Health Is Wealth”. But, more often than not, we only mean it in the context of physical health. There’s no question that being fit is the world’s greatest treasure. Unfortunately, not a lot of us take time out to look after our emotional health and wellbeing.

Let’s not forget – it’s ‘Mind Over Matter’. So, if you are able to take control of your emotions, thoughts, how you feel through the day and how you respond to myriad situations; there’s nothing quite like it. When you become the master of your emotions; health, prosperity, and basically all good things are bound to follow you.

With that said, here are 8 surefire ways that will improve your emotional wellbeing:

1. Practice Mindfulness

Half the time, we don’t even know what we’re thinking or how we’re feeling. That’s because we let our minds operate on autopilot. It’s time to take control of your mind. Be aware of what and how you feel throughout the day. The upside to this practice is that you can detect negative emotions right on the onset and quickly change them and their corresponding feeling.

Feelings of anger, jealousy, hatred; they are not good for the mind, soul, or the body. Paying close attention to the spectrum of emotions you experience throughout the day, will help you detect the negative ones and kick them away before they fester deep enough to take away your happiness and emotional health.

2. Stay Physically Active

As you engage in physical activities, your brain produces a whole bunch of feel-good hormones such as endorphins and dopamine. These hormones are what causes the ‘elated’ or ‘euphoric’ feeling. Being physically active uplifts your mood and your outlook towards life. It readies you to take the challenges more head-on instead of becoming overwhelmed by the littlest of inconvenience.

You are better able to analyze tough situations and take a more proactive rather than a reactive approach. It’s no question physical health is in direct proportion with emotional health. A healthy mind resides in a healthy body and vice versa.

“Caring for the mind is as important and crucial as caring for the body. In fact, one cannot be healthy without the other.” – Sid Garza-Hillman

3. Get Sufficient Sleep

Ever noticed how you feel depressed and cranky, and just out of focus the day you fail to get a good night’s sleep? Well, if you fail to get sufficient sleep for a couple of days, you are bound to feel more depressed, cranky and eventually more prone to a host of negative emotions. Research shows that sleep deprivation sends amygdala – our brain’s emotional response center into overdrive.

Amygdala controls our immediate emotional responses. When it becomes overactive, we become more reactive rather than active. We become more irritable, angry and anxious. A good night’s sleep is vital to improving your emotional wellbeing.

4. Develop a New Hobby

Learn to swim. Try arts and crafts. How about painting? Swimming is a ‘happy’ activity. You get to make new friends and stay fit. Arts and crafts, as we all know, tends to have a relaxing effect on the mind and the nerves.

Just the process of creating something from scratch makes you confident and gets those creative juices flowing. Similarly, painting helps you express yourself. All these factors together create a ‘happy you’. The one who likes to engage in new things instead of resisting change or difficult situations.

5. Eat Healthy

Ever heard of the phrase, “You are what you eat”? Well, it’s true to the last syllable. When you eat foods rich in salt, sodium, fat – you are bound to feel lethargic. It takes longer for the body to digest such foods. That means the body is forced to deprive organs of blood and use it for the digestion purpose.

Result? You become lazy, moody, not ready to take any responsibility which leads to feeling cranky and irritable. On the other hand, eating fibrous vegetables, fruits, salads, and complex sugars keeps you upbeat and healthy.

6. Laugh Your Heart Out

Laughter is the best medicine. That is why they have a dedicated ‘laughter session’ in yoga studios. You don’t even have to mean it. The simple act of spreading your cheeks and pretending to laugh sends a signal to your body that you are happy.

And what happens when you are happy? Your brain releases happy hormones like dopamine, serotonin and what not. In fact, many studies have gone so far as to stipulate that laughter alone is capable of treating all kinds of physical ailments. Why should emotional ailments be any different?

7. Try Relaxation Techniques

‘’Visualization technique’’ where you imagine yourself in a happy place is a surefire way to calm your nerves if you find yourself distressed. You may also try praying to elate yourself. Praying is good for the mind and the soul.

Controlled breathing or ‘biofeedback technique’ are some other relaxation techniques that can tame how you feel and even your bodily functions. Try surrounding yourself with aromatherapy or scented candles because the smell is a big factor in governing how we feel.

“Positive emotional energy is the key to health, happiness and wellbeing. The more positive you are, the better your life will be in every area.” – Brian Tracy

8. Count Your Blessings

We all have so much to be thankful for. It could be a friend who stands by you or a happy family. Good health. Financial freedom. Make a list of all the things that you feel grateful for in your life. If it’s a person, be sure to communicate your feelings and express your gratitude.

You will feel so much happier. Happiness is the diet of a healthy mind and an intelligent emotional response mechanism. You could also try writing a poem or simply expressing your gratitude through the power of prayers.

There are so many ways to become emotionally intelligent and not one of them requires any investment or special skills. Practically anyone and everyone can do it. All you need is the will and the desire.

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How You Can Use the Power of Gratitude to Your Advantage

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The word gratitude has been tossed around, but do you know exactly what it means or how to implement it into your life? Someone has probably told you in your life, “Express more gratitude.” Well, that sounds like a great idea, but if you don’t know what gratitude is, how can you fully express it in your life? It’s a concept that once you grasp, it will change your life. (more…)

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