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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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