When creating an aura of charisma, you need bucket loads of presence.
In this episode, I’m going to reveal one big secret that gave President Clinton the ability to effortlessly draw people into his world.
– So what makes Bill Clinton (and Jim Eastwood) so capable of exuding presence?
Well, according to Michael Ellsberg, author of ‘The Power of Eye Contact’ it all has to do with the number of behaviours a person employs when communicating their message to others. Ellsberg uses the jargon term ‘modalities’, which refers to simple gestures that you can use when talking to someone.
For example, winking when you talk to someone adds extra weight to your message, as does touching them. However, combining both behaviours has a synergistic effect that makes you stand out. It seems this is a key factor on how to stage presence.
Here’s a helpful list of modalities:
- Smiling & eye contact
- Raising your voice
- Facing somebody
- Touching them
- Raising an eyebrow
Ellsberg noted that Clinton employs a simultaneous mixture of ‘eye contact, smiling, touch and raising his voice’ to communicate a powerful message to his listener.
Without a doubt, Clinton’s eye contact is so powerful that Chuck Close, his portrait artist, remarked: “When he looks directly into your eyes, he has an almost laser-beam-like-lock-on thing that he does. He makes you feel like he’s really connected to you”
With that in mind, I was curious to know what was the optimal number of modalities to use at any one time if you wanted to radiate the aura of Clinton, or the Irish charm of Jedi Jim Eastwood, star of BBC’s ‘The Apprentice’ (Season 7).
I took to the streets of London and carried out five experiments to demonstrate how to stage presence.
The goal was to break the ice, using an increasing number of modalities:
- Experiment 1: Using touch
- Experiment 2: Raising my voice whilst facing them
- Experiment 3: Smiling with eye contact, and raising my voice whilst facing them
- Experiment 4: Smiling with eye contact; touch, raising my voice & facing them
- Experiment 5: Using as many behaviours as possible (frankly, being a mad person!)
It seemed using 3-4 modalities created the strongest presence, which wasn’t too overbearing for the listener. However, using less, or more, gestures came across awkward and uncalibrated in most cases. This result mirrors the behaviours of both Clinton and Eastwood and seems to be the strongest way of staging presence. Check out The Power Of Eye Contact for further explanation about this.
Exclusive Bonus Video: What The Apprentice Can Teach Us About The Hidden Art Of Charm
More treasure in The Vault! The Apprentice is a British reality television series in which a group of aspiring businessmen and women compete for the chance to work with the British business magnate Alan Sugar. One candidate, Jim Eastwood, had exceptional communication skills and I made a bonus video revealing the secret of Jim Eastwood’s Irish Charm!
You can only see it on the Your Charisma Coach Facebook Page (to find it, scroll down the wall to July 2011). Stay up to date with all the latest news and tips from myself and the Team by hitting “LIKE” once you get there!
Don’t forget to watch episode eleven, where you’ll discover the big secret behind make friends quickly and easily…