The Secret to Presidents’s Charisma

When we look at Charismatic presidents like Barack Obama or Nelson Mandela, we notice that they have the uncanny ability to get along with just about anyone. One moment they can be dancing on live television in front of the world and easily transition to presidential formality when the situation calls for it. All the while maintaining a balance of authority and approachability.

So what is the secret to their charisma? Is it something only leaders are born with? The truth is confidence is definitely a part of it, but charisma isn’t just about you feeling better about yourself, it’s about investing time and effort in other people. Charisma is about making connections resulting in positive relationships.

As a result, we decided to look into the five factors we believe are needed to make you a charismatic leader that others will be inspired to follow:


Taking an interest

The key quality of charismatic people is their ability to take a genuine interest in people. When a president takes an interest in someone it has a profound effect on people in reference to their social standing. Take Nelson Mandela for example, he was well known for his ability to recall the smallest detail about someone he had only met once before. This showed that he had taken an interest in the people he had spoken to, and the public absolutely loved him for it.

After all, the most endearing person is the person who takes an interest in others.


What’s the rush?

Presidents that have always captured the public’s admiration had a sense of their timing. When they walked into a room, they would pause and allow the crowd to see them before casually walking in. When they spoke they used pauses to emphasize their points. These are all signs of confidence and authority.


Presidential Attire

First impressions happen within the first five seconds of meeting someone. This means from the moment a person walks in the room, people have judged them, summed them up and placed them in a box before they have said a word.

The way a person dresses affects how they behave and engage with people as well as setting the tone for all those interactions.  It is called ‘Enclothed Cognition’, you perform better when you are dressed better. Your image also needs to match the occasion and the perception you are trying to create.


Body Language Experts

In addition to being in full control of their nonverbal impression, they are also able to ensure that their verbal behaviour matches their physical behaviour.  Your body language accounts for 55% of your communication.  Therefore the savvy president knows how to convey the correct message through strategic use of his body.  Are you aware of the perception you are creating?



Presidential Greetings

One of a President’s biggest jobs is going on official engagements. This means greeting, and charming, thousands of people each year. Luckily, the etiquette is simple. Make direct eye contact, give a firm handshake (avoid more than two pumps) and smile.

The greatest secret to being charismatic rests on one’s ability to engage with people and make them feel important.  Remember every president has been trained and has learnt these skills.  So don’t worry if you don’t possess many of these skills yet, you can hone them and build up a social fitness that will eventually lead you to possessing a charisma that appears to be a natural character trait, when in actual fact it is a learnt and refined skill.