“How do I develop charisma?”

If this is a question you’ve asked yourself then you’re not alone. 

Charisma is one of the most sought after skills by speakers, leaders, and executives all around the world; but can it be acquired or are you born with it?

The good news is that like any skill, it can be developed, but how? Can you simply act with charisma and be thought of as charismatic?

Charisma is an abstract term; no single definition exists. Like beauty, it is in the eye of the beholder. 

Sure, charismatic people have certain traits; self-confidence, optimism, a twinkle in their eye, and sizzle in their soul that resonates outwards; but charisma is a two-sided coin.

You don’t have to be full of boundless energy like Richard Branson, creating multiple companies across countless industries to be considered charismatic. 

Gandhi, too, had charisma: a peaceful presence that won over the crowds through gentle persuasion and persistence.

The key to developing charisma begins with a single step though:


Deep self-reflection into who you are and what you stand for is required, because the only way to persuade others to your way of thinking is to first know exactly what you think and feel about your given subject.

If you want to talk about positivity, for instance, you must first be unwavering in your outwards positivity towards life. 

I have coached clients who want to speak about confidence, but they stand on stage “shaking like a field of beaten corn”, to quote Shakespeare.

I’ve also coached clients who want to talk about resilience, but they seemingly break-down when their deadline approaches and can’t handle the pressure. 

It’s fine to lack confidence, or feel stressed, but until you are living the life you talk about you will never radiate the outward confidence and inner resolve required to persuade your listeners to take action.

I know what some of you are thinking: “Can’t I just fake it till I make it?”

Well, I have some seriously important news for you. Faking charisma is one of the most dangerous choices you can make in life. 

The ‘cloak of charisma’ is one of the most powerful dark arts that we possess as humans. 

The ability to convince others that we are positive, confident, passionate, in love, or healthy through our smile, gestures and a warm glow is a recipe for disaster. 

How many times have you seen a celebrity or even a friend die from suicide or have a mental breakdown who seemed perfectly fine and even appeared to be enjoying life immensely? 

Robin Williams, Marilyn Monroe, and Heath Ledger come to mind and these are the most profile figures. 

There are millions out there today who pretend to be living lives of wealth, health, and happiness behind their Instagram filters; and we will never know if they need our help because they are good at masking the truth. 

Vulnerability is a key ingredient to true charisma. The ability to tell people about your struggle is another part of the charisma puzzle that will draw audiences to you. 

Creating a charisma cloak is definitely possible, but the longer you wear that mask, the more life it takes from you and eventually you can be left broken beyond repair. 

This is why it’s so important to develop authenticity and strength beneath your outward appearance. 

Charisma is not an elixir to be taken before a speech or a mask to wear to the ball; it is a deep curation of skills and resources that allow you to be who you truly are and radiate an outward energy force that pulls your audience in.

The only way to develop it is to know your values, beliefs, and vision so strongly that the truth cannot be contained. When you reach this moment you will not be able to contain your excitement, your vision, or your ideas and your audience will arrive

At Project Charisma, we are on a mission to help one million people develop deep-centred authentic charisma to lead the future.

The development of confidence, charisma, and presence is an ongoing process that requires the same development as gym-work, writing, or relationships: with continuous effort, they bloom; but with neglect, they wilt and die.

We won’t show you how to wear a cloak or a mask at Project Charisma. We will support you to develop your voice, your body, and your mind to align with your purpose. Through our workshops and programmes you will become more confident in yourself and more centred on your purpose. 

I know how you feel because I was there. I lacked confidence, I lacked ‘natural talent’ and my voice was meek. 

It’s only with effort and the development of particular skills that I am now able to speak to hundreds and thousands of people every year without the crippling anxiety I used to suffer. 

Come and join our next workshop and we will work with you to ensure you never have to say no to any presentation, networking event, or job interview. 

You can develop charisma and we will show you how.

Danny Riley – Public Speaking Coach

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How to Develop Charisma

Danny Riley

A corporate trainer, award-winning speaker, TEDx Speaker coach, and Distinguished Toastmaster. Danny designs and delivers Leadership Development Programmes as well as coaching professional speakers. He is a Chartered Manager, a member of the CIPD, and dedicates his life to developing executives who want to deliver more persuasive pitches and presentations.

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