Why Entrepreneurs Need Charisma and Six Easy Ways to Project it


In today’s challenging climate, entrepreneurs need to use every tool at their disposal if they are going to succeed.  Merit and ability are rarely enough.  Charisma is a powerful asset that is free, can be developed easily and will dramatically accelerate an entrepreneur’s journey to success.


John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King and Steve Jobs had the it-factor, as do Oprah Winfrey, Bill Clinton and Sir Richard Branson.  So, what do you call that unquestionable ability to connect with and mesmerize the masses?  That quality goes by the name of charisma.

You know it when you see it, but asked to list the characteristics that make up charisma, people usually get stuck describing it as “personal magnetism,” “positive energy” or an “aura.”  They can even tell you the names of charismatic individuals, but they are unable to describe the individual qualities.

There is a popular myth that charisma is a natural quality that cannot be learned or developed.  That’s exactly what it is, a myth.  Scientists have now confirmed that while some individuals may have innate elements of charisma, much of this “magic” is made up of a set of behaviors that can be learned.

Charisma Increases an Entrepreneur’s Chances of Success

Charismatic entrepreneurs find it easier to:

• Develop relationships with customers, investors and colleagues

• Influence and persuade others.

• Steer their company and their team through stormy waters.

• Raise funding.

• Get media coverage.

6 Simple Ways to Project Charisma

Focus on developing and projecting the following behaviors and you’ll create a smoother, faster path to success.

1. Convey Self Assuredness and Confidence

Entrepreneurs are leaders, trailblazers and warriors who overcome huge challenges.  For people to believe in you, you have to demonstrate unshakable self-belief.  You can never let anyone other than your closest and most trusted confidants know your fears.

2. Have Huge Amounts of Energy

To build and launch a startup requires huge amounts of energy.  When you radiate energy, you lift and motivate people around you.  In contrast to those energy vampires who sap your energy when you meet them, you want to make sure you leave people feeling energized.  You do that for them and they will be far more motivated to work with and help you.  So treat good diet and exercise as being one of your keys to success.

3. Be Passionate and Positive

When you are passionate about something, your ability to move people goes off the chart.  Passion is one of the best ways to connect with people and connection is essential if you want to influence people.  The same applies to being positive.  You want to make sure you always make people feel good after meeting you.

4. Act with Integrity

Charismatic individuals partly influence others through their moral authority.  People will go the extra mile for a person they believe has integrity.  When explaining why they invested in a certain CEO, investors will often refer to the entrepreneur’s integrity and decency.

5. Be Approachable and Down to Earth

If you want to exert greater influence through charisma, then you must be approachable.  Communication should be person-to-person rather than role-to-role.  An entrepreneur’s door should always be open and they should be out in the world mixing with the people, not hiding behind a computer screen.

Bill Clinton understood this principle well.  His morning runs with people from all walks of life were legendary.  Whilst running, he would frequently stop and talk with amazed onlookers.  In the White House, Clinton would often be found in the staff canteen, having lunch with the regular staff.  He was reputed to have spent more time out of the White House during his presidency than any other President.  In short, Bill Clinton went out of his way to be approachable, a man of the people, and the people loved him for it.

6. Use Charismatic Body Language

Body language accounts for at least 55% of our communication impact.  Charismatic individuals effectively use their body language to project charisma.  Smile frequently, make good eye contact and use open postures and your perceived charisma will dramatically increase before you even open your mouth.

Reprinted by permission.

About the author: Martin Soorjoo

Founder of The Pitch Clinic, Martin Soorjoo is a pitch strategist. He coaches entrepreneurs world-wide, helping them launch and raise funding. Prior to founding The Pitch Clinic, Martin spent 15 years as a former award winning attorney. He has worked with start-ups and investors, including senior investment bankers, venture capitalists and angel investors. During this period Martin raised several million dollars, including negotiating one deal worth $75 Million. This experience has equipped him with unique insights into the challenges start-ups face and how investors make decisions. He is a Certified Master Practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) and an expert in body language.

Martin is the author of ‘Here’s the Pitch‘.

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