At TEDx Cardiff , I got two provoking opinions out of the afternoon: that
prison engenders creativity and that we should forgo environmental
targets in favour of measures. Watching speaker after speaker, it
reminded me of an oft-asked question: what is charisma and how do you
Now the idea of charisma often puts us on the defensive. We feel we
are being hoodwinked by snake oil salespeople using communication
techniques we are not aware of. They seduce us in with confiding tone of
voice and irresistible eye contact and before we know it, we succumb to
But the skills of charisma are about relating to others and means of
delivery of a message – with the content coming later. They involve
understanding that we receive each other via our senses, reason, emotion
and fantasy. And all at the same time…
So, leaping in to the skin of a charismatic speaker, how do you make us feel?
You’ll have rapport with us, have considered our concerns and why
we’ve turned up at the event. You’ll reveal your emotions about your
subject to us. For our fantasies, you’ll offer us hope of some description, enthusiasm being the most contagious quality. And for our reasoning, we’ll get a sense that you know your stuff and show clear analysis of context and priority.
Then when you turn up in front of us, we’ll sense ‘This person has
come here with a mission and has humanity we connect to’. To prepare,
you won’t have gone far wrong with the Engage, Inform, Action formula
There was both sense of mission and humanity at #TedxCDF yesterday and big thanks to the organizers for helping us sample them.