It’s that IT factor! It’s that special something that really makes people shine. It’s a combination of confidence, energy and warmth, and an extra sparkle in the eye. It’s easy to spot, but not so easy to attain. The question is.. do you have it? And can you get it?

The answer is YES!

If you take one look at all of the American Idol contestants, there is one thing in common with the people who HAVE it. They don’t need to promote it. It shines within them and they get more respect from the judges even if they don’t have a great voice. The judges usually say, “it was nice to meet you and good luck” as opposed to “Get me OUTTA here”. Watching American Idol is a wonderful way to study the quality of “charisma” over, and over and over again.

Charismatic people come in all shapes and sizes. There are some absolutely beautiful people with no inner spark whatsoever. There are tons of incredibly overweight or not so attractive in the traditional sense, that have been gifted with tons of Charisma.

The secret? It takes WORK.. but we all have it. Here are some quick tips:

Know who you are. Then SHUT up and BE it. People who have to talk about it all the time are BORES. When you know who you are, you can focus on OTHERS and get to know them.
Be an expert at something. Be smart. Be beautiful. Be a pianist. Be a martial artist. Be a teacher. Be an expert on ants.. it really doesn’t matter… just work and work and work and WORK, until you are an EXPERT at something.
Don’t be your own judge. Compete against others. Be judged in your sport or compete somehow or get noticed by OTHERS so you KNOW that you’ve accomplished something and are an expert at it. This can take years…. so suck it up and work on your craft!
Teach others and share with others your passion. When you’ve had some successes and some failures, you’ll appreciate yourself a lot more for the work you’ve put in. Then you can tell others about it… or better yet.. just show them! And when they compliment you.. say “thank you.” Don’t gloat and don’t apologize. Just say “thank you.. and I enjoy what I do.”
Work on your personal presence. Look at people in the eyes when you talk… eyeball to eyeball. Watch yourself in the mirror to see if you can PRACTICE that “inner spark” if you don’t have it naturally. Here is a test: Say to yourself: “You just won 1 million dollars” Then look at yourself! Are you lit up like a Christmas tree? This will give you a sense of what you can be like at your best. It’s a bright eyed, sincere, and genuinely happy look. It’s NOT boring.. that’s for sure!

Certainly there are so many other things to work on like a firm handshake, small talk skills, how to get comfortable meeting new people and things like that. But when you have a starting point and realize WHO you want to be, then you will have a visual of WHAT you want to be.

I’ll leave you with an exercise: Close your eyes. Now see yourself where you want to be in 5 years. What are you wearing? What do you look like? How successful are you? What are you doing?

Carry this visual with you always. Return to it when you go to sleep at night. Wake up with it close to your heart. In time, you will become it.

Dreams take work. And you know the saying!

If it’s going to BE, it’s up to ME!