When it comes to charisma, we’ve been told, “You’re either born with it or you’re not.”
In truth, we are all born with charisma.
Unfortunately, throughout our lives, we’ve been taught to suppress our emotions, our life force, and our feminine power. We’ve been told, both consciously and unconsciously, “Don’t be too big. Don’t be too much. Don’t be too emotional.” Society asks us to hide our natural radiance in order to “fit in.” So, we put on masks that suppress our innate, feminine power.
That charisma, that power, still lives inside each of us, waiting to be tapped and unleashed.
How can we reconnect to and unleash our feminine charisma when it counts?
Root in Your Soul’s Purpose
When we say “yes” to speaking in public, we tend to be connected to our Soul’s Purpose (even if that’s a subconscious connection.) Then, in between that first “yes” and the moment of truth, our soul suckers™ try to take over. Our soul suckers (aka inner critics) come from lack. They see everything through a “not enough” lens. When they’re in charge of how we show up, they “disaster trip:” envisioning the worst possible outcome, and then attempt to avoid that disaster at all costs. They chatter incessantly in our inner ear, saying things like: “Don’t say the wrong thing!” Don’t show too much emotion.” “You’d better outrun everyone’s boredom – talk fast!”
If, instead, we connect to our Soul’s Purpose, and allow our Soul to drive how we show up everything changes. We can then focus on our audience and what our Soul wants for them. Imagine focusing on inspiring, awakening or giving your audience hope, and then watching that happen right before your eyes.
Breathe Life into the Experience
One of the main ways we suppress our emotions is by restricting our breathing. Picture a baby. When babies cry, even before they speak, they take full, expansive, nourishing breaths. They then use that breath to support the sound of their voices. A baby’s cry can be heard on the other side of the house. Even without words, we feel what they’re trying to communicate.
As we grow up and are taught to suppress, hide, and fit in, we develop habits of, as Mary Oliver said, “Breathing just a little and calling it a life.” We suppress our breath and then strain our muscles in order to be heard. (No wonder many of us lose our voices if asked to speak for any significant length of time.)
Breathing life into the experience means nourishing our bodies with breath and then using that breath to nourish and support the sound of our voices. We’re capable of a vocal resonance beyond most of our wildest dreams.
Breathing life into the experience also means fully embracing both the words and the silences between them. In music, the space is as important as the notes. It’s the white space that reveals the image in visual art. In speaking, it’s the silence that reveals the meaning. It’s during the silence that our listeners have the chance to digest what we’re saying – intellectually and, more importantly, emotionally.
(The silence is also a convenient time to take that nourishing breath!)
With every breath, every word, every silence, invite people to come with you as you fulfill your Soul’s purpose. While, if you’re speaking in public, you may be doing the majority of the talking, there is a conversation happening. Listen to your audience’s non-verbal half of the conversation. Energize the space by wrapping the crowd up in your energetic arms. Savor every image that you say as if you were savoring a piece of delicious dark chocolate, a bite of tasty cheese, or a glass of fine wine.
At this moment in time, we desperately need more women who are ready to stand in their power and speak their truth. We need more feminine charisma in the world. Each of us has that lost charisma inside, just waiting to be re-born.
You may also like: Ask to Learn New Things: Six Steps to Expand Your Feminine Power
About Lauri Smith:
Lauri Smith, author of Your Voice Matters: A Guide to Speaking Soulfully When It Counts, is an inspirational speaker, educator and coach. Lauri’s passion is helping change-makers stand in their power and speak their truth – from the bedroom, to the Boardroom to the TED Talk Stage. She helps each and every client she works with to unleash their innate, unique charisma, so that they can make their mark in the world. She helps leaders do more than communicate, she helps them move people.
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