I recently caught up with an artist friend who has inspired me over the years by showing reality in her presence online (both good days AND bad), while always seeming to find the gifts in even rotten circumstances.
As we talked, she explained to me that she sees life similarly to how she sees her paintings. She can say, "Ugh..." to herself over and over if she's not satisfied or confident about a piece she's working on, but instead of going to that negative headspace, she tells herself one key phrase:
"It's not finished."
Then she continues working the painting through its awkward "puberty" stage until she DOES like it. She can't describe exactly what it will look like in the end, but she connects with how it will make her FEEL--the emotion she wants to convey. Once she gets to that goal feeling, she knows its done.
Similarly, I do this with audiences when I sing, and speakers/dancers/other creative disciplines also take this principle to heart: determine the target feeling and energy you want your audience to experience. Then get into that mindset/feeling and project that energy with your body. Embodying the emotion will help you more naturally find the right words/body language/etc. to convey it to others.
This is one of the core secrets of charisma.
Working hard to "be charismatic" can actually make charisma MORE elusive to you.
Instead, focus on connecting to a FEELING and practice letting your instincts guide you. The more you do this, the more you'll learn to trust yourself, and the more charisma you'll be able to project.
Just in case you don't believe me, here's one additional example :)
I don't remember when this particular artist friend and I met many years ago. But I remember her ENERGY. I remember the excitement I felt talking with her as we started hatching creative ideas/projects together.
And when she and I talked tonight--even though it has been several years since we last connected--that same electric energy was in the Zoom room with us.
What energy do you think you're giving off to others? What energy do you WANT to give off? And are these two things aligned?
Ask a few close friends to see what they say. They often notice things we can't see for ourselves.
Ashley Orlando is a jazz vocalist/ukulele artist and coach who helps growth-focused leaders find their voice, grow their presence & amplify their impact.