So lets break Charisma down again, into its sub parts; power, likability and attractiveness. Power is communicated by several factors most related to alpha characteristics. Two of those are size and bulk. Research shows that the tallest and heaviest presidential candidate out of the last two candidates is more likely to win the popular vote and is more likely to be re-elected. Power is also communicated by gestures. Research shows that Charismatic leaders use gestures, in fact, four times as many as others do when they talk. Charismatic speakers from Bill Clinton and Martin Luther King from Cesar Chavez to Donald Trump are charismatic people we see as punctuating almost every sentence with a strong gesture. You don’t have to be tall if you move and speak in an alpha manner. For example, Hitler worked on all of his nonverbal communication to present the proper image at the proper time. He wasn’t born with the number one alpha characteristic height but he could use strong alpha poses and gestures and an angry loud voice. Which leads us to the next power nonverbal set of behaviors anger.
Anger also rouses people to action and Hitler wanted to make his audiences angry enough to change the status quo.
Human silhouette. Researches in neuroscience have found that there is “brain” in the eye whose sole job is to read human silhouette. If we see a human silhouette that takes up lots of space and has angular sharp edges it sends a message quickly to our primitive limbic brain that there could be danger and that the person with that silhouette is powerful. So, guess what, we pay attention to them, we watch their every move, they captivate us and we may anoint that person with power. Here is an example: Hitler did what many leaders have done worked on iconic image, his silhouette. He understood that he had to create a nonverbal image to imprint on the brains of his audiences. When you think of your image of Hitler you typically imagine Hitler’s sharp angular large gesturing angry silhouette. The viewer thinks this man is powerful and dangerous.
The next charismatic factor is likability. So who smiles the most? Who makes the most focused eye contact when being interviewed? Who looks into the camera? Who do we think of as being out in the crowd connecting smiling and shaking hands? Who has the most positive uplifting body language and messaging?
The last is attractiveness. Who has the most facial and body symmetry. Who is the hotly?Who looks the most fit and energetic?
Take the three Charismatic factors, Power, Likability and Attractiveness and look for them in all the candidates. Who has them all and shows them the most will win the popular vote.
Patti Wood, MA, Certified Speaking Professional - The Body Language Expert. For more body language insights go to her website at www.PattiWood.net. Check out Patti's website for her new book "SNAP, Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language and Charisma" at www.snapfirstimpressions.com. Also check out Patti's YouTube channel at http://youtube.com/user/bodylanguageexpert.