How Nervous CEOs Sell Charisma on Camera

Illustration of two people interacting and sharing ideas

Charisma is not some mysterious force that you’re either born with or not. Charisma is a skill you can learn without becoming an extrovert or changing your personality. After reading The Charisma Myth by Olivia Fox Cabane, I’ve come to realize that the three behaviors that display charisma are the same three principals of making an impactful video performance.

Presence: Show Active Engagement With Your Topic

Charismatic people are totally engaged in your conversation, listening intently to your presentation, giving you their full focus. This behavior has a positive effect on the people around you. People enjoy being around charismatic people because it makes them feel good too.

In the same way, when you’re speaking on camera, you need to be entirely in the moment. No matter what topic you’re speaking on, your presence will help you sell the performance. You will appear confident in your message, personable, and caring.

Your most present performance will be delivered when you truly know your subject. Most people reading new material on a teleprompter or trying to memorize exact lines will come across as stiff and unnatural. Preparation with the material before shooting will give you the mental clarity to speak authentically.

Power: Conveying Confidence In Your Message

Power is all about perception. Do you have the ability to tell your story in a compelling way? When your audience perceives you as powerful, that confidence convinces them to think, say, feel, buy, or buy into your message?

The number one way to amplify your power on camera is through body language. One of the most famous strategies for giving yourself a quick confidence boost is the Superman Pose. You can read more about mastering non-verbal communication here.

Warmth: Invite Your Audience Into Your Story

Warmth is your outward compassion, altruism, willingness to impact the world in a positive way. It’s what humanizes you as a leader. And depending on the topic of your corporate video, it should probably be your top priority.

When your video is about any negative topic or major change within your company, it’s especially important to convey warmth. Addressing the elephant in the room with an inappropriate attitude can almost be worse than avoiding the elephant altogether.

On camera, your warmth is assessed not just through your body language and the way you speak. The overall manner through which you deliver your message has a great impact on the warmth you display. If you speak to employees from inside a bland conference room, your video will feel isolating and cold. Instead, executives who go into their community, shaking hands with their people, displaying real authenticity…they are best received by their most important audiences.

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“It’s one thing to understand the role of video in business communication, it’s another to know how to use video to solve actual business problems. Vern Oakley gets that.”

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