Dress well. Look confident. Control your speech.
Women in business have their arms full of struggles.
Right from maintaining the work-life balance, displaying aggression while pitching, to showing we mean business.
There's a battlefield out there, amidst which we've got to exhibit natural charisma.
As an entrepreneur, we must have the ability to attract our stakeholders.
All this is done through a combination of your choice of words, conduct, and presence.
These three form a unique pattern through which we discover our own style of presentation and branding.
Endless research in the area of presence converges at one point that presence is always felt from within.
It is not as much for others as it is for our own confidence and growth.
A strong presence leads to natural charisma, which opens doors to new and exciting opportunities.
In this article, I've shared my five favourite techniques to build natural charisma.
1. Have an open torso
No matter how much we know about this, we always end up displaying closed body gestures during a meeting.
The truth is that hiding our torso makes us look unwelcoming, as if we are showing restraint.
When in reality, we really should go all out during sales or networking.
Remember, you want to rise, you want your product/service/solution to be received well by others.
Displaying openness through your body is a great way to look easy, interested, and charismatic.
2. Chin up
This is an interesting technique, especially for women entrepreneurs.
Women are perceived to be less dynamic and progressive at work. They are considered the softer gender.
Breaking this myth is totally in our hands or I should say our chin.
A slight chin up is a great way to show engagement and progression.
As you stand or sit across your client to pitch, just chin up a bit and you will notice the difference in the response from your client.
3. Control your rate of speech
There are anxious situations when we have just a little time to present our work to the client or the jury.
In times like these, you've got to breathe deep from your diaphragm.
Diaphragmatic breathing is very calming. It brings you back in control from any nerving situation. Besides, it greatly helps in managing your rate of speech.
During presentations, most of us end up speaking too fast and fight for breath between sentences. This makes us look nervous and anxious.
One effective vocal exercise to increase your breath capacity is to speak each vowel and stretch the sound as much as you can. So in the A, E, I, O, U set; deep breathe in, and as you breathe out, pronounce the vowel sound and stretch it to your maximum breath capacity.
You will notice the change within a week of practicing this.
You will sound more relaxed in meetings, just like leaders, always calm and composed yet dynamic.
4. Work on the facial expressions
Some people look lively and enthusiastic all the time, whereas some always end up looking dull and worn out.
If you want to build natural charisma, you will have to work hard on your facial expressions. To begin with, you should try to gesture up.
This means, keep your eyes wide open and have just a little smile on your face.
I have used this technique for many clients and it has worked tremendously for them.
One client who is a senior manager in an IT firm felt a great difference in the way her team responded to her after she started gesturing up.
Facial yoga can help you immensely to achieve this.
One very effective facial exercise is to shut your eyes and mouth as hard as you can, then open them as wide as you can within the next three seconds.
Repeat this ten times. You will begin to look more pleasant, aware and charismatic within days of practicing this exercise.
5. Look good, smell good
This one surely qualifies as a cliché, but you've got to believe it.
Dressing well harms no one.
It makes us look attractive, groomed, and smart.
Add to that a good fragrance.
Always wear a perfume or a body spray. Of course too much of it kills, but a pleasant smell from your body makes you look highly charismatic.
When out for a business meeting, choose straight cuts and sharp angles and not clothes that are snug fit or too pliable.
Your authority and smartness is in fact exhibited through the shape of your garments and the patterns on your outfit. Therefore, go for small scale patterns, neutral colours, and straight-fit clothes.
These techniques are simple and highly effective. So make sure you practice enough, especially the body language moves, before you head for that next crucial business meeting so that you look like a pro.
Remember, half-baked body language can leave a bad taste so you better prepare well. Look at yourself in the mirror to evaluate yourself.
Lead image used for representational purposes only. Image: ILO Arab States/Creative Commons
The author Shreya Dhingra is a certified image coach, and the founder of Your Image and I -- an image communication consultancy.