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4.1 out of 5 stars
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4.1 out of 5 stars
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This book is a solid introduction to the subject of having more influence that will help those who feel challenged by social situations. Self-diagnostic questions and simple examples combine to give you a good sense of what you need to work on.
The author provides a number of definitions of charisma (including the one in the title of this review), and seems to focus on "the ability to influence others positively by connecting with them physically, emotionally, and intellectually."
Daniel Goleman has written a great deal about emotional intelligence (see his books, Emotional Intelligence and Working with Emotional Intelligence), and has noted that many people lack skill in this area. For those who have little of this capability, Charisma will provide a useful toolkit for assessing and adapting successfully in social situations.
The book is organized around a few key ideas: making a good first impression, making a good impression when you speak, being an effective listener, becoming more persuasive, using physical surroundings to your advantage, maximizing adaptability to the situation, and expanding your vision and ideas. These are all good areas to focus on, and few will find that they are equally strong in each one. Once you find your weaker points, the author provides you will simple, effective suggestions for improvement.
He sums up all his thinking in a Platinum Rule: Do unto others as they would like done unto them.
If you want more advanced help in this area, you will find Goleman, Cialdini (Influence), and books on neuro-linguistic programming to be helpful.
The main point is that we should all work on our social effectiveness and comfort. All of us know more than any one of us, and we can accomplish much more together. Enjoy this stallbusting book and have more joy in your life!
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on 11 February 2003
I have always been sceptical about these self-help books. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that most of them have been advertised at some point or another on some corny, mundane American chat show (you know what I'm talking about!). Even the author of this book, Tony Alessandra, befits the chat show archetype. However, he provides, often by way of anecdotal evidence, some sound, realistic advice. And thankfully, he has avoided the use of clichéd maxims like 'You can do anything!' and 'The sky's the limit!', and given us a great deal of useable, practical advice about increasing one's charisma and, as a consequence, self-esteem.
Most of his advice is plain common sense (for example, he advises us to stand with a correct posture, look people in the eye, learn the art of attentive listening), but there are some real gems in the 'Speaking with Authority' chapter. If you either want to A.) learn how to speak publicly with more confidence, or B.) brush up on your oral presentation skills, then I strongly recommend this book, as the speaking tips contained within will go a long way to making you a more powerful and effective orator.
The only downer with this book is that Alessandra frequently plugs and praises members of the self-help fraternity. This isn't really all that off-putting, but if these other books are so great, one must ask: Then why did I buy yours!
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on 22 July 1998
This would be an excellent book on how to make an effective presentation.The problem is that the author fails to deliver the big promise of imparting charisma to the reader,which is what the book is supposed to accomplish.The author would like you to believe that anyone can have charisma,which is like saying that anyone can be a mathematician.Despite what the author says,not anyone can develop reasonable charisma,but if he had been honest he wouldn't have sold nearly as many books.People would be much better off if they better developed the tremendous abilities that they had rather than try to cultivate qualities that are hard to reach or don't exist at all.Another big lie in this genre.
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on 29 September 1998
Since I ordinarily despise "self-help" books, it took me a while to get around to opening this one up...but when I did, I was surprised at the thoughtfulness and clarity of the content. The author (or writer) is down-to-earth and a lot of the advice is actually useful. I thought the approach was a bit westernized in that the definition of "charisma" was definitely rooted in our own culture, but that part wasn't a surprise. Overall, I think there is valuable advice in this book, particularly in the area of communication. If you're in a business where image projection and communication are important, you'll probably find this book valuable.
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on 20 March 1999
The book's approach to this illusive phenomenon is built around what the author sees as the seven main components of charisma: body language, ability to speak well, active listening, persuasiveness, use of space and time, understanding and relating to others, and vision or ideas. Succinct guidelines, quizzes and lively writing make this a highly energizing and useful book.
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on 25 March 1998
Charisma by Tony Alesandra is is a very friendly book, with down-to-earth, practical information. It explains how anyone, if they're willing to follow the author's guidelines, can be more charismatic. The question, of course, is, "are you willing to follow the guidelines?" With the author's encouragement, many readers will. This is well written and I feel that anyone could get a lot of practical ideas and sound advice from this book.
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on 5 April 1998
in this very readable book . . . i think just about anybody, at any level, could pick up something by reading this informative book.
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