I am not somebody who finds it easy being with people. I have always been awkward, and my natural first reaction at every turn of a conversation, is self-doubt.
The echoes of my formative years live long – my desperation to be liked and accepted at school, and how in my stuggle to find a sense of self worth, I would in turns be so desperate to fit in that I lost myself, and then be so desperate to stand out that I would be either ridiculous or unbearably opinionated.
To this day I still sense the old insecurities – but they no longer define me. I have had to learn how to shine. I have had to learn confidence, learn to lead, learn to captivate and enrapture an audience, learn to speak with confidence and authority in meetings and social settings as well as on stage. I have also had to focus on finding and removing the habits that have grown out of my insecurities, which create distance between myself and the people I wish to connect with.
These days, when asked why they choose my act, whether it is corporate clients or Royal Families, the answer is the same. They book my act because of my ability to connect with people.
So while I am most definitely still learning, my greatest weakness has become my greatest strength.
It is this journey that gives me something to say about charisma. The fact that I have had to discover it for myself, has given me a practical insight into what it actually is – and belief that if I can find charisma, then so can anyone.