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Westside Toastmasters is located in Los Angeles and Santa Monica, California


Charm in Action

Charm: A quality that exerts an irresistible power to please and attract.


A personal story as a testament to the power of charm: It was back in the eighties that my awareness of the power of charm really took root. A friend of ours in Los Angeles phoned to invite my wife Nicky and me to a reception for Ivan Berold and his wife Maryanne. They had recently arrived here from South Africa. Ivan, a handsome devil and a good actor and friend, is someone I had known during my theater days in South Africa.

We arrived at their home that Saturday afternoon and joined the crowd in the garden. People were milling around the bar and, of course, Ivan and Maryanne. We greeted each other warmly and then the four of us proceeded to "fill up" at the inviting buffet tables.

Later that afternoon I saw Nicky and Ivan talking to each other, and I noticed that my dear, normally levelheaded wife seemed entranced by him. I thought, "What on earth is going on? She's behaving like a teenybopper." An irrational pang of jealousy shot through me and I hurried over to join them.

The Power of Fascination

Soon after, I said to Nicky, "What is so fascinating about Ivan that you looked mesmerized by him?"

She thought for a moment and said, "When he speaks to you, it's as though you're in a cocoon with him. No one exists in the world for him but you. And when he listens, he listens as though every word you say is important and needs his undivided attention."

When I thought about it, I realized she was absolutely right. Ever since I've known him, he has displayed that same quality when he's with anyone. He radiates charm continuously. That's why Ivan is very much a lady's man and very much a man's man, too.

A Lifelong Interest Leads to These Simple Rules

Though this event happened more than twenty years ago, I remember it like it was yesterday. As my dear wife reminds me, my first deep interest in charm seemed to happen about then.

And my interest grew. I set about studying and identifying the behaviors that all people of charm use. I questioned many of these individuals to get an idea of how they feel about their impact on others. One of the fascinating things I discovered was that those who charm get great pleasure in giving others pleasure. Once you discover how to wield the power of charm, you'll have at your disposal one of the most valuable elements for success -- how to make people feel like a million.

Your Tools for Charming Others

Think of the most charming person you know. Observe the person's behavior. Try to identify what he does when being charming. Watch the effect it has on others and use what you observe and learn as motivation to become, in your own way, just like your model -- charming, persuasive, and admirable.

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