Can authentic charisma be achievable online?

Charisma MythI have been listening to a podcast from Stanford’s eCorner — Build Your Personal Charisma. The podcast is presented by Olivia Fox Cabane who is well known in this field and has published The Charisma Myth.

As I was listening to her talk through charisma as a science that can be taught, I started to wonder how this would or could be applied online.

Certain aspects contribute to charisma, such as presence, power and warmth with an example being body language — how do you represent a physical posture online? Including tone and inflection — how do you adjust such things without instantaneous feedback when delivering through a text based online world? How do you convey warmth online?

Olivia’s conversation made me think about the many layers of engagement that an account manager creates and engages within. Not only are the layers created for a purpose (supposedly) but there needs to be connection and consistency with the real-life, offline persona.

Why Care?

Imagine following a blog and by extension the blogger, then adding a Twitter follow and become somewhat absorbed in a curated online identity, then meeting in real-life or watching on a YouTube channel. Imagine how jarring this would be if the person in each of the worlds collided instead of merging.

All good as long as there is consistency which circles back to a base underpinning of online and offline engagement and that’s to be authentic.

Never truer than in the creation of a public brand. That true and consistent voice, whether it is foreground or background, will rapidly fracture in the absence of consistency.

If you have the chance, listen to Olivia’s podcast. The lectures in the eCorner series are always interesting and the Q&A is also interesting as the Stanford graduate students search for a gem of insight to set them on their way to fortune and fame.

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