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The Iron Lady

You Can Learn to Be Confident

Press Release: San Diego

Are you simply born to be charismatic, or is it a learnable skill – as Meryl Streep showed the world in the movie “The Iron Lady” in which she portrayed Margaret Thatcher, who transformed herself from a smart woman with little presence into a powerhouse of a Prime Minister by changing her voice, her style and her way of carrying herself.

“Charisma is a learnable skill, not simply a gift for the favored few, and is a way of focusing your behavior and attitude for greatest impact and connection. Charisma is also what separates the merely competent from the supremely capable,” says Cynthia Burnham, America’s #1 Charisma Coach, and author of “The Charisma Edge: A How-To Guide For Turning On Your Leadership Power”  (www.CynthiaBurnham.com). “Margaret Thatcher did it, and so can leaders and managers in companies.”

Ms. Burnham’s step-by-step system on how to be charismatic is based on 30 years of successful business experience with corporations including SVP for the Wall Street firm UBS, and various senior positions with Gillette and Duracell, as well as independent executive presence coaching and training for Sony, Booz Allen Hamilton, Northrop Grumman, Illumina and others. This system shows how anyone can become more authentically compelling and powerful by using “nine levers of charisma,” including such things as voice, word choice, posture, and gestures, and how you can use them to look, act and become more charismatic, all based on natural human wiring and the neuroscience of confidence.

Among the powerful first impression tips she provides in her consulting, speaking and in her book are:

  • Reduce extraneous nodding. Nod decisively, or not at all. Stillness is powerful.
  • End your words. Put the final consonants back on your words. Most Americans drop them, which makes their speech sloppier and less compelling.
  • Lower your pitch. Low voices for both men and women are considered stronger, wiser and more believable (and also sexier).
  • Pause three seconds for dignity. Wait before answering any question – from “What do you want for lunch?” to “Will you accept [i.e. three times your normal rate]” to “Will you marry me?” Waiting makes you appear more thoughtful, and also gives your brain time to formulate a powerful response.

Burnham’s coaching services will help people who want to be seen as powerful leaders who have executive presence including:

  • Corporate executives (and high-potentials) who want to move to the next level
  • Leaders who want to have a bigger “voice” and a greater impact
  • Leaders & managers who are great technicians but are dead in the water when it comes to being inspirational
  • Leaders who want to know how to stand in front of the room and be dynamic, compelling, and unafraid
  • Individuals who want to make a powerful first impression for networking or internal/external career path reasons
  • Women who are struggling to be heard

“When you know how to be charismatic, people want to listen to you and follow you. They say ‘Yes, I could work for her. She has a larger vision that I want to be part of,” said Burnham, who had been Senior Vice President, Director of Employee Relations & Development for UBS, the global financial services firm. “Margaret Thatcher wasn’t charming and she was called bossy, but she was a woman who was able to get people to follow her when there were extremely few women in power or in government. That’s charisma.”

Photo by Chris Lawton on Unsplash


Cynthia Burnham.

San Diego, CA
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