December 26, 2022

Charisma. Are You Born With It or Can You Learn It?

This episode was our most popular, and most listened to, show of 2022!

Vanessa Van Edwards is the Lead Behavioral Investigator at Science of People – a company she founded over 15 years ago. She is an internationally acclaimed speaker and author of two books, Captivate and Cues.

Vanessa guides people on mastering the secret language of charismatic communication, and in this episode, Vanessa dives into the specifics of charisma. We ask the question “Are you born with it or can you learn?” and Vanessa’s answer may surprise you.

Vanessa grew up with social anxiety issues, leaving her feeling very awkward. She is an ambivert, which means she is somewhere in-between the introvert and extrovert spectrum. She details the Why Not Now? moment that set her on the path to being a Behavioral Investigator and how she has discovered that “Awkward” characteristics show up differently for different people, whether you are highly intelligent, the alpha in the room or constantly try to please everyone.

Vanessa lists her favorite non-verbal cues used by one of the most charismatic people on the planet. These examples shine a light on the fact that you have to be willing to try new cues in order to find the ones that work for you, because the delivery of your new idea, pitch, or whatever it may be, is just as important as the idea itself.

Vanessa talks through her Year of No, where she has vowed to say no to every new opportunity that isn’t directly in line with her goals. You’ll learn how she says no, how she evaluates opportunities and how it’s been going since she started saying no more this year.

This episode is jam packed with tangible takeaways that you can use today to be more engaged in your non-verbal communication.

Vanessa’s new books “Cues” is out now. Learn more at


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