Charisma a learned skill, NAIT prof says

It takes more than just a handshake. In fact, it takes more than just, “hi, how are you?”



According to a so-called schmooze expert from NAIT, you have to wear the right clothes and you have to learn to be confident when it comes to meeting potential clients at business functions.


“It’s a matter of discipline and learning the skills to be a good schmoozer,” said Kevin McGhan, a marketing instructor at NAIT’s School of Business.

“The skills are not rocket science. These are fairly simple concepts and it’s all about the attitude and forcing yourself to try and introduce yourself first.”

McGhan taught a special lesson for a handful of young business students yesterday, saying young graduates are often intimidated about meeting clients or CEOs of companies. But if they overcome barriers of shyness and fear, they could lead successful lives, he says.

“If you’re going to go golfing for the first time and you are going to go out with someone who has a 75 handicap it can be a little bit intimidating,” he said.

“But in terms of preparing yourself, I think you can elevate that self-confidence level where you can still do a little bit outside of your comfort zone.”

McGhan told students that it takes practice, a firm handshake, an introduction that keeps the other person asking for more questions about you and the ability to be a good listener to become a successful seller.

“I honestly think it takes someone a little bit of wit, confidence and charm to be a good schmoozer,” said Danny Bilobrowka, a 19-year-old marketing student.

practice makes perfect

  • McGhan says students will be taking part in a networking event with industry executives next month where they can practise their schmoozing skills.