Exercise 1

A. Listen to Colin talking about what he learns. Check (✓) any of the things in the list below that a person with charisma does.

A person with charisma…

1   shows other people what he / she is like

2   makes other people feel important

3   talks a lot about himself / herself

4   never says anything about himself / herself

5   is self-confident

6   stands with his / her feet apart and arms wide

7   makes eye contact, but doesn’t stare

8   uses a lot of hand gestures

9   speaks very slowly

10   listens to people carefully

B. Listen again. What does Colin say about…?

1   talking about yourself

2   remembering a past success

3   how to enter a room

4   what happens if you aren’t really listening



A person with charisma does 1, 2, 5, 6, 7, and 10.


1   Talk about yourself enough, but not too much.

2   Remembering a past success will help you to feel more confident.

3   You have to have your chin up and your shoulders back.

4   The person you’re talking to notices very quickly.


Danish Sheikh tells me that people with charisma do two basic things. They project their own personality, but at the same time, they also make other people feel important. Sheikh’s lessons are designed to help me to do both of these things, and in the next forty-eight hours I learn a lot.

Projecting your own personality is difficult to learn. Nobody likes people who talk about how fantastic they are, but nobody remembers people who don’t say anything about themselves. Sheikh says the solution is to talk about yourself enough, but not too much. People with charisma also feel confident. Sheikh gives me advice to help me feel more confident, for example, before I walk into a meeting or a party. He tells me to remember a time in the past when I was successful. This positive memory will stop me from feeling afraid or anxious.

Body language is also important. We practise it together, including how to stand like a gorilla, with your feet apart and your arms wide – this shows that you’re an important person. Sheikh also tells me how to enter a room. You have to have your chin up and your shoulders back. He tells me to make eye contact with the people I’m talking to, but not for too long – maximum four seconds – it’s important not to stare. We also study hand gestures – you shouldn’t use them too much.

Finally, conversation. I learn that it’s important not to speak too fast or too slowly. You need to vary your speed to keep your listener’s attention. But the most important thing of all is listening carefully. If you show interest in people, it makes them feel special. But if you’re not really listening, the person you’re talking to notices very quickly, so you need to make sure you really concentrate on what they’re saying.

At the end of the two days, I have a practical test…

C. At the end of the two days, Colin has a practical test. Listen and summarize.

1   In the pub, Colin has to…

2   Sheikh helps him by…

3   In the end, Colin thinks that charisma is about…


1   talk to strangers.

2   giving him advice, e.g., make eye contact, don’t cross your arms, etc.

3   understanding who you really are.


At the end of the two days, I have a practical test. I go to a pub with Sheikh, and I have to talk to strangers. I start talking to people and it goes OK. I don’t think English people really like it when a stranger starts speaking to them, but we laugh and I have some interesting conversations. Occasionally, Sheikh gives me advice. He reminds me to make eye contact with everyone I’m talking to, and tells me not to cross my arms – that kind of thing.

As we leave the pub, we shake hands. He says that the course has been good for me, and he gives me a thumbs up. So have I changed? Am I more charismatic? Not exactly – I’m never going to stand like a gorilla again, for example. But perhaps charisma is simpler than that, anyway; it’s about understanding who you are better, and showing the best version of yourself.

Exercise 2

Listen and choose a, b, or c.

1   Philomena enjoys ____.

      a   watching tennis

      b   doing gymnastics

      c   watching diving

2   Rachel says that most people she knows who have been out with someone they met online ____.

      a   are still with the other person

      b   married the person they met

      c   broke up with the person they met

3   Aileen kept a tissue with answers to the exam in ____.

      a   her pocket

      b   the bathroom

      c   her backpack

4   Coleen ____.

      a   prefers the Lord of the Rings films to the books

      b   loves the books and the films

      c   prefers the books to the films

5   Miranda chose a picture for her profile photo because ____.

      a   she liked how she looked in it

      b   it was taken in Las Vegas

       it was taken on her wedding anniversary


1 c   2 c   3 a   4 b   5 a



I = interviewer, P = Philomena

I    Do you prefer doing sport or watching it?

P   Probably doing it. I find watching it really boring.

I    What sport do you do?

P   Er, I don’t do a lot. I’d say I don’t mind tennis, swimming in variation, depends on the weather.

I    What sports do you most like watching?

P   If I had to watch one, I like the rhythmic gymnastics or the diving, like for example at the Games, when they’re on TV.

I    Why do you like them?

P   I think because they’re kind of like a dance, it’s like a routine, it’s very graceful. It’s not as rough a sport.


I = interviewer, R = Rachel

I    Do you know anyone who has gone out with someone they met online?

R   I know lots of people who’ve gone out with people they’ve met online.

I    How did it work out?

R   A couple of people are married, for some of them they’re still with the other person, and for a lot of them it didn’t work out.


I = interviewer, A = Aileen

  Have you ever cheated in an exam?

A   I have, yes.

  How did you cheat?

A   I wrote the answers in a tissue and put it in my pocket and then

went to the bathroom to read the answers that I’d written down.

  Were you caught?

A   No.


I = interviewer, C = Coleen

  What’s your favourite film of all time?

C   That has to be the Lord of the Rings trilogy. I’ve read the books I have no idea how many times. I absolutely adored the films.

  How many times have you seen them?

C   No idea, but probably getting on for ten times.

  Why do you like them so much?

C   Part of that I think is because I never expected them to be made into films because they’re just so huge in scale. Um, and I think the CGI is amazing on them, and the characters, the casting is brilliant, so the whole thing really is just amazing.


I = interviewer, M = Miranda

I     Do you have a profile photo?

M   Yes, I have a profile photo on my Facebook, and Instagram, and Twitters.

I     What is it?

M   The photo, the profile photo on my Facebook page is of me and my husband in Las Vegas on our anniversary.

I     Why did you choose it?

M   Um, my make-up looked good.

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