Home Anty-Climax Seven steps to unlock your personal X-factor (It’s more than je ne...

Seven steps to unlock your personal X-factor (It’s more than je ne sais quoi)


The thought of possessing enough natural ‘X-factor’ (charisma, magnetism, whatever you’d like to call it) to instantly appeal to anyone is a very powerful and seductive one.

Can you imagine the kind of influence you could have simply by decoding your own X-factor?

The French term for this irresistible quality is je ne sais quoi – literally, “I do not know what” – which only serves to fuel the misnomer that this quality is somehow too elusive and inexplicable to be developed or manufactured.

I disagree.

Through my experience as a professional speaker, I have come to understand X-factor as a person’s ability to communicate and self-express effectively in front of an audience or within the context of an individual interaction.

An X-factor delivery mesmerises the recipients by capturing not only their attention, but also their ‘Hearts and Minds’. Those with the X-factor fill-the-space when they enter a room with light, love and energy. It is unmistakable. This ‘complete package’ radiates a personal presence distinct to each individual – in this case, YOU and you alone.

It is your ability to focus your emotions to deliver a specific message to your intended audiences that is at the heart of this je ne sais quoi quality – however, we cannot achieve this without having the seven following areas come together in a synchronised manner.

Seven Sure-fire Steps to Instant Appeal

After looking at over fifty scientific studies around the world on human behaviour, I have broken down the ‘X-factor’ appeal into seven main areas.

The science of this formula and the research from which it comes will be discussed in further detail in future articles (because it is heavy, to say the least).

For now, let’s take a look at the breakdown so you can get started immediately on cultivating your own talents.

1. Physical Appearance

  • Face shape (unusual / memorable / strong features, balancing feminine and masculine energies)

It has been shown that electoral outcomes can be predicted with up to 70% accuracy based on face shapes alone – otherwise known as the practice of physiognomy.

  • Body shape (height accentuating presence via clothing and presentation)

2. ‘Je ne sais quoi’

  • Quality of audience connection (reaching ‘one and many’ through vision and sound)
  • Energetic under/overtones

Your own personal energetic flow is as unique as your own set of fingerprints. It flows from your wins, losses, hurts, successes, proudest moments and most humiliating failures.  These are the energetic undercurrents and overtones you choose to bring to any given moment.

  • Overall personal presence (the ‘Full Package’)

3. Sound

  • Words congruent with your appearance and the role you are playing (career, parent, teacher, lover)

Years of research have shown that words and sentence structures produce opioid peptides such as enkephalin (a pleasurable chemical reaction similar to the ‘endorphin rush’ of physical exercise) in our brain.

  • Confidence when speaking
  • Vocal style in alignment with your role and appearance

4. Behaviour / Expressiveness

  • Behaving the way the audience perceives you (or desires/expects you to) – but still mixing it up to avoid becoming too predictable
  • Focusing your emotions to express yourself, your thoughts and your emotions clearly

5. Head-to-Toe

  • The authenticity with which ‘it all fits together’
  • The consistency with which this ‘complete package’ is projected outwardly

6. Somatic Markers

  • Strong, emotive theme which connects with the audience (i.e. Tyra Banks’ ‘fierce’ persona created for and perpetuated by America’s Next Top Model)
  • Career decisions that create a ‘somatic marker’ in the minds of your audience (i.e. powerful memories that stir emotions and aren’t easily forgotten)

7. Body Positioning

  • How you physically conduct (or ‘hold’) yourself in different circumstances and environments (otherwise known as ‘MAPS’)
  • How you exhibit vulnerability and/or power; in what context; and with an awareness to trigger / leverage which particular aspect of the audience-performer relationship

Priming the Primal Brain

If any of these areas are out of sync with the other, it immediately triggers off the protection mechanism in others’ primal brains, (i.e. fight or flight). If you do not look, sound, act like the role you hold based on past preconceptions of what your audience believe that to be – it triggers the primal brain into protection mode, causing others to retreat from you and your marketing material.

It is more an activity in stripping away elements that prevent the world from seeing the real you instead of changing who you actually are.

Synchronicity is the Secret

Very few people manage to get this entire combination working in sync at any given moment – but the few that can, create an unforgettable effect like a force of nature (think Cher, Madonna, Lady Gaga, The Rolling Stones, Donald Trump, Oprah and Richard Branson – just to name a few).

We can’t stop staring at them, we become obsessed with who they are and where they came from… and, ultimately, we get seduced and fall in love (or at the very least, lust).

The practical application of all this to your relationships, career, social life and so on is in how much you can learn to ‘get yourself in sync’ and bring a unified, authentic and charismatic personal presence to the party.

There’s no currency in being a wallflower. It doesn’t mean you need to become loud or brash (let’s leave that one to the Hollywood brat-pack) but it does mean you need to develop enough personal presence to capture attention and influence your outcomes.

The moment things ‘CLICK’ and fall into place is when each of these seven key areas align with the full force of worlds colliding and that is when your own ‘X-factor’ is born and you obtain INSTANT APPEAL.

Ben Angel is author of ‘Bigger, Better, Harder, FASTER! Sleeping Your Way to The Top’, containing over 50+ scientific studies on human behaviour. Jacket-copy: “It will show you how you can; achieve more in 30 days than in 3 months, decode the ‘X’ factor , unlock your potential and discover the secrets to INSTANT influence.”

Image by Alyssa L Miller