What is charisma? We know it when we see it, but it’s not quite that easy to describe. It’s a type of charm that inspires others to follow or adore you. Certainly, we’d all like to have more of it!
While it does appear that a lucky few do all the right things to be charismatic, the rest of us can learn. It’s really just a set of skills and attitudes that elicit a particular response in others.
1. Charm. In many ways, a charismatic person is just a charming person with power. Charm is the ability to make others feel important and good about themselves. There are many ways to demonstrate charm:
- Always show that you’re glad to see someone. Doesn’t it feel great when someone is happy that you’ve arrived on the scene?
- Use excellent eye contact. Give your full attention to others and be a good listener. Put your cell phone away.
- Use genuine and sincere compliments.
- Be polite and relaxed. You can’t be charming and rude. You can’t be charming and anxious. It’s important to put others at ease.
2. Power. You might be telling yourself, “I have a minimum wage job, and I can’t even get my dog to come to me. I have less power than anyone I know.” It’s not important to actually have power. What’s relevant is to adopt the attitudes, personality, and style of someone with power.
- Always dress up, not down.
- Confidence and poise are key.
- Work on your body language. Movies can be a great learning tool.
- Truly powerful people aren’t particularly concerned with the opinions of others. They move through life without apology. Does a lion care what a zebra thinks? Of course not.
3. Persuasiveness. Charismatic people are great at persuading others. Think of all the great leaders of today and from the past. The ability to persuade is a great power to have.
- Showing confidence is one of the best ways to be persuasive.
- Speak slower when someone is likely to agree with you. Speak faster when someone is likely to disagree with you.
- Be persistent. When you refuse to give up, you’re more likely to bring others over to your way of thinking.
- Use the idea of reciprocity. Others are more likely to do something for you when you do something for them first. For example, if you buy someone coffee, they’ll be more likely to buy you lunch.
4. Confidence. We all know what confidence looks like, but it’s not always easy to feel confident. Fortunately, you can fake it until you make it. Think of people you know that seem confident and watch their mannerisms. Do your best to mimic them until it becomes natural.
- Avoid fidgeting.
- Stand tall.
- Speak slowly.
- Maintain good eye contact.
- Take up space.
- Be non-reactive. People that lack confidence are easily upset, offended, or thrown off-kilter. Be a rock. Have the same casual attitude regardless of what’s going on around you. Calm, cool, and collected are the goals.
Charisma is a collection of skills and personality traits that others find intriguing and desirable. If you’re charismatic, you have to ability to hold the attention of others, give them positive emotions, and persuade them. It’s easy to see how being charismatic could boost your social life and career.
Watch movies and TV shows with charismatic characters. Try to figure out what makes them so charismatic. Watch how they move and interact with others. You can learn to be a charismatic person too!