Charisma has always been somewhat of an abstract concept and very difficult to define. Knowing who is and isn’t charismatic is not always obvious (sometimes it’s a matter of opinion!) and when someone definitely is charismatic, it can be just as hard to pinpoint why.
And for a lot of people it’s kind of annoying. You have this friend who is super cool and charismatic. Members of the opposite sex talk about them like they walk on water. They just ooze charm – but why? What do they have that you don’t?
It’s not an easy one to answer but there are some things you can do to improve your odds of coming across as charismatic. Here are just a few…
This makes an absolutely massive difference and it’s hard to understate. Type ‘business casual’ into Pinterest and take a look at some of the outfits that come up. The men and women you see here no doubt look excellent and if your grandma met them, she’d probably be very approving and assume they were very intelligent and ‘nice young men’ (or women). Likewise, other young men and women would want to bring them home and show them off.
And you could look like that! It’s not hard – buy some good shoes and wear ironed shirts and people will take you more seriously and want to impress you. Instantly, you’ll start having a different response from people and you’ll look as though you’ve got your act together.
Another thing that people with charisma tend to do is gesticulate. In other words, they talk with their whole body and illustrate their points with their hands as they do. This immediately means you take up more space, which is already one way that you can increase your status. At the same time, it ensures that your bodylanguage is in line with what you’re saying – in turn suggesting that you really believe it and that you’re passionate. Clearly being passionate about what you’re saying is a great way to inspire others and to come across as charismatic and interesting.
It also helps to make sure that the tone of your voice reflects your enthusiasm. In general, you need to come across as exciting, entertaining and fully committed to where you are and what you’re saying in that moment. A great tip is to try somewhat ‘acting’ what you’re saying, it might seem like you’re going overboard but actually it’s what a lot of very engaging people already do. Pretend you’re in a play and make sure to really commit to what you’re saying and doing.
Tell Stories and Anecdotes
Telling stories from your own life is a great way to open up to an audience, to get them listening and to make what you’re saying more interesting and relatable. A story gives you the ‘stage’ in a conversation, causing everyone to fall quiet while they listen to what you have to say – immediately that makes you seem more important, more engaging and more charismatic.
Try not to overdo this though – if you do, you can end up coming across as a bit self-involved.
Hold Eye Contact
Another thing you can do to be more engaging, charismatic and impressive is to work on your eye contact. When someone really makes eye contact, we feel like we’re being listened to and we feel more of a connection. It also suggests confidence on the part of the person who initiated that eye contact. Again, you need to know when to pull back on this though. Too much eye contact can be either creepy or intimidating in some cases!
Speak More Slowly
When we speak more slowly, we seem calmer, more in control and less nervous. At the same time, slowing the tempo of our conversation will automatically make our voices deeper and help us to enunciate more clearly.
It’s often hard to realize just how quickly we are speaking, especially once we get on a roll. A tip then is to try recording yourself and playing it back. This can also help you with your gesticulations and your ‘performance’. It’s hard to know how you really come across to others, so watching yourself back is a great way to get some perspective!