Charisma is arguably one of the most important traits that you can posses. Without it you won’t be able to forge successful business and personal relationships. According to Silimon Reynolds, whose article on charisma was published on Forbes’ website, “Without [charisma], it’s hard to influence others, difficult to clinch sales and damn near impossible to get to the top.” Wise words indeed and remembering them will serve you well.
Firstly what exactly is charisma? It is basically having the power to inspire and influence others. It is safe to say that a majority of the world’s leaders have charisma. From corrupt evil geniuses to real people trying to change the world, most people in charge boast a level of charisma that has allowed them to successfully claw their way to the top and stay there.
How to become a more charismatic person
Of course, not every leader has charisma, and not every underling is void of any. Some people are lucky enough to be born with it, whereas for others, it just takes more time and effort for it to become an actual personality trait. If you’re stuck in a rut and want to up your game in both your career and personal life, here are 9 things that you can do to be more charismatic.
#1 Know your stuff. You have to be sure that you can demonstrate intelligence and quick thinking, no matter the situation. From answering questions during a sales conference to heading out on a blind date, charisma is key if you want the other party to buy into you.
The same way you can smell bullshit from a mile away, people will be able to tell right away if you know what you’re talking about. If you aren’t too sure, then it is best that you come right out and say it. People tend to be more forgiving if you’re honest, as opposed to you trying to bullshit your way through it. You will immediately lose your convincing nature, and people will walk away believing that you not only have no charisma, but you also have no idea what you’re talking about. [Read: 12 ways to avoid a first impression catastrophe]
#2 Be passionate. The trick to oozing charisma is to be very expressive and passionate. From your tone of voice to your body language to your facial expressions, be sure that you inject passion into everything that you say and do. The more convincingly expressive you are when telling your life story, giving a speech, presenting a sales pitch or trying to talk your way out of a ticket, the more likely people will be swayed to join your team and want to help you succeed. They won’t feel like they’re betting on the underdog, but rather, a sure thing.
#3 Be positive. It is no secret that everyone is in pursuit of happiness, and many believe that being around positive people will help them get there quicker. Whether it’s done unconsciously or not, people will more likely gravitate towards you, if you exude positivity and optimism, as opposed to the angry and dull dude sitting next to you.
Hence, if you’re on a date or at an important meeting, be positive, no matter whom you’re speaking to. Also, don’t be afraid to laugh. People tend to loosen up around you when they sense happy vibes, so try your best to build and take advantage of this environment whenever you can. [Read: How to banish negativity with positive self-talk]
#4 Tell a story well. Being charismatic has a lot to do with connecting with people on a multitude of levels. It also has to do with being able to connect with people from all walks of life. Brush up on your storytelling abilities to be sure that people can vividly envision just what you’re saying.
By controlling the way you tell a story, you control their emotions. You want them to feel, live and breathe your words. Whether you’re trying to convince a Japanese businessman to seal a million dollar deal or getting the love of your life to marry you, trust me when I say that telling a story well will do you wonders in the long run, and is a surefire sign of a charismatic personality. [Read: How to master the art of small talk]
#5 Be outgoing. Another way to become more charismatic is to be more of an extrovert. By being outgoing, you draw people into your huge bubble, and they will be more inclined to pay attention to you. Whether you know them or if they’re complete strangers, it doesn’t matter. Try to be the belle of the ball no matter where you are.
From an oak-paneled conference room in Seoul to a candle-lit table by the Seine, be outgoing. Always remember that leaders aren’t supposed to shirk their social responsibilities and that those in charge aren’t usually wallflowers, but the center of attention. If you’re an introvert by nature, shake it up and convince yourself that you’ve nothing to lose by bringing more convivial life to your game. [Read: 12 tips to add more people to your social circle]
#6 Be confident. You need to have confidence if you want to be charismatic. The two go hand in hand, and it is important that you realize this now. Always remember that people will be more inclined to believe in your abilities if you’re confident about them. They will assume that you know just what you’re doing, are passionate about the issue, and know just how to tackle it.
The more confident you are, the more persuasive you will be, and thus your fate will be sealed as a charismatic charmer. There is no doubt that if you play the confidence card right, you will wrap your audience around your little finger and get just what you set out to get.
#7 Excel in nonverbal communication. Besides being a confident and intelligent storyteller who is passionate and outgoing, you also have to excel in nonverbal communication, if you want to be more charismatic. Body language is just as important as what comes out of your mouth.
From the way you dress to how genuine your smile is, people will judge you for everything and anything, so be sure to never give them a reason to doubt you. Perfect the art of eye contact and know just when it is appropriate to initiate touching like a pat on the back, gentle slap on the wrist and so on. Also, don’t forget to stand and sit straight and to always look presentable when it comes to your grooming.
Finally, be sure to study the many rules of using expressive hand gestures when telling a story and know how to tweak them according to how many people you are speaking to. The larger the crowd, the more expressive your body language should be as it gives people the impression that you’re including them. Remember that if you make yourself appear bigger, bolder and brighter than everyone else, people will be more inclined to remember you.
#8 Use humor. Go ahead and use humor, but only do so at the right place and time. Also be sure that you’re not using your wit at the expense of anyone’s dignity. Making fun of others will only make you come off looking like an insensitive jerk. Don’t be afraid to make fun of yourself, as self-teasing breaks the ice and loosens tension. It will also relax everyone, making it easier to communicate.
#9 Pay attention to others. Another way to exude charisma is to focus on others when they are speaking. Remember what they said, how they said it and do not hesitate to bring up their talking points later on in the conversation. People tend to love attention, and having them think that you were hanging onto their every word will make them feel like they have bonded with you. This paves the way for a more intimate relationship, making it easier for you to turn on the charismatic charm and blow them away.
[Read: 10 simple tips to avoid being rude in any situation]
Contrary to what some people believe, charisma can be taught. All it takes is for you to be more self-aware about how you act and what you say. Once you are able to make a habit of correcting yourself every time you behave in an unsuitable manner, the new and improved charismatic you will emerge, and in no time at all, it will become an ingrained part of your personality.
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