Have you ever noticed how some people have the ability to captivate absolutely anyone? No matter what they look like or how much money they have, these people can just walk into a room and instantly be the center of attention. When they leave, people want to emulate them. That’s charisma — a sort of magnetism that inspires confidence and adoration. Like beauty, luck, and social position, charisma can open many doors in life. However, while these other qualities may be difficult to attain, anyone can be more charismatic. Just follow these easy tips to learn how.
Exude confidence. Charisma isn’t the same thing as confidence, but appearing confident can make you more charismatic because your confidence will put others at ease and inspire faith in your abilities. If people see you as a confident person, they will naturally want to be around you. Here’s how to be confident:
- Be positive. Confident people are generally positive because they love who they are and what they do. Don’t start off a conversation by criticizing another person, place, or political figure. Instead, focus on the things you love, which will engage people and make them want to be around you. If you come off sounding like you hate everything that comes your way, people will worry that your negative vibe will rub off on them.
- Speak with confidence. Speaking with confidence doesn’t mean talking more than everyone else, or louder than everyone else. Say something important and say it with conviction. Speak at a relaxed pace and speak clearly. Vary your tone, rhythm, volume, and pitch to emphasize your most important words and to keep your speech interesting. To practice speaking with confidence, you can record yourself speaking, and make sure that you sound confident when you talk.
- To appear confident, you first have to be confident. Truly confident people love who they are, what they do, and what they look like. If you don’t feel confident on the inside, work on emphasizing your good qualities, addressing your flaws, and improving your appearance to show that your looks matter to you.
- Remember that if you’re still working on developing your inner confidence, having a confident voice, clothes, and body language can go a long way in making people think you are confident.
Show charisma through your body language. Your body language can say a lot about how you feel about yourself, and can help you seem more approachable to others. The wrong body language can make you look shy or indecisive, so it’s important to move in a way that shows you’re confident, engaged, and alive. Here’s how to do it:
- A charismatic person stands tall and walks with steady, determined strides. They walk into a room of strangers with pride, ready to embrace a new opportunity. They also gesture with their hands instead of crossing them over their chest.
- Improve your posture. Nothing conveys confidence like good posture. Stand or sit up straight, but not rigidly. When you meet someone, give a firm handshake and look the other person in the eye. Display positive body language while you’re talking to someone or even when you’re just waiting around. Sit facing the person or people you’re talking to, uncross your legs and arms, and keep your hands away from your face. Look at ease, and don’t fidget or convey nervousness.
- Think about your own gestures. When you speak, does your body language back you up, or do you look nervous, uncaring, or bored? If you’re passionate about something, do your gestures communicate this?
- Practice in a mirror. Watch yourself in the mirror and give a speech or even pretend to hold a conversation. What are your eyes doing? How about your hands? Do you look like the shifty politician or the charismatic one? Could someone know what emotion you’re trying to convey even if they couldn’t hear you? Practice regularly, and make note of what you need to improve.
- Mimic the body language of those you are conversing with, so that you can get closer to them in a non-verbal fashion. If someone is gesturing a lot, you can join in, while if a person is more reserved, you shouldn’t gesture too wildly.
- Look people in the eye when you’re talking to them. Don’t stare them down, but don’t glance around the room or look everywhere but at them. Engage them with your eyes, not just your voice. Don’t check your phone, your watch, or look around for other people to talk to because you won’t appear engaged.
- Watch how other people gesture. Notice how some speakers’ gestures appear fake or out of sync with their message. These people come off looking shifty or uncertain as a result. Other speakers use body language exceptionally well. These are generally the more effective communicators and appear more trustworthy and competent. These people are often successful actors, religious leaders, and pundits. Look for good and bad examples of the use of body language. Pay attention, and learn.
- Smile genuinely when you greet someone. Your smile should say that you’re excited about getting to know them.
Make people feel special. No matter whom you’re talking to, you should always try to charm that person and make them feel like the only person in the world. To have true charisma, you should be able to talk to anyone about any topic, and be a good and attentive listener. Here’s how to do it:
- Be anyone’s equal. If you’re talking to a potential employer, a group of wealthy donors, a child, a stranger, or an attractive guy or girl, for example, don’t put them on a pedestal or talk down to them. Be respectful of other people, but respect them as equals, and expect that they will accept you as such.
- Show an interest in people’s lives. Without being nosy, ask people questions about their lives, their background, or their opinions on certain matters. Make them feel that what they’ve done matters, and that you value their thoughts.
- Listen actively when others speak. Give someone your full attention when they are speaking to you. Nod in agreement or make brief interjections, such as “I see,” or “Okay,” to assure the person that you are listening and you’re interested in what they have to say. A brief touch on the upper arm can emphasize your agreement or empathy with something someone says, and it can make the person feel connected to you.
- Learn and remember people’s names and address people by their names. This will make you more likely to remember that person’s name when you see them again.
- Compliment people freely, but genuinely, and accept compliments graciously and without any fuss.
- Remember that being charismatic isn’t the same as pleasing people. Charismatic people don’t care about what others think. They are just totally charming and charismatic on their own.
Be witty. A truly charismatic person should be able to make people laugh without trying too hard. Part of being a person who everyone wants to be around is engaging a group of people in laughter and jokes. You should be able to charm people with your sense of humor. Here’s how to do it:
- Learn to laugh at yourself. If you learn to poke fun at yourself, people will be charmed at how confident you are and will be more comfortable around you. You don’t have to be self-deprecating to show that you’re aware of your flaws, and to let people join in on laughing at them. Being able to pull this off is a sign of having true charisma.
- Learn to joke around with a variety of people. You should be attuned to the sense of humor of the person or group of people you’re talking to. If you’re talking to people with a raunchy or slightly offensive sense of humor, don’t be afraid to play ball. However, if you’re around an older or more sensitive crowd, then tone down your humor and stick to short and inoffensive jokes. When you’re with a new person, be conservative at first. You don’t want to risk offending or turning a person off with an inappropriate joke.
- Don’t try too hard to be funny. You don’t have to make a joke every five seconds to be a witty person. The well-timed joke can go a long way. Value quality over quantity, and focus on making just a few jokes over the course of a conversation.
- Learn to tease people. If you’re comfortable with someone and are already on your way to charming them, you can learn to joke around by teasing that person a little bit. This can bring you closer to the person and can show that you don’t take anything too seriously. Just make sure it’s a person who is amenable to your jokes
Be engaging. To be truly charismatic, you need to be able to not only impress, charm, and listen to a group of people, but you should be a person who is good at engaging others and always has something interesting to say, so people will naturally gravitate toward you. Here’s how you do it:
- Be versatile. A truly charismatic person should be able to speak to a variety of people about a variety of topics. You should be well-read, read the newspaper every day, and have a variety of interests, such as foreign languages or modern art, so you can discuss these topics with anyone.
- You can work on being well-rounded and knowing a little bit about politics, history, science, and literature, so you can tailor the conversation to the individual you’re speaking to.
- Think before you speak. Reduce the fluff and filler material in your daily communications. Try to make every word count, and think about how you’re going to phrase something before you open your mouth. If you don’t have something important to say, remain silent. It may seem surprising, but limiting the amount you talk will make what you have to say more interesting.
- Get in touch with your emotions. Research has shown that people who are generally believed to be charismatic feel emotions strongly, and they are also able to relate to what others are feeling. Don’t be afraid to feel anger, pain, sadness, or elation, and don’t be afraid to communicate your emotions in an appropriate manner.
- Put it all out there. People tend to hide thoughts and feelings from each other without any bad intentions, but everyone warms up to someone who is totally honest without being awkward or weird. If you can communicate honestly and help people open up, you’ll be on your way to being charming. Of course, there are a few exceptions; don’t say anything that will make people feel uncomfortable or want to back away from you.