Charisma is hard to define. It’s an enigmatic component of personality that some people have, while others simply don’t.
If you weren’t born with this “it” factor, does that mean you’re doomed to a life lacking charisma? Not necessarily. You can learn from others how to be more charismatic in daily life, whether you’re pitching a product or just meeting a new neighbor.
Here are a few tips that might help you along the way.
1. Exhibit Confidence and Optimism
If you want to be more charismatic, the first step is to emanate an innate sense of confidence — even if you’re not actually feeling confident. A recurring mark of charisma is making others believe you’re confident in an idea or action, but faking it ‘til you make it is totally acceptable if confidence doesn’t come naturally to you.
You can start by committing yourself to an optimistic outlook and expressing that optimism to others. Even if it’s inauthentic at first, you might eventually feel genuinely confident.
2. Exude Empathy
Don’t let this first step mislead you, though. Charisma isn’t all about putting on a show. In order to truly be more charismatic, people have to like you.
The quickest way to build a rapport with someone is to let them know you genuinely understand where they’re coming from. In other words, tap into your sense of empathy. Take Bill Clinton, for example. He’s oozing charisma, and many have said it’s because they feel like he really hears and understands them when they have a conversation.
3. Express and Draw Interest
On a similar note, a tenant of a traditionally charismatic person is that they exhibit authentic interest in what other people have to say. So, when you’re speaking to someone, don’t spend the conversation readying your next retort.
Instead, carefully listen and think about what they’re saying before responding. When you do respond, really contemplate what you’d like to say. By expressing interest, you will, in turn, make yourself more interesting to your counterpart — another hallmark of a charismatic person.
4. Embrace Your Inner Storyteller
Although it’s important to listen to others, it’s equally imperative that you catch and keep their attention when it’s your turn to speak. When you explain a new idea or tell a story, really weave a narrative. Don’t shy away from descriptive language, metaphors or other literary techniques when you speak.
Experts say the greatest storytellers are also some of the most charismatic people, even if they weren’t born with the skill. Great storytelling can be learned!
5. Be Aware of Body Language
What you say is important, but what you do while you’re saying it is important, too. Think about what your body language says while you’re talking to others.
If you tend to cross your arms and lean away from people, this gives off the vibe that you’re not super interested in connecting with them. Keep your hands and arms at your sides or in a neutral position and make sure you’re facing your conversation partner with an open stance, signaling you’re invested in them and their thoughts.
If you take advantage of these tips and tricks, you’ll find that you soon ooze charisma just like many of the great leaders of yesterday and today. You might even experience deeper relationships, both personally and professionally, and find that more doors open for you.
Starting today, leave the house with a sense of confidence — whether feigned or authentic — and stride out into the world as a strong and charismatic person.
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