Today’s Fast Summary:
The word ‘charisma’ refers to someone’s specific magnetic appeal.
You don’t need to be a leader to benefit from charisma. Charisma’s components lend well to both professional and personal scenarios.
Confidence, authenticity, and warmth are effective ways you can garner charisma.
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How To Be More Charismatic
“Charisma is about making others feel heard, understood, and valued.”
— Daniel Goleman.
Martin Luther King Jr., Steve Jobs, Nelson Mandela, Winston Churchill, John F. Kennedy, and Mahatma Gandhi.
This diverse group of leaders has one thing in common. They’re charismatic.
But what makes them so? The word ‘charisma’ refers to someone’s specific magnetic appeal.
Charismatic people can effectively communicate an inspirational message to others. Those around them are motivated by their words and are compelled to heed their instructions.
Charismatic people are
Charismatic people know what they want, and convince others to desire it too.
Many people believe that learning charisma is impossible. But charisma isn’t innate. Harvard researchers found that it’s a learned skill. Anyone trained in certain leadership tactics can become influential in the eyes of others.
Why be charismatic? Charismatic leaders are scientifically proven more effective than their noncharismatic counterparts. Leaders who tap into the emotional needs of their subordinates are more effective at garnering positive emotion for their cause.
You don’t need to be a leader to benefit from charisma. Charisma’s components—charm, confidence, and admirability—lend well to both professional and personal scenarios.
How can you be more charismatic?
The following are 8 ways to become the most charismatic person in any room.
Dress for the occasion.
When you wear something that makes you feel good, you, in turn, feel good. This feeling translates to improved confidence. People are statistically more attracted to confident people, even if this confidence is falsified.
Dressing up can help you command authority, regardless of the room you occupy. It also makes you feel more confident in your skin, which placates self-doubt.
If the dress code is casual, dress smart casual. The same goes for business casual. Wear clothing that makes you feel confident.
Alter your language.
Think back to the list of charismatic leaders. Consider the way they speak. Their famous speeches have a few key components in common.
Try the connect, compare, and contrast method. Charismatic leaders use comparisons and contrasting statements to help those around them understand a message.
Metaphors are an effective way to use this method. For example, liken a positive offer to “an offer we can’t refuse!” to quote The Godfather. An unchangeable request can be “set in stone.” When your team can’t find an answer to a difficult problem, you can say you’re, “chasing your tails.”
Stories and anecdotes can make mundane messages more engaging. At the beginning of his “I Have A Dream” speech, Martin Luther King Jr. tells listeners a story they remember and can draw meaning from.
Use short stories and anecdotes to garner emotion from those you speak with.
Use body language to convey confidence.
Charismatic people command attention. They are present at all times.
Body language is a key component of communication. It’s a powerful way to command focus from those around you.
Here are a few tips to improve your body language:
Walk, stand, and sit with a straight back.
Use eye contact to signal your focus.
Don’t shift from side to side.
Situate your head above your neck—don’t hunch.
Use your hands when explaining a concept.
Smile warmly at those around you when it’s appropriate.
Provide your full attention during conversations.
Giving others your full attention makes them feel heard and understood. Doing so builds understanding. Charismatic people easily understand the needs and motivations of those around them.
Maintain eye contact with the person speaking. Mirror their body language. Ask clarifying questions when appropriate. Address all questions asked of you.
Show your gratitude.
Gracious people are perceived as warm and welcoming. Warmth is strongly linked to feelings of trust and security.
Say ‘thank you’ to others when they do something for you, even to the employee handing you your coffee order. Smile when you do so.
Tailor your gratitude to the person with whom you’re speaking.
Maintain strong relationships.
When we’re well-connected, others take note. Not only that, but we feel more confident.
Check on friends and acquaintances. Ask about them before sharing information about yourself. Don’t ignore opportunities to make connections.
Well-connected people are considered more charismatic than their counterparts.
Don’t be a know-it-all.
Likability is paramount to charisma. You might know the answer to a question, but people don’t like those who always think they’re right.
Answer questions only when asked directly. In group settings, let others answer questions if you have already.
Don’t pretend to know the answer if you don’t.
Read other people’s expressions.
Charismatic people are highly emotionally intelligent.
Focus on facial expressions and body language during conversations. Collect this information and address what you see.
If their eyebrows furrow and their nostrils flare, you’ll know there’s a problem.
Addressing worry, confusion, and anger will make you more ‘in tune’ with those around you.
Share some personal information.
Don’t be afraid to open up a little. Vulnerability bonds us to one another. Use vulnerability to your advantage.
Authenticity is a component of vulnerability. Authentically express your intentions when conversing with others. In doing so, you innately establish credibility by revealing aspects of your character.
When conversing, share small anecdotes and funny stories. Ensure these stories are diverse.
Don’t be afraid to share stories of your failures. No one can be a hero all the time. Others will feel more comfortable and at ease in your presence.
Only share what’s appropriate and applicable. Do so sparingly and meaningfully.
The HAIL Framework
In his TED Talk, “How to speak so that people want to listen,” Julian Treasure introduces the HAIL framework. This framework has helped me navigate complicated social settings, and I’d like to share it with you.
Honesty refers to being clear, straightforward, and truthful during your communications with others.
Authenticity refers to staying true to yourself. This includes your values, background, and beliefs.
Integrity means being consistent with your words, actions, and principles.
Love refers to showing genuine appreciation, respect, and care for others.
These can be used in conjunction with the previous tips. Use these four principles to navigate your communications with others.
Focus on cultivating relationships first. Charisma will follow.
This week, I ask you to reflect on charisma and its meaning. Consider the beliefs and thoughts you held true about charisma prior to reading. Then, think about how your beliefs have shifted. Think critically about how you can be more charismatic in your day to day, and about what charisma can do for you.
Prior to reading this newsletter, what was your definition of charisma?
a. List the words you used to believe were true about charisma. What was your definition before this newsletter?
b. Reflect on the people you believed were charismatic according to your old definition. Who were they, and why did you feel they were charismatic?
c. According to this definition, are you charismatic? Why or why not?
What did you learn about charisma?
a. How did this newsletter shift your definition of charisma? Did your beliefs remain the same?
b. Who do you believe is charismatic according to this newsletter? Why?
c. Did this information shift how you think about charisma in yourself? Why or why not?
Thinking forward, how can you be more charismatic?
a. Which tips and frameworks did you find helpful? Which do you think you can incorporate into your daily communications?
b. List some practical ways you can become more charismatic. Think about the conversations you hold daily, and reflect on the ways you can exemplify charisma.
Charismatic people understand how to influence others and get what they want. Unlock your charismatic potential with these highly applicable tips.
I’d love to hear from you:
What does charisma mean to you?
Did this newsletter change your definition of charisma?
How can you practically incorporate these tips?
Tweet at me (@_alexbrogan) or respond to this email — I’ll try to respond to everyone.
Have a wonderful Saturday, all.
Until next time,