In a room full of people, the charismatic person will always stand out. Charisma draws people into conversations, captures attentions, and it can command a crowd.
Every great leader in history had a strong charismatic quality. Yet today, you’ll find it’s a skill that’s rarely taught. If you want to stand apart from the crowd, here are seven ways to be more charismatic.
1. Dress to Impress
In an ideal world, we‘d never judge a book by it’ cover; in the real world, we make judgements on information that’s available—the first is visual.
What you wear says a lot about you. In fact, people can draw accurate personality assessments from someone’s choice of clothing.
It’s not about buying the most expensive outfit—you’ll isolate yourself from the people you’re trying to connect with. If you’re attending a networking or social event, check the expected attire. Dress in a way that makes you feel great—we project how we feel, and charisma has to begin with yourself. If you feel impressed with the way you look, others will be impressed, also.
2. Smile (And with Your Eyes)
Analyzing data from a 30-year longitudinal study, researchers from UC Berkeley could determine participants’ professional success, fulfillment in marriages, health, and how inspiring they were perceived by others. They did so using old yearbook photos, and measuring smiles.
We’re wired for empathy; the “mirror neurons” in our brains cause us to reciprocate a smile. Smiling releases endorphins and that positive brain stimulation creates rapport between people, and increases likability.
Be sure to make good eye contact with a genuine smile. Strained and fake smiles can be subconsciously detected by others.
3. Use Your Hands
The hands are one of the first places our eyes are directed when meeting someone new. Evolutionists say this was for security measures—to make sure others were not carrying weapons. But we still do it today, and it determines the level of trust we’re initially willing to give.
There is less trust when meeting and chatting with someone who keeps their hands in their pockets. When you do show your hands, be sure to show your palms. Studies reveal that showing the backs of your hands are perceived as less trustworthy.
Furthermore, using hand gestures when you speak will help with communication and articulation.
4. Strategic Touches
When used sparingly and strategically, a slight touch to the side of a person’s elbow or shoulder leaves a positive impression. It will convey a sense of warmth and friendliness, and strengthen the level of connectedness between people.
Skilled waiters who’ve mastered the slight social touch even make better tips. It’s most commonly used at the end of a conversation, or at the end of a compliment.
5. Tell Stories
People learn better through stories, and are more attentive. The brain is wired to follow narratives. The most effective advertisements and marketing campaigns are when products are promoted through a story.
When you’re in a conversation, rather than simply spitting out statistics or dry information, tell a story about how you came across those important facts.
6. Ask Questions
Asking questions shows that you’re interested. And people enjoy talking about themselves. It gives them a sense of significance. If you’re able to make someone feel good about themselves, they’ll naturally be drawn to you. We’re often pressured into talking when meeting people, so next time, take the back-seat and focus on asking questions.
7. Use Their Name
It’s the sweetest sounding thing to everyone’s ear. Your name is one of the first things you hear coming out of the womb; there’s a positive visceral response to hearing it.
This goes hand-in-hand with asking questions. Always ask for someone’s name, and repeat it back to them in conversation. This will help you remember their name—the one major problem most people have. If you end a conversation using someone’s name, they will certainly notice, and remember your name.
Have you used any of these strategies in your interactions? Let us know your experience in the comments below!