Building your level of charisma is easiest to achieve if completed in small steps. It is essential to understand the fundamental building block of charisma is actually about making other people feel good about themselves. In order to successfully achieve this you will need to evaluate your current behavior and modify it where necessary. The following techniques are essential when communicating with anyone:
When meeting anyone for the first time it is essential to understand what motivates and inspires them. Assuming you are able to say hello and introduce yourself to someone you can easily follow with asking about their interests and passions. If for any reason you find it difficult to approach people you do not know then it is essential that you practice; walk up to any stranger and say “Hi, my name is John, what’s yours?” Most people will give you their name and you have started a conversation, from here it is a quick step to “I noticed you were reading / writing / looking at ……; is that something that interest’s or inspires you?”
There will be times, at first, when you get little or no response but the more you practice the more often you will initiate a conversation. Adding a relaxed smile will help.
Once you have asked you may be surprised at how much information you can learn from them. Everyone has a passion and loves to share it, not only can you learn from their knowledge but they will start to bond with you; your charisma will be starting to develop.
Listening & Engaging
Having got a conversation going it is essential to listen. You should always listen more than you talk (unless you are giving a speech!). This is not just so that you can increase your own knowledge, although this is a nice side affect. Listening to someone increases their view of their own self worth and this will translate into an appreciation of you. Providing you show you are genuinely interested they will remember you long after your conversation; your listening allowed them to make a connection which can potentially bind them to you for life.
The most important thing about listening is to actually do it. Do not try to appear like you are listening as this will become apparent and you will lose their respect and interest immediately. The best way to show you are listening is to ask relevant and insightful questions whenever you can. Again, if you are not comfortable doing this at present then practice; you will find it easier than you think!
Dress to Impress
A large part of charisma actually comes down to self-confidence and the projection of this confidence. People are naturally attracted to confident people and this will give your charisma a jump start. The best way to appear confident is to dress to impress. You hair should be tidy and your clothes should provide people with an image of you before they even start to talk to you. This image may be of a young business professional, a budding rock star or simply an average person going shopping. Whatever the image you must be well presented and pay attention to detail. You are more likely to be attracted or to notice someone who has made an effort to look their best; this is the response you are looking for in others. It is being noticed, for the right reasons. You are not screaming out ‘look at me’ but you are turning heads.
One of the fundamental beliefs necessary is in your-self. You must believe that you can handle any situation and that you are worthy of other people’s loyalty and respect. Without this basic self belief you will not be able to inspire anyone else to believe in you. After all, a good salesman believes in his product, you are the salesman and the product is you!
Having self belief is also tied into confidence; believe in yourself and your confidence will grow. If you are struggling with self belief then you should start by listing things which you have achieved and things which you can do independently; no matter how minor these things may seem to be. It may also be beneficial to think about the times of adversity you have faced and how you have come through them; the fact that you are still here today shows that you have beaten whatever the issue was.
You may surprise yourself as to how long this list will become, take a moment to feel pride in everything you have done and acknowledge that you can deal with anything that is thrown at you – this is self belief.
Whenever you meet someone new you should make sure you establish what their name is early in the conversation. You then need to remember it, without having to ask again! The best approach to remembering varies from individual to individual but one approach which works well is to immediately repeat the name once out loud and three or four times in your head. As you chat to your new acquaintance you should use their name at every opportunity which is appropriate.
Not only will this technique ensure you remember their name in the future it is also guaranteed to leave them with a good impression of you. They know you have a good memory as you know their name and they will have connected to you as you have listened to their conversation.
Most importantly this process should cement their name in your mind, this will enable you to use it the next time you see them and this will impress them far more than many other gestures can.
Body language is relevant to everything you do in life. Most people know that having your arms crossed is a sure sign that you are on the defensive. There are many keys in the way you walk, smile and even look as to whether you are truly happy or whether you are forcing it. A natural stroll will show you are relaxed, confident and happy, your smile should be present but not forced. No-one can smile all the time so a small or half smile will be enough, it may help to envision yourself being congratulated.
Stand tall and hold the gaze of any person in the room, it can often help to adopt a ‘superman’ pose before attending any event. This pose, where you stand tall with your chin slightly in the air for a few moments will make you feel more confident. Research has actually shown that this will increase your confidence and improve your body language instantly.
The key to body language is to feel positive and stay relaxed – this will show to others and make you appear confident, even if you do not feel it!
A confident person is not afraid to look anyone in the eye; this does not mean starting a staring contest! Looking away briefly is not a sign of weakness, particularly if this is coupled with your attention being drawn elsewhere or if you are considering an appropriate response to a question.
If this is something that you are not used to then you may find it easier, at first, to stare at the spot between their eyes. You will give the impression of eye contact without having to actually do it! Ultimately it is better to have proper eye contact as you will be able to see their reaction to your conversation and even their current state of mind. The eyes really are the windows to the soul!
Making eye contact shows others that you are confident and this allows them to believe in you. They will believe you have a purpose and know what you are doing and how to get there. Again, this lasting impression will inspire their loyalty.
Your charisma is felt when you leave a room and people wish to talk with you some more. This can be greatly encouraged when you avoid engaging in or making negative comments or remarks about either those around you or situations in general.
Instead you should look for and highlight the positive in any situation; this will encourage others to do the same. It will also inspire others as they will see you as someone who looks at the bigger picture and can always see a way forward. This positivity will combine with your positive input to a conversation and leave anyone with a more positive outlook than they previously had. Positive occurrences leave a much longer lasting impression on people than negative ones, by turning your conversation into a positive they will remember it, and you, for much longer. Your charisma will entwine them.
A compliment can go a long way; this is not the of-hand type of compliment which anyone can give, such as ‘you did a good job out there’. This is the sort of compliment you can only give if you are truly listening to someone and both learning and sharing in their experiences. When you give a compliment in this way then the recipient will know it is genuine and will appreciate it.
It will also make you stand out from the crowd and ensure the person remembers you in the future. Again, this is a way of leaving someone with a positive impression of you which is something that is important to a charismatic individual.
Make them Feel Good
Every encounter with someone, whether your first meeting or your hundredth, should leave them with a positive experience; they should feel good about themselves.
The key to making someone feel good about them self is to acknowledge their expertise and opinion. Whether it is relevant to the current discussion is irrelevant, there are many ways by which you can acquire any additional information which you need. If someone has taken the time to contribute to a discussion it is important to acknowledge that input and thank them for their time and information.
People who feel appreciated are more willing to help others and if you are the one making them feel appreciated then they will be eager to justify that appreciation. By simply acknowledging rather than dismissing someone’s opinion you are creating a charismatic personality and becoming a person that others wish to follow.
Basic mannerisms can also enforce this approach, a simple ‘would you’ with a please will ensure anyone helps you, and feels happy to be doing so. A little respect for others can go an extremely long way.