Stand Out, Be Noticed, Captivate People
“Charisma is a sparkle in people that money can’t buy. It’s an invisible energy with visible effects.” — Marianne Williamson
Have you ever longed to be the life of the party?
Wouldn’t it be nice to navigate business and social situations comfortably, easily, and skillfully?
How would it feel to be able to inspire, impress and energize everyone you meet?
Charisma provides many perks.
Few things can enhance multiple facets of your life. Charisma is one of them.
Those with charisma have the power to inﬂuence the world and enjoy a greater range of opportunities.
Are you born with the charisma of George Clooney or Cate Blanchett,
or can it be acquired?
Charisma is a controversial topic.
Many believe you’re either born with this advantage or not.
On the other hand, many social scientists claim it’s a relatively easy skill to master if you know the secrets.
Regardless of your current level of charisma though, it is possible to take it to the next level.
With practice, you can become very charismatic.
“I watched Ali, studied Ali, and I studied Sugar Ray Robinson. I watched them display showmanship. I watched them use pizzazz, personality, and charisma. I took things from them and borrowed things from them because boxing is entertainment.” — Sugar Ray Leonard
What Exactly Is Charisma ?
According to the dictionary, charisma is a
“compelling attractiveness or charm that can inspire devotion in others.”
There are four components to charisma:
(1) You must be present.
You can’t be charismatic if you’re not fully present in the situation.
Daydreaming when you’re around others isn’t appropriate.
It’s important to be completely engaged with your environment.
When you’re having a conversation, the other person should believe you’re 100% focused on them.
A big part of charisma is making others feel important and good about themselves.
(2) Be kind.
You can’t make people feel low about themselves and be charismatic.
It doesn’t work that way.
You need to keep your comments positive and polite.
Avoid gossiping. Most gossip is of a negative nature and simply unhealthy.
Be empathetic and approachable so others feel comfortable and at ease in your presence.
Being comfortable is a basic human drive. It’s a state that lacks stress. Strive to create that same feeling in others.
Being kind is challenging to fake. It’s relatively easy to fake being present by keeping your eyes glued on the other person while they speak and asking a few relevant questions. The key to being kind, however, is to do it without expecting something in return.
Be gracious. Take a moment each day to take stock of the things that make you grateful.
Be curious about others. It’s much harder to judge a person when you know them well.
Seek to understand everyone you meet.
Give compliments. A sincere compliment is always pleasant to receive. It sets the tone for a conversation.
Smile. It costs you nothing. It’s tough to be thought of as kind without a smile on your face.
Have open body language. Keep your hands visible. Avoid having any barriers between you and the other person.
If you want to be trusted, give others a reason to trust you.
Be on time and do what you say you’re going to do. It’s that simple. Really.
(3) Be conﬁdent.
Those with charisma ooze conﬁdence. It would be impossible for someone that appeared nervous and uncomfortable to be charismatic. Those that are uncomfortable tend to make others uncomfortable.
When you act conﬁdently, others are more comfortable around you.
Keep your mind focused on solutions rather than problems. You’ll feel better, complain less, and accomplish more.
Keep your self-talk positive.
What’s going on between your ears will eventually be demonstrated to the world, no matter how hard you try to hide it.
When you catch yourself thinking negatively, turn it around.
Be prepared. A little preparation can help to put your mind at ease. You’ll feel more conﬁdent and perform much better.
Know your values and stick to them.
Conﬁdent people are consistent because they don’t feel the need to change with the situation.
When people see that you live by a code, they’ll know that you’re conﬁdent.
Set small goals and achieve them. Add one success habit to your daily routine. A little success is the best cure for a lack of conﬁdence.
Speak up for yourself. Is there someone in your life that treats you poorly? Let them know that it’s no longer acceptable and you expect to be treated better going forward. Try it, and notice how much more conﬁdent you feel afterward.
Visualize yourself in a challenging situation and acting in a conﬁdent manner. With enough repetition, you can change the way you perform in that situation.
Be a ﬁnisher.
Many of us quit with only 5% of the work remaining. This is a conﬁdence destroyer.
Learn how to persevere and continue forward until the job is done.
(4) Be powerful.
How can you be powerful if you’re not a CEO or a celebrity?
What is power? Let’s consider power to be the perceived ability to inﬂuence the world around you. It could be due to fame and fortune, experience and expertise, holding political ofﬁce, or high social status.
Others can perceive you have this ability through your words and actions.
Be perceived as intelligent. Most people that can effectively alter their environment are intelligent. Learn as much as you can. Be knowledgeable and remain up to date on a wide range of subjects.
People that lack power over their environment become rattled easily.
Get in shape. It’s important to be able to control yourself. You don’t need to look like Daniel Craig or Halle Berry, but someone with self-control will eat well and get regular exercise.
Dress well — it’s more important than you think. We make a lot of assumptions based on the dress of others. Powerful people dress well. Strive to be slightly overdressed. You won’t just be perceived as more powerful, but you might just feel more powerful too.
Speak slowly. Pause for a few seconds before responding to someone. The less you speak, the more your words mean.
Make reasonable requests of others without embarrassment. Be assertive and create an environment that you enjoy.
That’s all it takes.
Learn to be present, kind, conﬁdent, and powerful.
It might sound like a tall order, but each of these characteristics can be demonstrated to others with simple behaviors. It just requires a plan.
“For example, a man who might not have enormous charisma, who could be president 40 years ago, and who was a deserving president, I don’t know that George Washington would be a president today, I don’t know that Abe Lincoln would, I don’t know that Roosevelt would.” — Sydney Pollack
A Daily Plan For Increasing Charisma
It’s not enough to understand the components of charisma.
Knowledge is just the ﬁrst step.
Implementing this knowledge is what actually makes a difference.
Changing behavior is challenging.
The key is to start small and apply effort on a daily basis.
Your current ways of viewing and interacting with the world are habits. It will take time to create new habits.
Build your level of charisma one habit at a time:
(1) Assess your current behavior.
Compare and contrast your behavior with what you now know. Where can you make a big impact easily? Do you stare at the ground while talking to others?
Find a few high-leverage points and address them.
(2) Choose one new behavior for each of the four components.
Limit yourself to just four new habits in total.
- Presence: I will look others in the eye during conversations.
- Kindness: I will give three sincere compliments each day.
- Conﬁdence: I will exercise for 15 minutes each day for a month.
- Power: I will dress like my boss.
(3) Look for potential obstacles.
Do you have appropriate clothes to wear?
Does maintaining eye contact make you uncomfortable?
What type of exercise will you do?
Think ahead and plan for any known issues.
A little preparation can mean the difference between success and failure.
(4) Visualize success.
Take a few minutes each morning and night to visualize yourself performing the new behaviors successfully. A few repetitions, twice a day, can pay off in a big way.
(5) Do it.
There’s no time like the present. Jump in and give your best effort. Avoid expecting perfection.
Seek consistent improvement instead.
Progress will come much quicker if you evaluate your progress regularly. Let yourself know what you’re doing right and wrong.
What could you have done better?
Are you noticing any difference in the way people react to you?
Do you feel more conﬁdent and charismatic?
How can you apply what you’ve learned to tomorrow’s effort?
(7) Continue until your new behaviors have become habits.
When you naturally perform your new behaviors without any thought, congratulate yourself on a job well done. Give yourself that figurative pat on the back you deserve.
(8) Add new goals.
There’s still more work to do. You’ll probably have to add at least 2–3 habits in each area before you notice a significant difference. Repeat the process with four fresh goals.
(9) You can stop when you feel your charisma is sufﬁcient.
How charismatic do you want to be?
It’s up to you.
Keep going until you’re completely satisﬁed.
Create new habits that support your charisma.
You might have to spend part of your time eliminating a few habits that hold you back.
Your habits determine your future. So work on your new habits each day, be consistent, and enjoy the process.
“With somebody like Harrison Ford, they’re so commanding and conﬁdent, and you know, he does have a certain power or charisma, and those are things that are sort of ineffable.” — Paul Dano
A few additional tips:
(1) Find a role model.
It could be someone you know, a historical character, or a ﬁctional character. Frequently cited examples for charisma often include James Bond or Cary Grant. Watch some movies and notice how they move, speak, and behave.
Bill Clinton and Steve Jobs are also good examples of charismatic leaders.
Maybe you like the way Gandhi handled himself.
It might well be that one of your friends is the most charismatic person you know.
Find someone you can study and emulate while still being your own, unique person.
(2) Be patient.
Building your charisma will take time. However, you can become very charismatic regardless of your starting point. Focus on small, consistent improvements.
(3) Become a master at handling uncomfortable situations.
Explain the situation, offer a solution, and apologize if appropriate. Avoid being emotional. Be solution oriented.
(4) Remember to go slowly.
Be under control and purposeful. Those with power and charisma speak slowly, gesture slowly, and rarely need to rush for any reason. Avoid aimless talking. Have a purpose at all times.
(5) Consider working on your public speaking skills.
If you can become comfortable while speaking to a crowd, less stressful situations can become easier too.
“For some reason, men in politics seem to have a bunch of charisma, and women drop around their feet. I haven’t noticed that so much for me and men.” — Lara Giddings
Why Have Charisma?
How would your life be different if you increased your charisma?
Imagine how your life would change.
Charisma will make you more capable of creating an environment that you enjoy.
Consider these beneﬁts:
(1) Others notice the instant you walk into a room.
Perhaps you currently struggle to get even those at your restaurant table to pay attention to you. With charisma, everyone is drawn to you.
(2) Everyone is glad to help you.
They can’t help it. They feel compelled to assist you in any way possible. Your requests are rarely rebuffed.
Surprisingly enough, if you seem to be all alone in the world, having more charisma can help bring others closer to you.
(3) Your love life reaches a new high.
There’s a reason why the most charismatic people seem to almost pick and choose partners at will. With charisma, you’re no longer intimidated by prospective partners.
Your level of conﬁdence and ease becomes extremely attractive.
(4) You have a greater number of employment opportunities.
Albeit debatable, there aren’t too many CEOs lacking in the charisma department. In fact, many CEOs might not have much else to offer if you listen to the stockholders. Charismatic people always seem to be highly capable without having to prove themselves in the short-term.
(5) People immediately trust and respect you.
In most cases, respect and trust must be earned. However, there are exceptions. We naturally respect and trust those with the highest levels of charisma — it’s involuntary.
(6) You enjoy a greater ability to lead.
Half of leadership is getting others to follow. Those with charisma are given opportunities to lead. Those without are often relegated to becoming followers.
With high levels of charisma, it’s also easier to retain your best employees.
(7) Charisma is helpful at home too.
Whether you need to inﬂuence your children to take their studies seriously or convince your neighbor to cut their lawn, you’ll have the upper hand.
Even your friends will beneﬁt by being more comfortable in your presence.
Most charismatic people learned the skills necessary to be charismatic at a very early age. This is also true for many other social skills. This is considered by many to be the product of trial and error. The child tries different behaviors and receives a reward for behaving in a charismatic manner.
While many people are charismatic without any conscious effort, many others have learned to be charismatic.
We only know many of these people when they’re at their best. We don’t have the opportunity to view the growing pains along the way.
Charisma is now understood to be a set of speciﬁc behaviors.
“We shouldn’t require our politicians to be movie stars. Then again, we’re all inﬂuenced by charisma. It’s hard not to be. We all collectively fall for it.” — Julianne Moore
Charisma is a powerful trait. It can open many doors. Your personal and professional life beneﬁt. Even your family and friends are rewarded by your charisma.
It’s not necessary to be rich, famous, or born with a gift.
Even the most socially awkward of us can become charismatic!
Remember the four primary components of charisma:
Create a plan to address each of these four areas on a daily basis.
Focus on building new habits.
Go slowly and you’re sure to ﬁnd success.
The key is slow, consistent change and progress.
A charismatic role model can also be very helpful.
Study, observe, and evaluate how they speak, move, and view the world around them.
Are you ready to have a charismatic presence that draws others like a magnet?
Follow these tips and you will inspire, impress and energize everyone you meet!
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