It’s not the fact that they are highly accomplished, successful people; it is the warmth and ease they exude. That’s the first thing you experience when you see them on Television or meet them in person. And that’s charisma. It is not something that you’re born with; it is something you learn along the way. Being charismatic starts with the way you smile to the way you talk to people to the way you conduct yourself. And the good news is that it can be acquired. You too can be charismatic by following a few simple steps.
You reflect who you are inside
If you’re confident and relaxed, you will come across that way to people. But if you’re nervous and anxious, that’s what people will see. If you’re angry people can tell. Because that will show on your face. If you’re depressed, it will show in your body language much before it shows in your words. If you’re happy, people will know immediately. Keep a soft expression on your face and a little smile, just enough to give you that twinkle in your eye. Don’t grit your teeth; or continuously stare at someone; don’t tighten your jaw. Be relaxed and genial, and people will automatically be drawn to you.
Talk less and listen more
Charismatic people are known to be terrific listeners. They remember names and places and faces. They remember little things. They really listen, and don’t think about what they are going to say until it’s their turn. They don’t interrupt people unnecessarily; they let them finish what they are saying. So when you are talking to someone, give them your complete attention, even if the conversation doesn’t interest you. Don’t be in a rush to get in your story first. Being charismatic is also about courtesy and basic etiquettes. Don’t check your phone or laptop when someone is talking to you. It tells them you don’t really care that they are there, and that you have no respect for their time.
Give people a genuine smile
When you smile at someone, make it a genuine one. They say a true smile should cause wrinkles to gather around your eyes. So don’t fake it. A genuine smile can melt mountains. It can tilt things in your favour. It can do wonders for you.
Most people don’t know how to shake one’s hand. It is ridiculous how big that number is. Some of the major no-no handshakes are: the dead fish handshake – where the hand is limp and lifeless, almost saying, I’m not interested in you; the half-shake – which is when people don’t even offer their entire hand for the shake. You get only their fingers, instead; the I’m on top, you’re on top shake – this shows the person is either too aggressive or too insecure. When you shake someone’s hand with your palm facing down, it shows you as an aggressive, arrogant person. And when you do that with your palm facing upwards, it shows you as an insecure, self-doubting person. The trick to a good handshake is ensuring the webbing between your thumb and index finger meets the webbing of the other person’s thumb. Keep it firm, no excessive pressure.
The eye contact
Charismatic people look you in the eye and show you that you’re important to them. Constant eye contact doesn’t mean they stare you down, it just means they make eye contact every now and then, with a small smile. Eye contact is extremely important to show the other person that you’re confident, honest and sincere. Shifty eyes do the exact opposite. Looking everywhere else but the person you’re talking to shows you in a bad light as well.
Don’t be an arrogant, pretentious cad
Don’t go on and on about your achievements or awards or try to make everything about yourself. The most important trait of charismatic people is their humbleness. They are not two-faced people. They don’t judge others.
Don’t act self-important. Be giving, genuine, honest with people. Let them know why they are important to you. Praise them for their achievements, accomplishments. Be generous with your praise. Don’t act jealous or needy. Give them what is due to them. And most importantly, don’t indulge in unnecessary gossip or talk ill of others, because you lose your respect right then and there.
Develop a lovable personality
Be charming, helpful, friendly and chivalrous. Help people as much as you can. Don’t be selfish all the time. If in a group, let everyone present their opinions. For example if you’re deciding where to go for lunch, get everyone’s input and go with the majority. Be gentle and kind. Laugh a lot. Be fun. Sometimes, it is good to be spontaneous. IF someone makes a plan late in the night to take a road trip the following morning, give it a go. Don’t be a prude and say, “you should have told me in advance”. Don’t stab people in the back. Try to give more than you receive. Become a loving, happy soul and people will automatically fall in love with you.