9 Ways to Become More Charismatic
Charisma is not something you are gifted with, it’s something you develop with experience and time. So, here are 9 ways to become more charismatic, according to Business Insider.
1 – Use words that people can relate to.
Being relatable goes a long way. According to psychologist Dean Keith Simonton, the most effective communicators are those who use concrete – rather than abstract – language. “The most charismatic presidents and politicians reached an emotional connection with people, talking not to their brains but to their gut,” Simonton argues.
For example, try saying “I feel your pain.” instead of “I can relate to your viewpoint.”
2 – Express your feelings.
Another psychologist, Ronald E. Riggio, argues that “charismatic individuals express their feelings spontaneously and genuinely.” According to him, this “allows them to affect the moods and emotions of others.”
And this is called emotional contagion, also described as the “tendency to automatically mimic and synchronize expressions” and feelings. For example, when you’re really excited about something, people around you will “catch” that excitement, too. It all comes down to sharing energies, doesn’t it?
3 – Talk about your potential, it’s more impressive than your accomplishments.
In other words, focus on the future rather than being bragging about the past. A Stanford-Harvard study suggests that past accomplishments are not what captures people’s attention. In fact, humans are more interested by someone’s perceived potential.
The study states that the “uncertainty appears to be more cognitively engaging than reflecting on what is already known to be true.”
4 – Mirror the person you’re speaking to.
Yes, studies show that when two people are getting along, they unconsciously start to mirror each other’s body language as a sign of trust and safety. This is completely unconscious of course. If your friend crosses their legs, so do you; you take a sip of water, so does your friend.
Some leaders actually reverse the phenomenon and mimic their “opponent”’s behaviour when negotiating. This trick is believed to help to earn the trust of the person facing you.
5 – Keep your hands and torso open to signal that you’re welcoming.
Maybe you’ve seen Vanessa Van Edwards’ TED talk? She explains this way better than we’ll ever be able to. But the idea is: posture speaks louder than words. Keeping your hands stuffed in your pockets and your shoulders turned inward seem to be sending the signal that you are either not interested in what someone is telling you, or lying/hiding something.
So, don’t be afraid to talk with your hands and stand in an open stance to show that you are available, engaged and honest.
6 – Bring a dog with you.
Ok, maybe not at your next meeting. But according to a University of Michigan experiment, women were found to be more attracted to men who owned a dog (they were reading profiles of different men). The study concludes that owning a pet makes you look like you’re a nurturing and capable of making long-term commitments kind of person. It also supposedly makes you look more relaxed, approachable, happy, and human.
That will explain the incredible number of men posting pictures with not-always-theirs dogs on dating apps…
7 – Smile more.
This one just makes sense, but we’ll look at what science says just because. In two experiments, researchers in Switzerland examined the relationship between attractiveness and smiling. They found that the wider the smile, the more attractive a face looked to other people.
A happy facial expression is always nice.
8 – Get people to talk about themselves.
Next time you engage with someone go the extra mile and rather than asking “how’s your day going?” try “Have you been working on anything exciting today?”. You’ll see the difference. Talking about yourself stimulates the same brain region as having a good meal or spending time with someone you love.
Also, when people really open up and talk about their experiences, they become more vulnerable to one another, in a good way. And when they become more vulnerable, they form social bonds and try investing in one another’s well-being.
9 – Walk at the same pace as other people.
This will make you look friendly. Why? A Durham University study shows that even the way you walk gives you a sense of personality. Looser gaits were linked with extroversion, while more clipped walkers were perceived as… neurotic.
Another study (the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) shows that men match women’s paces if they are attracted to them. It only makes sense, since it shows that someone wants to spend more time with someone else. Once again, using this trick consciously will help you unconsciously convince other people that you are engaging with them and establishing a “safe space” to exchange.