The tips in this section are primarily based on Dr. Olivia Fox Cabane’s book, ‘The Charisma Myth’ and the summaries of the book provided by /u/SuavePadawan and /u/upandup123 on /r/getSuave and on The Art of Manliness. There are 3 elements to Charisma: Presence, Power and Warmth.
Essentially active listening
- Bring yourself to the here and now. Learn to focus on something such as your toes or your breath. That will bring you more into the moment and make you more present.
- Make sure you’re physically comfortable
- Set your devices on silent and put them out of sight
- Look the person in the eye when they’re talking
- Maintain eye contact, not doing so can be considered uncomfortable by some
- Keep the regions around your eyes “soft”. Stern looks can intimidate people.
- Nod to show that you’re listening
- Ask clarifying questions
- Avoid fidgeting
- Don’t think about how you’re going to respond while the person is still talking
- Never interrupt. Wait two seconds before responding 🌟
- Let your face react and process what the person said for about two seconds, then speak. This makes people much more comfortable, and makes you seem more intelligent.
- Try to count out two seconds in your head before you reply to what people say. You will first notice that, often, people were not finished speaking. They merely paused. By waiting two seconds, you allow them to finish their entire thought. Rather than interrupting the other person, you communicate genuine interest and attention to what they are saying. Second, waiting two seconds creates a moment of tension between the end of their thought and your reply. Because most people immediately jump into their reply, in waiting two seconds you communicate confidence and power.
Being perceived as able to affect the world around us, whether through influence on or authority over others, large amounts of money, expertise, intelligence, sheer physical strength, or high social status.
- Boost your confidence
- Spend time with proper posture, taking up space with confident poses, and spend time smiling. Eventually your brain will pick up to this pace.
- Chose your music choice carefully. Music can affect your mood heavily.
- Know a little about a lot
- Become physically fit
- Dress for power
- Wear clothes similar to those that you want to attract
- Be the Big Gorilla
- Envision a large gorilla tromping through the jungle. That’s the way you want to move. Not necessarily just like it, but by taking up space and moving with a purpose.
- Don’t be concerned with mild collisions.
- Assume Power Poses
- Take control of your environment
- Speak less and slowly
- Boost your poise
- Imagine James Bond. This guy doesn’t fidget, and doesn’t look to earn approval from who he’s conversing with.
- Don’t fidget, don’t look to assure or please the person you are speaking to.
- Assume that you are already bringing enough and that they have to bring the rest.
- Now that you are conveying power, be careful not to over do it, as you might intimidate some people. Remember to keep soft eyes. Another helpful tip is to tilt your head down just a bit. This seems respectful, and makes you seem more knowledgeable.
Warmth fulfills the basic human need to be understood, acknowledged, and taken care of — a need rooted in our very being all the way from childhood
Wishing goodwill on others is an excellent way to reach warmth, and create a feeling of warmth in others. With expressing goodwill, your body language will dramatically change and make you more charismatic.
Find three things to appreciate or approve of of someone you want to express goodwill to, things such as “their shoes were shined” or “they were on time”.
Visualize people as wearing angel wings. This will make you want to express goodwill, and support angels. Feel free to envision yourself wearing them too in order to create a sense of team effort toward a good cause. A band of angels working together.
Developing Warmth Within
- Practice gratitude
- Develop your empathy
Conveying Warmth To Others
- Think of yourself as the host
- Lead with a sincere compliment
- People have a craving for appreciation. Show appreciation by saying stuff like ,”You did a great job!” rather than “Great job!”
- People would rather be reaffirmed that they made the right choice then find a fault with it, so remind people they had a choice with you, and express gratitude. That will further make them happy with their decision.
This also works in reverse. If you blame someone, they will probably only look for validation that they are right.
- Put more warmth in your voice
- Speak lowly, and slowly. Pause frequently. Lower intonation at the end of sentences. Imagine the word “closed” when picturing a judge saying, “The case is closed.”
- Mirror their body language
- People like others who are similar in speech, demeanor, appearance, etc.
- Mimic the motions of those you are speaking to. This creates a sense of trust.
- Be selective. There’s just some you can’t recreate without being suspicious or some motions may be gender specific
- Use variations in amplitude. If they go big with a motion, maybe go small. Only do what’s comfortable.
- Don’t mirror someone who is angry. Break them from their angry pose by handing them something or something, then move into a non angry one.
- Relax your posture
- Open up your body
- Give them your “kind” eyes
- Anticipate needs
- Offer something warm to drink
- Give a good handshake
- Give people a chance to let you know the effort they put into something
- Show people how their involvement has helped. People will feel driven to help support it.
- Make them feel comfortable
- Remember dates, anniversaries, and details
- Give thoughtful gifts
- Take care of things
- Ask for help
- Use the Benjamin Franklin effect in which asking someone to do you a favor will make you seem more likeable.
- Instead, ask for their opinion, which will make them feel more valued.
- If you can, find some way to remind them of a past time they helped out, and attempt to praise them for the warmth they had for doing that.
Break The Ice
- Excellent way to start communication with warmth is to compliment something someone is wearing.
- From there, ask an open ended question about it, “What’s the story behind that, where is it from, etc.”
- Ask more open ended questions that don’t have a definitive yes or no answer.
- Using lingo that relates to what they are interested in. For instance, if someone is really into golf describe a success as a hole in one.
- Don’t linger, break it off fairly quickly and leave on a high note.
- Massive bonus points if you offer them something when you leave. Something such as a connection or a resource they might enjoy/need.
- Don’t worry about what you said, or what you will say. A MIT Media Lab study showed that how you made them feel is what counted.
- If someone told you they want to be saved from a conversation, focus all your warmth and charisma not on the person being rescued, but on the person who is going to lose them, and ask them, “I’m really sorry, but X is needed to do X, would you mind if I take them?”. This will give them the sense that they had some say in the matter while also avoiding hurting their feelings.
- Speak about positive topics and make people feel good when you speak to them. Positive connotations will make them much more likely to want to converse with you in the future
- Take a compliment in full. Don’t qualify (“Oh its nothing!” or “No I’m not!”) or you may make the person who gave you the compliment feel as if they were wrong to compliment you. Apply good listener skills for bonus points.
- “You can get more friends in two months by becoming truly interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”-Dale Carnegie.
- Speaking with metaphors and creating images is more favorable to the brain, and more likely to make you sound like an effective speaker.
Don’t use images when discussing negative things.
Deliver High Value
- When you are speaking to someone you are demanding their time and attention. This is valuable, so you must deliver on it. For instance, you can do these three things to make it worth their time:
- Make what you’re saying entertaining
- Give interesting or helpful information
- Find a way to arouse good feelings
Tuning your voice
- Vocal Power
- Vocal Warmth
- Smile! This heavily affects how you sound and speak!
Divide and Conquer
- Don’t try to win over a big group of people at once.
- Understand which strategy you want to use with each person.
Delivering Bad News
- Have distractions such as items for them to fidget with, candle light, or background music.
- Prepare yourself to come from a place of compassion when you speak.
- Once again, create a comfortable environment, get into a compassionate place,
- Get specific with your criticisms.
- Depersonalize. Let the person know you are critiquing their behavior, not them.
- “When you wait til the last possible minute to work on the presentation, I get nervous.” is the proper critique. “Why do you feel the need to wait til the last possible minute?” is not.
- Start of on a positive note, such as bringing up their accomplishments.
- Follow up with criticisms. Once again, depersonalize. Instead of asking “Could you get the presentation done earlier?”, say “In the future I would greatly appreciate it if you could be ready with the project a few days in advance.”
- Deny yourself the joy of pointing out the fact that someone is wrong. Once again, make them feel good about themselves, then explain in a depersonalized way.
- If things start getting verbally tense, remind them of times they’ve done well. Remember to mirror their actions to make them feel at ease.
- End on a positive note.