Martin Luther King, Jr. Bill Clinton. Oprah Winfrey. John Kennedy.
When you think of such people, charisma is probably a word that comes to mind. Were they born with it? Or did they learn it?
Most studies agree that charisma is a combination of factors. You may be born with traits that lean you toward being charismatic, but many of the charismatic attributes shown by the people listed above also werelearned and developed throughout their lives.
And you can learn them, too.
Over the years I’ve talked with many leadership and behavior experts, and they’ve offered their insight into how anyone can become more charismatic. Among their suggestions:
- Be disciplined. You must train yourself to be totally focused when another person is speaking. You can’t be darting glances around the room, answering a text message or thinking about your busy schedule. This is not often easy to do when there are many distractions, so it’s something you have to practice. Charismatic people often are described as making the speaker feel that he or she is the only person in the room.
- Convey the right message. Enter a room with your head up and your shoulders back. Make eye contact and work to eliminate speech patterns that include “uh” or “you know.” Try to mirror the body language of the person you engage in a conversation. That helps others feel more comfortable with you and establishes a quicker rapport. Nod your head at times while in a conversation to show you’re listening, or add “me too” when appropriate.
- Always be prepared. Who will you meet today? What will be the topic of conversation? Learn to take a positive mindset for whatever is coming up. Instead of dreading a networking event, for example, think of it as a chance to learn something new or (read more here)