I do a lot of speaking engagements. Something you learn after doing a few of those is just how valuable charisma is. The experience of listening to a speaker versus delivering a talk is two distinct sides of a coin, but there is one thing you're sure of on both sides of the fence: whether or not the person on the other end of it is engaging.
Personal magnetism is one of those qualities that some of us wonder whether or not it’s actually even real. It sounds like one of those gimmick concepts that’s used to bring people in for self-help conferences. Right? Well, there’s a little more to it than that. Personal magnetism is really about charisma.
Charisma is a term dating back to the Greeks—it’s the “gift of grace,” something they believed the gods bestowed to blessed individuals. Many of us still believe that you either have it or you don’t. You’re charismatic or socially inept and awkward. If you’re bad at this whole people thing, tough luck, sport. You’re doomed to dweeb-dom.
Scientists, of course, have disproved this notion. Charisma is a social skill – it's learned. Anyone can learn to be charismatic. It’s a good thing, too, because charisma is crucial to business success.
Particularly for entrepreneurs, investors, and anyone striking out alone in the business world, a quality of personal magnetism is essential. A charismatic leader naturally makes people want to trust and follow them. They want to believe in and support your mission. Workers under you will find greater satisfaction in doing so.
So for us—those in business, those investing or striking out to make something of themselves—how do we make ourselves more magnetic? It's something I know I had to brush up on the more and more I started speaking and putting myself out there. These are just a few of the tips I picked up on.
5 Ways to Instantly Boost Your Personal Magnetism
1) Be Positive
If you think about the people you’ve encountered in your life, you’ve no doubt known a few pessimists. They aren’t typically people you want to be around, are they? If you want to be charismatic, it starts with channeling positive thinking into positive words.
The goal is to leave people feeling better and happier than they felt before you spoke with them. Are you improving people’s lives by being there? Even if it’s just in a few moments of conversation? Pay attention to the words you use and the topics you gravitate towards. You might be surprised at how you talk about things. Even when you think you’re speaking positively, you might be falling into bad habits.
Be positive. Be affirming. It goes a lot further than you think!
2) Emote Clearly
Charismatic people show emotions. We’re not talking about uncontrollable emotions, but simply the ability to react, feel, and have an energy about them. Use gestures when you speak and tell stories. Make an effort to show the appropriate facial expressions through the course of a conversation. While you may be mentally engaged, people can’t tell that by looking at you!
Be physically engaged when you speak and when you listen. It takes practice, especially if it’s not natural for you. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be done!
3) Think Concretely
Concrete versus abstract. I’m talking simply about using terms that the people you’re speaking to can understand in real and authentic ways. Abstract terms are things like love, justice, success, and freedom. They have different meanings to different people at different times. Concrete terms are things available to our senses. Blue, run, pain, house. Many politicians will use abstract terms in an effort to obscure real meanings. When we use concrete terms, it puts a clearer picture in the minds of the people we’re talking to, rather than seeming like a smokescreen to hide what we’re actually trying to say.
Charismatic people know that storytelling is valuable, and good storytelling is concrete.
4) Zero In
People with great personal magnetism have a robust confidence about them. One of the obvious signs of this is their ability to make eye contact. They truly focus on the people that they’re with. Instead of looking to their hands, their feet, the floor, their phones, or any other distraction, they have an unwavering focus on the person they’re speaking to. It’s not just about manners, it’s about drawing them in.
You want to create a certain level of intimacy with people—let them know that they are seen, known, and heard. It builds trust and confidence.
5) Be Convicted
Wishy-washy people are not charismatic. Those with high personal magnetism are confident in themselves, their goals, and their feelings. They know where they stand on any given issues and they are willing to articulate those feelings clearly and confidently.
That’s not to say they will mow down and argue with anyone who has a dissenting opinion, just that they are confident in their own. They have moral convictions, they know why they feel the way they feel, and they are well-informed. A charismatic person has goals and dreams and is dedicated to reaching them. They have drive. They have conviction. When they are asked their opinion, what they’ve been doing, or what their plans are...they are never left saying “nothing.”
What strategy has boosted your charisma? Share your tactics in the comments.