A great first impression is a powerful element of relationship-building, but creating that impression requires more than a firm handshake – you need to be charismatic. Two critical skills that have the potential to significantly impact your charisma levels are the ability to create an impression and to win people over.
Not sure you have what it takes? The good news is charisma can be learned.
Charisma can be learned
To step up your own charisma, consider what attracts people to others, and then put those actions into practice in your professional life. A few subtle changes can drastically improve your ability to impress those you meet and win over their hearts and minds too.
The following tips are from Dr. Sebastian Bailey’s book, “Mind Gym: Achieve More by Thinking Differently.” According to the author, charismatic people often utilize these 10 traits and techniques:
- A sense of hope: Optimists outperform pessimists in politics, sales and social connections. Convey hope through an optimistic view of the future and express confidence in others’ abilities.
- A clear passion: Passionate people are interesting and their excitement is contagious. Exude passion by sharing your distinct point of view, demonstrating your focus and speaking with energy.
- A strong connection:You know that feeling of being ‘in sync’ with an old friend or ‘clicking’ with a new contact? Encourage that connection by matching your body language and speech patterns to those you meet, as well as offering up views and values that align with those of your audience.
- Congruence between words and actions:Inconsistencies between what people say and what they do can come across as inauthentic. To gain trust, concentrate on the conversation and speak about things you genuinely care about and believe in.
- Impact words: The right words have the power to change how people feel. Use words that express emotion, appeal to the senses or creates a picture in the listener’s mind and you’ll really make an impact.
- Generous answers:One-word responses won’t fuel a conversation or build a connection with others. Share specific details — and even your feelings — when answering other people’s questions in order to foster true engagement.
- Stimulating questions:The right questions not only elicit a verbal or written response, but also an emotional one. Ask questions that make people think of a positive experience, a favorite person or an uplifting memory, and those feelings will translate into a stronger sense of connection.
- Storytelling:Advice and insight are great, but stories capture people’s hearts and make a message more relatable. Incorporate the elements of good storytelling into your own conversations to boost your charisma.
- Surprises:The unexpected will grab people’s attention and intrigue them. Use a surprising statement, story or action (where appropriate) and you’ll become irresistible.
- Involving listeners in your speech:Putting your audience in the center of the story automatically draws them in. Get others involved by drawing comparisons between your story and their own experiences, using inclusive body language or simply acknowledging the listener by name.
Commit to integrating one or more of these points in your own communications and you’ll experience the incredible impact of charisma.
With time, your skills will improve and you’ll become more comfortable — and successful — at impressing people and winning their hearts and minds.