The million-dollar question everyone has been asking is, how do you develop charisma? The good news is charisma is something that you can develop and improve over time. While charisma is an abstract concept, it actually uses efficient principles that, if you work on, can improve your professional and personal life. If you are ready to begin your charisma journey, you can book your FREE discovery call with Sebastian below:
So, let’s begin by addressing some of the misconceptions about charisma:
Charisma Is Something You Are Born With
False. Charisma is not this supernatural quality reserved for the lucky few; charisma is a range of soft skills such as making a good first impression, having captivating conversations, telling fantastic stories, being authentic, and communicating effectively. All of these are areas in which you can develop and will help answer the question of how to develop charisma.
If you are an Introvert You Cannot Be Charismatic
False. The reputation of charisma is that you have to be the person at the party, at the center of attention making people laugh and being in the spotlight. This is just not true; some of the most successful and charismatic people are introverts and have used this to their advantage. Introverts are great listeners, which is a key component to developing charisma.
Charisma is Evil
False. Throughout history, people have used charisma to move and shape the world for the better, starting revolutions, ending wars, changing laws, and making an impact. Words are powerful and can create positive changes in the world. Of course, like all things, it can be used for evil if in the wrong hands. This is why authenticity and being genuine are at the core of being charismatic.
Where Charisma Can Impact Your Life
Communication with Stakeholders
If you are high up within an organization, you will need to communicate with stakeholders regularly. These can be managers, board members, investors, and employees. Charisma can help you effectively communicate, build trust, develop positive relationships, and influence and persuade key decision-makers to embrace your ideas.
Negotiating Partnerships and Alliances
As a high achiever, you will come across instances where you will have to negotiate challenging situations. Charisma is an advantageous skill in these circumstances as it can help you build rapport with the other person, create a harmonious relationship, develop empathy for the other parties involved, and influence them to align with your way of thinking.
Managing Conflicts and Resolving Disputes
Disagreements within the boardroom happen regularly; charisma can be the perfect attribute to help you defuse tensions. Charisma helps to foster open communication, see the issues from the other perspective, build a relationship with the other party, and use your words to address the situation and amicably come to an agreement.
Whether you are launching a new project, strategy, or process, you are going to need the support of the teams you manage. As a charismatic leader, you will be able to inspire your team and create a sense of purpose and loyalty. By having charisma, you can overcome resistance to change and foster cooperation which will ultimately lead your team to success.
How Do You Develop Charisma?
As mentioned above, charisma is a range of soft skills which, when applied, creates charisma. We will break down each of the elements and show you how you can improve your charisma.
A key component of how you can develop charisma is to create a killer first impression when you first meet someone. You can cultivate a great first impression by:
- Making eye contact
- Smiling genuinely
- Having open body language
- Using hand gestures
It’s important to never overlook the first impression; studies have found that the snap judgment someone makes of you within the first few seconds can stick with you for a long time. If you look unprofessional and stumble over your words, then you could give the other person the impression that you are unprepared, even though you may not be.
Developing strong charisma and enhancing your conversation skills will help lead you to have more influence over other people. Conversations can build rapport, communicate your ideas effectively, and engage with others; here is a simple process to follow:
This is usually the most common stumbling block, figuring out what exactly you want to say to someone to kick-start the conversation. It’s important to be adaptable as there is no silver bullet, no killer opener that gets anyone talking, and usually a standard opener that you have rehearsed comes across as forced and is not authentic. Here are a few openers you can use to start the conversations:
- “So, who have you met already?”
- “You look very professional; what do you do for a living?”
- “What made you come to this event?”
- “Can I get your advice on how I would look to get into your industry?”
- “How do you normally approach networking events?”
- “How has your industry changed since you started working?”
- “Are there any speakers you are looking forward to hearing from?”
- “What have you been working on recently?”
- “Where do you see your industry heading in the next few years?”
- So how do you know the host of this party?
- Tell me about you.
- What’s your story?
- What do you do when you’re not working?
- What’s been taking up all your time recently?
If you are looking to learn more about starting conversations with new people, then take a look at our blog post “5 Strategies to Talk to Strangers.“
A core component of charisma is to be able to keep engaging conversations going. The simplest way you can maintain deep and meaningful conversations is to ask open questions; these are questions that start with:
This helps to keep conversations going because it makes the other person give you more information than just a yes or no answer. By giving you more information, you have more opportunities to ask amazing follow-up questions; here are a few examples:
- Why did you choose a career in X?
- What made you move to X?
- How do you find working in X?
- What made you choose to travel to X?
- Why did you start a business in X?
- How do you find the latest industry changes?
- How did you meet your partner?
Open questions encourage the other person to open up and give their answer in the form of a story. Not only is this more interesting for you, but they may provide some additional information for you to ask a question about, rather than constantly thinking of new questions.
One of the key areas you need to develop when it comes to charisma is your storytelling abilities. Storytelling is a powerful tool when you are trying to influence and persuade others; marketing companies use storytelling to ‘sell’ their products. Apple never says “Buy our computer; it has a 6TB hard drive.” They share a story of a mother saving her children’s photos on her Apple Mac; you see much more powerful.
If you are asking “How do I Develop Charisma?” then storytelling is an essential ability you will need to hone. Here are a few methods to improve your storytelling:
What is the Purpose of the story?
Think about what is the purpose of your story; is it to entertain, enlighten, win an argument, convey an idea, spice up a presentation, inspire a team, communicate a message, etc. Once you have decided on its purpose, you can craft and change your story to be as impactful as possible to achieve your goal.
Edit, Edit, Edit
Once you have decided on your story and its purpose, then edit, edit, edit. People add too much detail when it comes to storytelling; does it really matter or impact the story if it took place on a Tuesday? If it does, then leave it in.
Follow the story-structure
A story has a particular structure, which is:
- Rising Action
- Falling action
This is the classic story structure that is used in movies and TV shows. The problem some people have is their stories go on and on with no end in sight, or they get distracted by something they said and go on another topic and never finish the story. Stick to the structure of your story.
To develop unbreakable charisma, we will also need to address body language. While we may think we have control over our bodies, we give off non-verbal cues without even realizing it. The simplest way you can increase your charisma with your body language is by doing the following:
A genuine smile is one of the simplest ways you can develop strong charisma. When we think of charismatic qualities in people, what do we think of? Positive? Confident? Warm? Approachable? Smiling can communicate all that and more. That positivity is contagious, so make sure you are giving a genuine smile when communicating with others.
Use Hand Gestures
The fastest way you can boost your charisma is to begin to use hand gestures in your conversations. We are not talking jazz hands but purposeful, calculated hand gestures can have a real positive impact when it comes to charisma. Gestures like “Counting” or “Big and Small” are the easiest to do naturally; humans love hand gestures; it’s a great visual representation and adds more emphasis to what you are saying.
In the pursuit of developing charisma, we’ve explored the myths surrounding it, debunking the notion that charisma is an inherent trait reserved for a chosen few. Charisma, as we’ve discovered, is a collection of soft skills that can be honed and perfected over time.
We’ve dismantled the misconception that introverts cannot possess charisma, showcasing how their strengths, such as keen listening skills, contribute to the development of this sought-after quality. Additionally, we’ve emphasized that charisma, far from being inherently good or evil, depends on the authenticity and genuine nature of the individual wielding it.
Examining the impact of charisma on various aspects of life, from communication with stakeholders to negotiating partnerships and alliances, managing conflicts, and influencing teams, we’ve highlighted its potential to catalyze positive change.
Practical steps for developing charisma were outlined, starting with the importance of a killer first impression, adept conversations, and maintaining engagement through open-ended questions. Storytelling emerged as a powerful tool, providing a means to convey ideas, inspire, and influence. Lastly, we delved into the significance of body language, emphasizing the impact of a genuine smile and purposeful hand gestures in enhancing charisma.
As you embark on your journey to develop charisma, remember that it’s a continuous process of refinement. By cultivating these soft skills, embracing authenticity, and recognizing the power of positive influence, you pave the way for personal and professional success. So, go ahead, take the first step, and let your charisma shine. Your ability to connect, inspire, and lead awaits your commitment to growth.