How To Have Charisma

by Kat George

Being charming isn't necessarily comes naturally, and yes, there are things you can do to learn how to have charisma. I know that sounds weird, especially if you're an introvert or an awkward weirdo who gets sushi rice stuck in their hair and then eats it out when someone mentions it (the latter is me, if you didn't get that). As hard as it might be to believe, not everything is about being "Born This Way" or "I Woke Up Like This." Some things can be taught. In fact, if the Kardashians can teach us anything, is that if you want something, find out how to get it, and get it. In this case, that thing is charisma.

If you find that you're socially awkward, never fear. For starters, a lot of it is probably in your head. Most people never seem as deathly awkward as they think they are. Secondly, everyone is a little bit awkward sometimes. I mean, I bet George Clooney has made some pretty cringe-worthy dad jokes to Amal that have made her really question his coolness. Secondly, and more importantly, even if you are shy or awkward all it takes are a few minor behavior adjustments (that are as simple as changing your body language and tone of voice) in order to appear more at ease, more in control, and indeed, more charming and charismatic. Here are some of the things you can do to be more charismatic.

1. Be Optimistic

Charismatic people are optimists, and always have a smile and a "can do" attitude. No one ever called a Debbie Downer charismatic. Go into every situation, even ones you don't really want to be in (boring parties, the dentist) with a positive attitude, and charisma will emanate from you. It's not that charismatic people don't get bored or annoyed, it's just that they choose to look for the silver lining rather than dwelling on the bad stuff.

2. Be Present

If you want to be charismatic, you have to be present. Charismatic people are engaging. They listen to other people. They don't just pretend to listen — they really, really listen, and when they speak, it's with intention. Put your phone down. Don't look listlessly around when someone is talking to you. Make eye contact. Care about the situation you're in and act like you want to be there. Be present in the moment and when interacting with others and you'll become instantly more charismatic.

3. Speak With Conviction

Be confident when you speak, and don't second guess yourself. Charismatic people have authoritative speech. When you're telling a story, replace "I think" with "I know". Try not be wishy-washy or non-committal with your language. What you are saying is important! You are right! You have good opinions and great stories. Go into speech with that attitude, and use language that shows you're confident with that.

4. Adjust Your Body Language

There's nothing charismatic about someone nervously fidgeting and looking down at their feet. Charismatic people have strong body language. Make sure your posture is tall (don't slouch or make yourself smaller), stride when you walk (don't skulk) and use confident movements and hand gestures when you talk (rather than ringing your hands or letting them hang limp). If you're nervous, look at the people around you that you think are charming and try to mimic their body language. It's easier than you think to simple adjust the way you hold your head (from turtle-necked to high!), and it will instantly change your confidence and charisma.

5. Be Humble

Charismatic people are confident, sure, but charismatic people are not jerks either. Don't mistake pretentiousness or self-importance for confidence. Charismatic people always make those around them feel as though they see them as equals, so while you should speak and stand confidently, don't do it by putting down others. Build up the people around you, offer them your help and your praise, and aim to make others feel good.

6. Be Authentic

This might sound silly after just being given a bunch of advice about how to change your behavior to be more charismatic. But the thing about being charismatic is that yes, you might have to change your behavior, but that doesn't mean you have to change who you are. You're still the same person with the same dreams, interests, hobbies and tastes. None of that changes just because you're trying to stand with a straight back and smile more. You might have to adjust your physical behavior, but you don't need to fake who you are. Be yourself, don't try to be anyone else, in order to be charismatic. Charisma is just about being a more confident you, not about changing yourself in order to be more confident.

Images: The WB; Giphy (6)