10 Simple Ways To Boost Your Charisma And Confidence

CBS/The Mentalist

Successful and admired people all possess the same quality: charisma. It’s a highly prized and powerful quality of influence. In fact, dictionaries define it as “a divinely conferred gift or power.” But lest you think it’s a divine gift only available to a special few, charisma is a collection of skills that can be learned by anyone. It has nothing to do with race, gender, being an introvert or extrovert.

Here are 10 strategies for becoming a more charismatic person:

1. Talk with your hands.

People who speak with their hands are perceived as more trustworthy and appealing according to studies. One of the first areas we look at when meeting someone new is their hands. Evolutionists explain it was crucial for human survival in our “hunter-gatherer” days to make sure they were not carrying a weapon.

Using hand gestures not only puts others at ease, but also helps you communicate better. It’s called “embodied cognition,” meaning there’s a strong correlation between what your mind is trying to say, and your body movements. Hand gestures help the words come out.

2. Use their name.

It’s the sweetest sound to the ears — hearing your own name. Scientists using fMRI found that unique parts of the brain were activated when people heard their own name. Using someone’s name makes them feel significant, and the fact that you’ve actually remembered it wins respect and admiration.
When someone introduces themself, take extra care in remembering their name and then use it in the conversation.

3. Watch your posture.

Slouching is known as a “low-power pose.” It will make you feel less confident, and you’ll be perceived as reserved and unapproachable.
Changing your physical posture will change your psychology. Standing tall and taking a “high-power pose” causes your brain to release dopamine, making you feel better and be more confident.

4. Listen and ask questions.

The ancient Greeks had a saying, “We should listen twice as much as we speak because we have two ears and one mouth.” People enjoy sharing their life stories; giving someone a platform to do this by asking questions and listening instead of dominating the floor will make you the kind of person others want to be around.

5. Cut out fillers and vocalized pauses.

Vocalized pauses (“ahh,” “umm”) and fillers (“like,” “you know”) will severely cramp your communication. Charismatic people are eloquent and articulate, and that comes from ironing out your speaking skills.

Be a fly on the wall to your own conversations and note how often you use fillers and vocalized pauses. They’re often used when we’re unsure of what to say. Simply replace them with silence as you look for your next word. You’ll unclutter your speech and be a more charismatic speaker.

6. Mirroring.

Humans posses an interesting thing called “mirror-neurons.” We’re social creatures and wired for community and relationships; mirroring allows you to empathize and connect through naturally mimicking the body movements of people you engage with. It’s often unconscious — think of the last time you just crossed your arms at the same time the other person did.
Subtly mirroring the stance and body language of whoever you’re conversing with will make them more comfortable and increase rapport.

7. Compliments.

Compliments have been shown to boost people’s self-esteem by up to 34 percent. Being seen as charismatic has much to do with how you make others feel. Give someone the “warm fuzzies” next time you’re having a conversation — identify one thing that you could make a nice comment about.

8. Initiate and introduce yourself.

It’s common to see most people stand back and be hesitant at social and networking events. Charismatic people take the initiative to introduce themselves and spark a conversation. It shows confidence through being active rather than passive.

Take the first step at your next event. Set aside any fear of judgment and any self-consciousness.

9. Tell stories.

Everyone loves a good story. Charismatic people have mastered the art of telling great stories — it doesn’t take long for people to start gathering around them. One of the key elements and foundations of storytelling is to “open and close the curiosity gap.” Raise a topic that will perk the interest of others. Speak with passion, use imagery and emotions.

10. Smile.

Simple, yet highly effective. Smiling sets off the brain’s reward mechanism in the same way exercise does, or eating chocolate. And smiling is rarely un-reciprocated; it will give both you and the other person a rush of positivity. According to researchers, people who smile are perceived as trustworthy and easier to cooperate with, and of course, this will add to your charisma.