How do you define charisma? Well, according to the Oxford English Dictionary it is ‘a compelling attractiveness or charm that can inspire devotion in others.’ Star Power, in other words, a quality that the likes of Beyonce and Barack Obama have in droves. (Yet the current President of the United States… not so much. In fact, here’s a list of all the things Donald Trump has *actually* said in a misplaced attempt at what we can – at best – assume is charm).
Charisma is often perceived to be a ‘you either have it or you don’t’ trait, but that is an incorrect assumption according to psychologist and founder of Pinnacle Therapy Richard Reid, who offers Charisma Masterclasses at his practice in London. According to Reid, working on our charisma is crucial to developing our personal, authentic brand, and getting ahead in both life and business: ‘because when we are able to give the best version of ourselves in any situation, and stand out from the crowd, we are more likely to make others feel good in their interactions with us; meaning that we are also more likely to get what we want, be it gaining a promotion, influencing the decision-making of others, or winning the romantic partner that we desire.’
So how to begin upping our charisma, and increasing our chances of nailing a job interview in half a second? Or faring better in affairs of the heart when we find ourselves in one of the three most common ways to meet a partner? Here are Reid’s top tips to becoming more charismatic in five minutes:
‘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 more confident.’
Quit um-ing and ah-ing
‘Vocalized pauses (“ahh,” “umm”) and fillers (“like,” “you know”) 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.’
Listen more than you speak
‘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.’
Take the initiative
‘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 self-consciousness.’
Compliment to boost charisma
‘Compliments have been shown to boost people’s self-esteem by up to 34 percent. Being 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.’
Visit pinnacletherapy.co.uk to learn more about their Charisma Masterclass. Marie Claire readers are eligible for a 20% discount with code CHARISMA17.