An illusive topic that doesn’t get much attention is the art of being charming. The following are Brian Kim’s insights into the subject.
We can’t articulate it, but we know a charming person when we see one. It’s that person at the party who seems to know everybody. He works the crowd with such ease and has a positive aura about him, and everybody just seems drawn to him like steel to a magnet. He leaves people thinking “What a great guy!” and seems to have it all together.
I would be a fool if I wrote an article on how to be charming if I wasn’t charming to begin with. I don’t mean to say I’m the most charming man on the face of the earth, but I do have my moments. I’ve reflected back on those moments, studied other charismatic people, read books on the subject, and asked other charismatic people to share their insights on this elusive trait. You know what I learned? Charisma is not genetic. It can be learned. On to the 8 tips.
1. Get your own life in order first.
When everything is going right in your life, the world is your oyster. You’re in the zone, you’re on top of the world, you feel invincible, like everything has fallen into place just for you. You don’t have a single worry in the world and you feel like singing and dancing in the rain. With this kind of mental state, it’s a double edged sword. It can lead you to become the most charismatic person in the world, or the most obnoxious and boastful person in the world (more on how to not be the latter later on in this article).
You cannot fake charisma if you have problems going on in your life, whether it’s trouble paying the bills, family issues, relationship problems, etc. That stuff will weigh you down.
Get your life in order. Pay the bills, save some money in the bank, forgive other people, don’t hold grudges, be courteous to all, resolve any issues you have with people, have a passion in life, have a dream you’re working on, eat right, exercise, etc. You will find that getting your act together will make it extremely easy for you to be charismatic, because then you can do the other half of what charismatic people do, and that is focus on the other person.
Exercise before attending any event or gathering (and please shower afterwards :)). It’ll give you the energy you need to emanate your glowing charm throughout the room. It’ll get you in the right mindset of a being a happy positive person because of the endorphins circulating in your body. It’ll give you that confidence to start socializing. You’ll be on your game. Everything will flow just right because you feel like a million bucks.
3. Wear the clothes
You know what clothes I’m talking about. Everybody’s got an outfit that makes them feel like a million bucks. We all know that clothes make you feel good. If you feel good, it’ll be really easy to make others feel good. And the less worried you are about your appearance, the more you can focus on the other person. The more content you are with yourself (aka self confident), the more easier it will be to turn on the charm.
I don’t know why it is, but if I have socialized prior to attending a gathering or event, I find it way easier to turn on the charm. What I mean by pre-socializing is just striking up conversations with any person you meet on the way to the event; the store clerk, the people on the elevator, the security guard, etc. Just some light conversation. Nothing heavy. How are you? Busy day today eh? I like your jacket. Do you mind me asking where you got it? I think pre-socializing gets you into the groove of easily being able to talk to any person, one of the key skills in becoming charming.
5. Pretend you’re the host and talk to EVERYBODY
This is a very cool paradigm to try out. Instead of standing in the corner, sipping your drink and hoping somebody will come talk to you, take the initiative and start talking with EVERYONE, and I mean EVERYONE. You can do this if you pretend to be the host of the event. Start by looking out for people who are trying to act cool, but are desperately wishing that someone would go talk to them. You know exactly who they are. Rescue them from their worries and you’ll see their face light up and thank you for approaching them. Work the crowd, ask how everyone’s doing. They will all light up and respond favorably. Get to know people and introduce people to other people. Most people don’t have the guts to approach strangers, so when you do it for them, they’ll be extremely grateful.
Don’t discriminate based on social groups. People are all the same. Talk to the skater, the artist, the economist, the stock broker, the lawyer, the doctor, the entrepreneur, the bartender, the guy standing in the corner, the waiter, everybody. Talk to everyone and make them feel welcome. You just need to get the ball rolling. Once you start talking to one stranger and get in the rhythm, you’ll be an unstoppable social butterfly.
6. You, not I.
Charming people focus on the other person. Rarely are they themselves the topic of discussion. When you’re out there schmoozing, listen to people when they talk to you and give them feedback to indicate that you are listening and that you understand. Be genuinely interested in the other person. Ask all about them. Always think of how you can help them. Send business their way. Hook them up with other people at the party you think they might get along well with.
7. Make them feel good.
Give people genuine compliments. Everybody needs compliments like food and water because everybody’s self esteem can always use a little boost. Don’t go for the cliché compliments like everyone else. Remember, you’re the charismatic one. You’ve got to step it up a notch. Think of a genuine killer compliment.
Also, don’t forget to use the power of touch. A hormone called oxytocin is secreted when you touch someone and studies have shown that promotes bond and trust between people. Oxytocin is also a feel good hormone so when they get hit with it, they associate that good feeling with you as well. Obviously, use your better judgment here. Don’t go up and start molesting people. Be tactful with your touch. You will find that women are the masters of this. They will lightly tap your forearm when making a point or playfully hit your shoulder when engaged in conversation with you.
People tend to remember conversations with people who use the power of touch. I remember going to one event and being charmed off the socks with this one guy. He had it going. He was working the crowd, he saw me, introduced himself, and started to ask all sorts of questions about me. I, in turn, shamelessly succumbed to his charm and divulged a lot of information and we both had good laughs. You know why I remember him out of all the other people I interacted with that day? It’s because he squeezed my arm when he shook my hand. No joke. That’s how I remembered him. As the charming guy who squeezed my arm. Touch is a very powerful thing. Use it wisely.
8. Be positive.
Smile. Charming people are known for making people feel way better after interacting with them. They have a light feathery touch to them that brings smiles and good feelings to everybody they come in contact with.
Talk about positive things. Avoid negative things. You’ll always run into people who turn a good conversation into a bad one by bringing up some negativity. If that happens, try to tactfully point out the positive aspects of the situation. If that fails, excuse yourself from the group and move on. There’s no need to be part of the down group.
Get your stuff together, exercise, put on those nice clothes, get in the habit of socializing with everyone, talk with everyone, really listen and keep the focus on them, make them feel good, only associate yourself with positive things and people, and you’ll find yourself being that one person who’s always lighting up the room.
Until next time.