5 Ways to Increase Your Charisma


5 Ways to Increase Your Charisma

Have you ever noticed people who walk into a room and immediately command attention? They are dressed impeccably, exude confidence, and possess a certain je ne sais quoi – that intangible quality that makes them distinctive and attractive. Were they born this way? Do they have a coach? How do they do it? Though difficult to articulate we all know it when we see it, let’s call this magical aura charisma. I’ll let you in on a little secret; charisma can be learned.

Success Built to Last:

Creating a Life that Matters!

"When you put together deep knowledge about a subject that intensely matters to you, charisma happens. You gain courage to share your passion, and when you do that, folks follow."

Jerry Porras

According to Olivia Fox Cabane the author of “The Charisma Myth”, anyone can master the art and science of personal magnetism. Although many believe charisma is an inborn quality (you either have it or you don’t) Cabane believes charismatic behaviours can be learned and perfected by anyone. If a person’s level of charisma can be changed through practice, let’s first examine its three core elements: presence, power and warmth.

We are truly present when we are fully engaged in conversation. It is human nature to be distracted and notice other things happening around us. According to a study conducted at Harvard University, on average our minds wander approximately 50% of the time. Controlling this requires awareness and practice. When you give someone your undivided attention, they feel listened to and important. You will ask better follow-up questions and get to know them on a much deeper level. I’m sure you’ve experienced a time when you felt like you didn’t have someone’s full attention – their lack of eye contact, looking around the room to see who else is there, interrupting you, or just not acknowledging you. This disrespectful and insincere behavior results in a lack of trust, which will be very difficult to reverse.

Picture someone you believe to be powerful. Someone with great influence, authority, dominance, ability and likely money. They typically have a high social status and carry themselves in a manner that conveys confidence. The energy they bring into a room is palatable and highly attractive. Their posture is excellent, their body language and movements reflect their strength. I’m sure you know people who wield great powers, are fully present and powerful yet they still lack charisma. This brings me to the next and perhaps the most important element...warmth.

Cabane defines warmth as goodwill towards others. These are the people who make you feel like you are the only person in the room when you are having a conversation with them. You walk away feeling like you have had a great conversation. They give you their undivided attention, make eye contact, smile and are genuinely interested in what you have to say.

They are the people who remember to ask you for details on that vacation you were taking to Italy and your favourite attractions while there.

So how can you increase your charisma quotient?

Emotional Intelligence

Emotional Intelligenceis the ability to recognize, understand and manage our own emotions as well as the ability to recognize, understand and influence the emotions of others. Studies have shown EQ (Emotional Intelligence) to be a better predictor of career success than IQ.

Body Language

Body language speaks much louder than words. You may say all the right things, but, if your body language is not in alignment with your words there is a disconnect. We may not be able to put our finger on the reason, but our gut instincts let us know something is not right. You may notice that when two people are in sync, they begin to mirror each other’s body language...after all we are attracted to people who have similar interests, morals and values. Matching and mirroring someone’s body language can put them at ease and help develop your relationship even faster.


Confidence is first observed by the way people carry themselves. Confident people tend to stand tall and take up a lot of space while those lacking confidence make themselves small and hunch over. Confidence is also achieved through knowledge, preparation and practice. Although we spend years becoming experts in our fields, it is our interpersonal skills that determine how successful we actually are. We learn these skills initially from our parents and family, but, at some point, we need more. Soft skills training results in feeling comfortable in any situation because we are prepared.


Communication skills comprise of both speaking and listening well. To communicate effectively observe facial expressions and body language while you are listening. Speaking is a learned skill that you can improve with practice. We have all experienced painful experiences listening to speakers drone on and on or reading verbatim from a power point slide. If you listen to a natural conversation you will notice pauses as well as incomplete sentences. The pauses can be used to build suspense, or to let your audience digest what they have just heard. One of the biggest speaking blunders is to fill that pause with “um’s” or other filler words.

Dress for Success

Dress for success Like it or not first impressions occur in seconds and are based mostly on what we see visually. You don’t have to wear expensive clothing to make a great impression. It is important however to be well groomed, dressed appropriately for the occasion, and for your clothing to be clean, pressed and fit well. Choosing colours and styles that suit your body will have you looking well put together and make shopping a breeze. If you aren’t sure, invest in a stylist and learn what works best on your body and is an authentic expression of your personality. It’s an investment you will never regret.

In the words of Carl W. Buechner, “They may forget what you said, but they’ll never forget how you made them feel.”

Self-discovery and awareness is the key to unlocking your best self and letting it shine. When you radiate strength through your appearance, body language, and communication, you indicate that you are deserving of respect and capable of higher levels of responsibility.
Mirella Zanatta, AICI CIP, is a distinguished executive presence trainer, leadership development mentor, image and branding consultant, public speaker and presenter. She is the Director of Pinnacle Consulting Group. PCG is a full-service professional development organization focusing on interpersonal skills. Customised programs are solution-oriented and geared for transformation at the core to drive increased results.
Pinnacle Consulting Group
Pinnacle Consulting Group
Personal development training enhances high performance, similar to how elite athletes employ a team of experts on their journey to success. Executive Coaching is one of the most effective tools for enhancing leadership skills and supporting high potentials. Once reserved for C-Level executives, Pinnacle Consulting Group’s personal development training is now available to you.

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