Boost your Charisma, Credibility & Confident
Behavioral Science-based Techniques to Instantly Boost your Charisma, Elevate your Confidence and Make Unforgettable First Impressions
Charisma is what allows you to capture and command the attention of others. It’s the unspoken quality that draws others in, almost effortlessly. Considered a unique blend of warmth, kindness and credibility, charisma increases your likability, and not only increase your ability to influence, it can also enhance relationships, boost self-confidence & elevate social skills.
To be seen as someone with charisma, you need to channel a quiet confidence within which permeates every aspect of how you show up, from your posture, to how you communicate and even the words you use.
Here you’ll find resources to help you elevate your charisma and your confidence.
Start by downloading the PDF and then working through the bite-size lessons.
1. Use Names for First Impressions
An easy way to make a great first impression AND show someone you care is to use their name.
Research tells us that people generally appreciate hearing their name. It results in increased activity in several regions in the left hemisphere of the brain (Carmody & Lewis, 2006), and helps you become more memorable, fostering connection.
2. You're Judged on Warmth & Competence
Social cognition research has demonstrated that when we make a first impression, we form a judgement based on two questions:
“Can I trust you?” (Warmth) &
“Do I respect on you?” (Competence).
It’s called the ‘stereotype content model’ (Fiske et al., 2002). Researchers suggest it’s more important to show warmth first in business settings as it builds connection and fosters trust – and this is important for charisma.
3. What you say about others
Rubs Off on You
There’s a powerful phenomenon in cognitive and social psychology where the very traits you describe in others become attributed to you. It’s called ‘spontaneous trait transference’. (Skowronski et al., 1998).
So, If you want to become memorable for the right reasons and create ripples of positive affinity, make an effort to actively seek the good in others and find opportunities to acknowledge these qualities.
4. Use Simple Language
In one study, as the complexity of a person’s language increased, the estimated intelligence of the person using that language decreased (Oppenheimer, 2006). In short, using unnecessarily complex language to try to “appear” smart, backfires.
Highly charismatic people use language (both spoken and written) that is relatable, simple and easy to understand.
5. Present with Charisma
The first few seconds of your presentation are so important because your audience is determining your credibility and whether you’re worth listening to. This is why conveying composure, gravitas and authority in those earliest moments is key.
This is far more than a hack or trick… it also gives you valuable time to calm yourself, gather your thoughts, compose your state and speak with significantly more impact.
6. Last Impressions Matter
You can recover from a poor first impression with a standout last impression.
It’s based on our tendency to place more weight on things that happen at the beginning and end of an ‘episode’, which could be a list, a movie or even an interaction (this tendency is called the Serial Positioning Effect, coined by Ebbinghaus in 1964). So, maintain appropriate eye contact, demonstrate warmth, smile if appropriate, use the person’s name and offer an optimistic parity message.
7. Power of the Pause
Using the power of pause is an often overlooked tool to demonstrate warmth and project charisma.
Pausing shows that you are more considerate in your response; you are taking the time to think about what to say next because you care. This space that you’re opening invites a friendlier and warmer atmosphere for heart-to-heart conversations or when you want to encourage trust.
8. Speak with Credibility
Many use unnecessary fillers to ‘soften’ what they say. While this self-effacing language is often use to create a more collegial or collaborative atmosphere among those you work with, it actually diminishes your message and weakens your position by undermining your credibility.
Be confident when you communicate. It WILL make a difference to how feel and how you’re perceived.
9. Conversation Fluency
The easiest way to drive connection & keep a conversation flowing is to be genuinely curious about the other person.
Commonality drives empathy, inspires rapport, increases engagement and promotes collaboration.
If you ever get stuck with what to say or don’t know how to keep the conversation flowing naturally, you can always paraphrase what the other person’s said in your own words, and add some of your own unique perspectives.
10. Collaborative Communication
This is a simple single word shift that transforms your communication.
The word ‘BUT’ becomes a form of psychological invalidation. It rejects, dismisses or minimises someone else's thoughts or feelings.
Instead, swap it for “AND”, and build on contribute of others. This simple swap will help you communicate more collaboratively and with more influence, while also encouraging greater creativity in yourself and others.
11. Confident Communication
When you’re in an environment where you’re lacking confidence (usually the workplace) it’s really easy to slip into communication patterns that can erode or undermine your credibility if consistently repeated. If you tend to default to “I think”, try swapping it for:
My perspective is…
My view is…
My take on it is…
My opinion is…
It seems to me that…
It appears that…
The way I see things is that…
12. Open Door Influencing
If you’re ever presented with an unrealistic demand, instead of arguing against it, try the ‘Open Door’ technique:
1. Start by framing your request with an ‘Open Door’:
•“I wonder whether…“
2. Then, share the consequences of that.
3. Offer a better solution using an ‘Open Door’
4. Share the benefit.
It allows you to explore other possible options, while keeping it conditional without you committing to anything. It’s also a useful tool to help the other person see a different course of action and to help them visualize the options.
13. Communication with Credibility
If you’re already in an environment where your credibility is questioned (e.g. a minority, a woman in a male-dominated environment, a person of color, already lacking confidence), asking “Does that make sense?” can undermine your perceived credibility for two reasons: (1) It can come across as condescending, OR (2) you’re plangent a seed of doubt that perhaps your idea doesn’t make sense.
By making simple tweaks to how you communicate, you can wildly shift your own confidence, and how others see you.
14. How to Deal with Stubbornness
A secret of the charismatic is that they’re highly skilled at managing challenging and resistant people. One highly effective technique, based on design thinking principles, involves three steps:
1. Validate someone’s ideas, effort or intent (twice), then
2. Offer an alternative option, and lastly
3. Share the benefit of that alternative option.
You’re priming them to be more open to new ideas, and guiding their thought process to open their mindset.
15. Elevating our Response
A response of “I know” can block the free flow of ideas.
It can restrict open communication, reflect that you’re not open to the perspective of others and can (sometimes) be taken to reflect a degree of incompetence (you ‘knew’ yet you did not ‘do’). Also, it can invalidate someone else, especially where they’re excited to share whatever they’re sharing.
Simply, replace “I know” with “that’s right”. This way, you can build on the conversation, justify your course of action (if required) and encourage greater collaboration.