Ever wish you had a more magnetic personality? Not all people with star power were born that way. Many celebrities, from Marilyn Monroe to Lady Gaga, have reinvented themselves, and you can, too. We’ll tell you how.
For starters, you can work to improve your listening and conversational skills, while making appropriate eye contact. You can also perfect the art of body language to make a positive impression on everyone you meet.
One point that’s often overlooked is that you don’t need to be born with a magnetic personality. You can develop one through practice, the same way you build muscles through exercising or lose weight by eating the right foods. Even if you’re shy, nervous or introverted, you can learn how to become more charismatic.
7 Steps to Gaining a More Magnetic Personality
Think about the people you know who have a warm, likable, and magnetic personality. These people always seem to have lots of confidence and lots of friends. How do they do it? Watch how they greet people and engage with them. Learn from the charismatic and likable people you know (or athletes and celebrities you admire), and then adapt some of their techniques.
Of course, the traits of a magnetic personality come more naturally to some than others. But there are several components to being more charismatic, and you can work on them. If you devote enough time and effort to incorporating these techniques into your everyday life, they will become second nature to you.
1. Perfect Your Presence
Presence doesn’t mean looking or acting flashy. Acting or dressing flashy comes off as arrogance when you don’t show interest in others. Instead, presence means being fully engaged in the moment. When you’re engaged with the people around you, and with what is happening, people reflect that back.
People who have a presence aren’t the center of attention, in the sense that the focus is on them. Instead, they seem like the “sun” that warms a room and makes everyone feel comfortable.
The first thing to remember is that can have more presence by paying attention to others when they speak. During conversations, don’t merely wait for your turn to respond. Not only do you need to listen, you need to look like you’re listening. You need to come out of your shell more and put the focus on others.
Before you can develop presence, you need to become fully aware of your emotions. When you notice how you feel, and how your body reacts in certain situations, you’ll be better able to focus those emotions to attract and engage people.
It is also important to realize that people respond when others treat them with respect. Think about what you value in the person you are talking to, and think about what feedback or emotional support they may need from you. When you act naturally and listen with an open mind, people will feel good around you and seek out your friendship.
The famous quote by the writer Maya Angelou sums up the meaning of presence. “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
First Impressions: Watch Alexa Fisher on How to Make Your Presence More Powerful.
2. Project Confidence … Even When You Don’t Feel It
Another key point when it comes to projecting a presence is: You need to project confidence. Confident people know what they want and feel good about where they are headed in life. It doesn’t mean they never have doubts or make mistakes; it means they can deal with the ups and downs of life calmly. They know that occasional failure is a stepping stone to success.
Your physical appearance plays a major part in confidence and overall magnetism. There’s no blueprint for how a charismatic person should look. They come in all sizes and shapes. The important thing is that they have their own recognizable style.
Develop your style. It doesn’t mean you need to wear the trendiest or most expensive clothes. Find a signature style, or visual calling card, that people can identify with you. It can be a particular type of hat, pair of shoes or jewelry. It may even be your quirky hair color or hairstyle. Distinguish yourself from the crowd, and give people something to remember.
Step up your confidence by eliminating negative thoughts. Be aware of the self-talk that goes on in your head, things like “I could never get a job like that” or “Why would a girl (or guy) that good-looking talk to me?” Replace self-doubt with positive thoughts and a plan of action to turn those thoughts into reality. Focus on what can go right, and how to take action to make that happen.
Watch: 8 Ways You Can Instantly Project More Confidence with Shea Whitney.
3. Show Genuine Interest in Others
One main trait for the magnetic personality is the interest they show in the people around them. Listen to the person you’re talking to. Not only do you become fully engaged in their story, you also feel more connected to them. Think of it as though you’re watching a movie and trying to identify with a character. Take the time to ask-and remember- someone’s name and something they’ve told you in a previous conversation. When you show people you are genuinely interested in them, they will warm up to you, and you’ll make a new friend.
As you talk to more people, you’ll know how to strike the right balance between listening and reflecting back. This includes asking questions, responding, and talking about yourself. Through give and take, you make the other person feel more important. You don’t want to simply listen; you want to engage people and make them feel good about being in your presence.
4. Come Across as Passionate about Your Interests, Your Work, and Your Life
Have you ever met someone who had a passionate interest in a particular subject? Enthusiasm is contagious, whether it is aimed at a hobby, career goal, or life in general.
If you show others that you have a genuine interest in a cause or subject, they’ll gravitate to you. Although they may not care much about the subject you’re passionate about, they will feel attracted to your enthusiasm.
Anyone who has real goals and opinions will attract people. As long as this optimism translates into genuine caring for others, as well as specific goals, it won’t seem self-centered or arrogant.
A person with a magnetic personality talks about the things they like, and the actions they want to take. They won’t complain about the past, the weather, or some controversial social media post. They not only exude light, they also invite others to create their unique light. Instead of concentrating negative or trivial subjects, they take a cheery, can-do approach to life.
5. Learn How to Start and Maintain a Conversation
People with a magnetic personality can start a conversation with anyone. They know how to draw even timid people into a discussion and make them feel comfortable.
If you’re quiet by nature or don’t have much experience starting and controlling conversations, it’s a skill you can learn. Here are a few methods for initiating a conversation with anyone.
Instead of asking questions with yes or no answers, ask open-ended questions. These questions can relate to what you’re talking about or what’s going on around you. If you are at an art gallery opening, for example, you can ask someone, “What other artists do you like?” or “Which painting do you like best?” These questions show that you’re interested in the other person’s opinions. (People love to talk about themselves!) Pay attention to the person’s answers, and steer the conversation from there.
Think about what you and the other person (or the people in a group) have in common and base your questions and conversation around that. Don’t worry about sounding brilliant or witty – be honest and nice.
6. Practice Your Eye Contact and Body Language
Equally important to all we’ve said above, eye contact and body language are key aspects of the magnetic personality. Eye contact lets the other person know that you acknowledge them and that you’re listening. If your eyes wander or you look at the floor, it signals that you’re bored or tired.
Finding the right amount of time to hold eye contact can be tricky. You can practice eye contact by holding your gaze for one second longer than normal. You can try this out on family members, your roommate, your Significant Other, a waitress or a cashier.
As you practice and get used to looking at people as you converse, you’ll learn how much eye contact is comfortable and how much makes people feel uneasy.
Be aware of your facial expressions and posture during a conversation. Smile and maintain a moderate amount of eye contact. Open up your posture by keeping your arms at your side. If your arms are folded in front of you, it may give the impression that you are angry or bored.
Another non-verbal method of connecting during a conversation is called mirroring. This process is a subtle form of imitation that can build rapport with others. When you mirror someone during a conversation, you may imitate the pace and volume of their speaking voice, or mimic one their punctuators (a physical gesture like raising the eyebrows) once or twice. Studies show mirroring is an excellent way to connect with people.
Practice your non-verbal cues in front of a mirror, and ask your friends to critique your conversational style. Many times, other people can pick up on vocal tics and expressive behaviors that may have a negative or off-putting effect that may not seem odd to you.
Watch: Sociologist Amy Cuddy’s TED Talk on Body Language
7. Learn to Project Your Presence Online
Another thing that must be remembered is that our presence translates to the digital world, too. Not only should you have at least a couple social media accounts, but you also need to brand yourself. This means your posts need to reflect who you are and how you want to come across.
When going online, it’s important to follow the same rules you use in the real world. Treat people with respect. Engage with them (that means doing more than liking or sharing a post occasionally.)
Take a few minutes to think of something original to say underneath a post or blog. Don’t leave a general comment, like “Great article!” Distinguish yourself from the pack, even when you’re online. A well-thought-out email about the blog will let the recipient know you read and considered the points the author made.
Practice Makes Perfect
Not only should you learn to project confidence and good cheer, you should also become more self-aware. This way, you’ll instantly recognize any bad habits that prevent you from being more likable and charismatic. When you build the components of a magnetic personality slowly, they become a natural part of your everyday life.