5 Conversation Habits of the Charismatic

Katie Sweeney
PHOTO:

Mario Testino for Vogue 

Ever wonder what makes someone charismatic? For example, what is it about Jennifer Lawrence that makes her so likable? Sure, she’s a great actress, but it’s her charisma—her ability to handle falling on the stairs to accept an Oscar with confidence, grace, and humor—that makes her especially popular. Wondering how you can emulate JLaw and be more charismatic? According to a recent Levo article, there are five things that all charismatic people do in conversations.

  1. Show vulnerability. When Lawrence fell, that was her showing vulnerability. You can do this in the workplace by sharing business struggles in order to help people identify with you. Don’t complain. Simply tell a story where you weren’t successful. According to Ruth Sherman, a celebrity speech and media coach, “great leaders will often reveal where they struggled in business, a time they got fired, what makes them vulnerable. It happens to everybody.”
  2. Use humor. You don’t have to be an over-the-top prankster, but add humor to your everyday conversations. Keep a journal of funny stories that have happened to you (like the time you were flirting with a boy around the campfire and you thought he was going to lean in and kiss you, but instead he said, “I think your boots are on fire!”) and refer to it when preparing for a presentation or important conversation.
  3. Listen intently. Put your phone away when you are talking to someone. Look away from your computer screen. Actually listen to what a person is saying when you converse with them.
  4. Use your hands. Sherman says “your hands should add meaning to your words rather than detract from them, so don’t park them in a position that looks unconfident (folded across your chest or behind your back)."
  5. Make eye contact. Don’t stare the person down, because this is aggressive, but do make good eye contact. Look away from time to time and return quickly back to making eye contact.

To learn more about the subject of personal magnetism, read The Charisma Myth.

Do you know anyone who is particularly charismatic? Have you noticed these qualities in their conversation habits?

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