How to have more Charisma

How to have more Charisma

We all want to be more charismatic.

Charisma makes a big difference.

Charismatic people appear smarter, better looking and more in control.

What can you do to have more charisma?


Having worked on Wall Street for seventeen years, I have seen a lot of charismatic people.

I have seen people control a room within five minutes of entering it and I’ve seen them get clients to give them orders faster and bigger than I could ever imagine.

Charisma is a powerful tool.

For the first ten years I had no Charisma. I just couldn’t figure out how to project it. I thought it was about being intelligent or acting strong or being in control.

Then I realized I was on the wrong track.

Being Charismatic isn’t about you. It’s about the other person.

The first thing that struck me about Charismatic people is how they made me feel. They made me feel like I was a rockstar, like I was the best in the world and that they loved and trusted me fully.


That’s Charisma – its not who you are, but its how you make people feel.



Here are a few things you should do to be more charismatic. 


Control your mind:

Quickly get comfortable with any negative feelings you might be feeling.

Try to neutralize them by writing them down, or instead write down five things you are grateful for.

Take any feelings you are feeling such as fear or shame, and say to yourself “fear is being felt”.

This will allow you to see your self from the outside, rather than get caught in the emotions.


Replace the negative feelings with positivity by being grateful for what you have and by recognizing whatever happens here doesn’t matter much.


Then smile. There’s only one thing you need to do in order to project more warmth in your voice: smile. Studies have shown that smiling affects how we speak to such an extent that listeners in one study could identify sixteen different kinds of smiles based on sound alone. This is why it’s worth smiling even when on the phone.


When preparing for a meeting, use visualization. See yourself in the meeting. See yourself succeeding.  See yourself presenting, hear the applause, see the success. 


Yes all those super Charismatic people on Wall Street were preparing for a few hours before any meeting. Make sure you do the same.


Control your voice:

Speak slowly – Visualize the contrast between a nervous teenager speaking softly or at high speed and the slow, strong tone of a judge delivering a verdict. Be the judge. How you speak says a lot about you and how you think about yourself and how you want to be perceived. Make sure you are conveying strength and confidence. 


Pause – People who broadcast confidence often pause while speaking. They will pause for a second or two between sentences or even in the middle of a sentence. This conveys the feeling that they’re so confident in their power, they trust that people won’t interrupt them. 


Check your breathing – Make sure you’re breathing deeply into your belly and inhale and exhale through your nose rather than your mouth. Breathing through your mouth can make you sound breathless and anxious.



Deliver the message:

Be a story teller – The human brain is wired for stories and pictures. Tell a story your audience will enjoy and find memorable. 

Use lots of metaphors and analogies. Captivate them. Make your audience feel important.

But make sure you spend a lot of time rehearsing your story. The best speakers rehearse and visualize their presentation or pitch for at least a few hours before they deliver it.


Using body language – Techniques like Body Mirroring (try to mirror the other person’s actions, postures and tonality) and acting regally (be silent and cut the head nodding).

One of the best examples of this is Bill Clinton’s RDF (reality distortion field), check out an example here:

Here’s something from the Charisma Myth I want you to remember before your next meeting:


“IN THE TORRID London summer of 1886, William Gladstone was up against Benjamin Disraeli for the post of prime minister of the United Kingdom. This was the Victorian era, so whoever won was going to rule half the world. In the very last week before the election, both men happened to take the same young woman out to dinner.

Naturally, the press asked her what impressions the rivals had made. She said, “After dining with Mr. Gladstone, I thought he was the cleverest person in England. But after dining with Mr. Disraeli, I thought I was the cleverest person in England.” Guess who won the election? It was the man who made others feel intelligent, impressive, and fascinating: Benjamin Disraeli.”


How do you want the other person to feel ?

If you want to learn more about building relationships and getting people to like you, you might want to check out the Art of Networking.


There are a lot of other books that taught me how to be a better listener and sales person, here are a few that are a must read:

Influence (Robert Cialdini) – You can’t be in sales without reading this

Charisma Myth (Olivia Fox Cabane) – Great quick read on how to pack more Charisma into every meeting

The Art of the Sale (Philip Delves Broughton) – an overview of some of the best salespeople in the world and what they do well

How to Win Friends and Influence People (Dale Carnegie) – Warren Buffet’s favorite book on people


Go ahead, see what you’ve been missing. 

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