While there are some folks who are natural people-persons, there are more who do not have it so easy. In fact, others have to work extra hard just to make friends and be taken seriously enough to have some influence. It really all boils down to charisma. Luckily, charisma can be learned and picked up along the way.
Here are some foolproof ways to be friendlier and a lot more influential:
1. Show genuine interest in other people.
First of all, you have to remember people’s names. Because basically, if you want people to remember your name, you have to remember theirs, as well. It’s only fair. Second, you have to make eye contact. Shifty eyes make you seem bored and disinterested. Not only that, it also makes you less trustworthy. Lastly, always listen to what people have to say. And don’t just listen for the sake of listening, too. Listen with understanding, and respond accordingly. Remember to be engaging, and not at all offensive.
2. Make people feel important.
Compliments are the best way to do this. Don’t overdo it, however, because then you will come off as ingratiating and often insincere. You can also ask people questions. Find out what they think about certain topics, as well as ask for their opinions on relevant matters. You can even use rhetorical questions. However, do avoid overly personal queries and steer clear of explosive discussions. The best way to do it is to keep it safe and light-hearted.
3. Have an opinion.
Do not be the person who is always nodding his head, agreeing with everyone in the group because, really, nobody ever remembers that person. Rather, do not be too scared contribute to discussions and voice out your thoughts. However, do make sure that your contributions are useful and on point. Most of all, be neither offensive nor defensive. As a rule of thumb, remember that you will never go wrong, if you stick to the facts and do not fly off tangent, so you should always have a firm basis for your suppositions.
4. Be animated.
Have you ever had to speak with someone so lifeless and expressionless that you might as well have been talking to a goldfish? That is the kind of person that you need to avoid being. Compare that person with someone who has great facial expressions, uses animated gestures, and speaks in a lively voice. You will more likely to listen to what that person has to say. So be the latter. Use big, bold gestures and display exuberance as you speak. Then you will be able to grab more people’s attention.
5. Share something of yourself.
In order for people to take notice of you and even like you, you need to let them know you. Sharing stories and anecdotes relevant to the discussion is a great way to do just that. However, don’t use this technique too often. Otherwise, you end up being that person who incessantly talks about himself. And we don’t want that either.