How to be More Confident and Charismatic

by Johnny Webber

1. Practice confident body language. Evidence suggests confident body language leads to more confidence. Even faking confident body language leads to more confidence. Strike the Superman pose. Stand up straight, push your shoulders back, puff out your chest, spread your legs, and throw your hands on your hips. 

2. Make eye contact and hold it. Don’t be the first person to look away. It might sound creepy to just stare into someone’s eyes, but it is not. What is creepy is making eye contact and quickly looking away. Breaking eye contact makes you look nervous and ashamed. 

3. Smile. Nobody likes a grump. Be sure to smile, not only with your mouth, but your eyes as well. Fake smiles are more transparent than you realize (see for yourself). The key to having a good smile is to have something to smile about. Think happy thoughts. If that seems too hard, fake it until you convince yourself you are happy.

4. Don’t nod and fidget so much. A confident person does not fidget. You don’t see James Bond playing with his cuff links. Similarly, don’t nod your head so much when someone is talking to you. It makes you look desperate to appease them. Instead, keep eye contact and smile.

5. Pause before speaking. Process what the person is saying before you say anything. Don’t just wait for your turn to speak. Take two seconds to process what was said, and let your face react. You will come across as more sincere and a good listener.

6. Let them impress you. Keep the other person talking. If you ask the right questions, you can eventually get others to open up and talk about the things they love to talk about (usually themselves). 

7. Never interrupt. No matter what you have to say, or how insightful your comment is, the speaker will resent you if you interrupt them. Remember, you want them to talk about themselves, so let them talk. On a similar note, let others interrupt you if they want to. Don’t take offense. If someone has something to say, listen.

8. Dress well. People make their first judgments about you based on your body language and what you’re wearing, so you better look good. Fashion is very much subjective, so wear something you think you look good in. It does not matter if you have terrible taste; wear something that makes you feel confident in yourself (whether that may be a suit or skinny jeans). If you need some help on where to get started, check out Reddit’s MaleFashionAdvice subreddit.

9. Exercise. You will look better and feel better. Exercise is the best way to boost self-esteem. If you don’t know where to start, go for a run, do some push-ups, and buy a pull-up bar. If you’re willing to hit the gym, read Starting Strength to get started on a routine

There are two books I highly recommend to anyone wanting to improve their social skills. The first is the commonly recommended How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. Sure, a lot of the stuff in there seems like common sense, but it’s always good to get started with the basics, and Carnegie has some great anecdotes that drill his points home. The second book is The Charisma Myth by Olivia Fox Cabane. Charisma is a trait that can be taught and learned, and this book supplies concrete tips and evidence of how to do just that.

How to be More Confident and Charismatic