No matter what your career, no matter what your relationship status, if you want to move forward in this world, moments of pressure will always be a part of your life.
You’ll have to deal with difficult questions, speak in public, think on your feet, sell ideas, and even win people over to your point of view.
“But I’m an introvert!”
I know. So am I.
Unfortunately, the world is full of people who need to see you in the flesh, talk to you in person, people whom you need to impress in real time and in-the-flesh.
That’s not something you can do hunched over a desk insisting on living a remote life cocooned behind a warm laptop.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not one of those people who feels ashamed of their own introversion. But nor do I think as an introvert I can shrug my shoulders and assume that I can get away with living in avoidance of these high-pressure social interactions.
We’ll always face the big interview, the first date, the difficult relationship conversation, the do-or-die sales pitch that may launch our career into a new stratosphere.
If we want to stand out in the world, we have to be able to deal with the people in it.
Luckily, charisma really doesn’t have a lot to do with having a big ego or being the loudest person in the room.
Yes, to an extent it’s about confidence, but it’s also about projecting a sense of authenticity and comfort with who you are.
Here are a few basic principles I’ve learnt about how to master charisma (even if you’re an introvert like me):
1. Be A Contributor, Not A Bystander
It’s much easier to have charisma when you’re someone who contributes.
Be the person who has something to add, rather than being the spectator on the sidelines.
People who are valued for their company are people who offer the benefit of what they know and help solve problems. This often means being vocal and speaking up when the time comes.
You can contribute in myriad ways: Tell someone what they do better than anyone else, give advice, bring fun and energy to a party, be a decision-maker, take the initiative to make plan with others, share recommendations. share your skills.
Be someone who brings value to every social situation, even if it’s just making others feel better in your presence.
2. Be Positive About The Future
Charismatic people inspire us to be better. And usually they make us feel hopeful about what can be done, rather than worry about what’s already gone before.
Ever been on a date with someone who never stops whining or wistfully sighing about some old grudge or situation with their friend, or ex, or a job they got fired from?
It’s like a charisma vacuum sucking the life and optimism out of the room.
Bottom line: charisma focuses on what possible, and gets us excited about what’s happening right now, rather than worrying about yesterday’s defeats.
Speaking of which…
3. Be Present
The more you center yourself in the present moment, the more you’ll be able to engage someone.
You’ll give them that feeling when you look them in the eye that you’re considering every word they (because you actually will be), instead of being lost in your head worrying about a work problem or some deadline you have to meet.
Be. Here. Now.
Charismatic people are able to fully submit to the moment they’re in and embrace it completely, meaning that they always make others feel appreciated in conversation by listening to what they have to say and asking better questions than the standard “How’s it going?”.
4. Be Willing To Take “Social Risks”
Charisma is about being the person who is willing to take the risk. To have the difficult conversation. To ask the question other people might be afraid to. To risk the joke that could fall flat on its face. And this all takes practice.
As I said earlier, I’ve always been a natural introvert.
Most people who meet me initially get the impression I’m shy. But that doesn’t mean I don’t know how to wear the extrovert’s clothing after years of practice. I’ve found that, in truth, I actually enjoy my sociable, gregarious, nature when I allow myself to practice it more, even if it takes more warming up for me to be comfortable in certain environments.
Which is why I have personal rules to keep me practiced in this area.
– Always say “yes” to public speaking opportunities
– Sign up for karaoke when it’s on offer (trust me, no-one cares how you sing)
– Put myself forward for presentations
– Say yes to being in YouTube videos (this already happened!)
Charisma is a skill that can be practiced. The same as being able to do maths in your head. While there might be some born ‘naturals’ at these skills, that doesn’t mean they can’t also be learnt to a high level by people who haven’t always had them.
The First Five Minutes: Why I HAD To Write A Guide On Charisma (Download HERE)
It might surprise you to hear that even my brother Matt is a natural introvert.
He’s someone who growing up used to hate the idea of being up on stage, and was absolutely terrified of being put on the spot front of crowds. Yet today he gives seminars to thousands of women as his day job.
This is something I think Matt never speaks about enough, and for this reason, a while ago I decided to put together a guide that would reveal all of Matt’s well-honed secrets that helped him acquire the charisma he has today.
I call it “The First Five Minutes”, and when you download and start reading it you’ll soon see why.
In this free guide, I decided it was time to share Matt’s best techniques that he uses to charm people at dinner parties, interviews, pitches, and even on dates, which enabled him to win people over in the first 5 minutes of every interaction.
Click HERE to download your copy now…
Read it and you’ll instantly learn how to charm people with your personality.
And please let me know what you think in the comments below. I invested many hours writing “The First Five Minutes” and would love to hear your feedback and comments.
* * * * * * * * * * * *
Stephen Hussey helped co-write the Get The Guy book and is a wealth of knowledge on dating and relationships.
To Follow Steve On Twitter For More Updates Click Here
17 Replies to “The Introvert’s Guide To Charisma, Surviving Awkward First-Dates, And Career-Defining Moments”
Hi thank you for the tips, I will make sure to use them as much in my professional as personal life! Just want to add that I particularly like the sentence ”If we want to stand out in the world, we have to be able to deal with the people in it.” It is not because we’re introverts that we do not want to stand out in our own way (not stand out because we’re the loudest or most talkative), but mastering social situations is needed.
Thank you Stephen! Awesome principles to help us fellow introverts be the best us we can be at any time!!
Thank you for another great and grounded article!
I love the part of being present in the situation, especially regarding the one to one conversation listening fully not with brains,but body and soul.noticing shift of the mood in other person and asking more personal questions, that’s where you build a STRONG connection, rather that shallow ones. :)
Thank you again for the input
I know I’m supposed to say “yes” and take risks but I’m just too paralysed by fear. I read Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway 20 years ago but am still unable to actually do it most of the time. I’m trying to do small talk with people in shops etc but it feels like there’s a massive brick wall between me and where – or rather who – I want to be.
I’m hoping the retreat will help.
Oh, Tara, you’re going to the Retreat? I’m so excited for you!! I went this summer and it was, hands down, the BEST experience EVER! Just soak in everything Matt and his amazing family and team have to offer! They all give fantastic hugs too. ;)
Thanks so much for your comment, Anita.
Yes, I’m going to the Retreat in December. I’ve been pushing myself out of my comfort zone this year but right now I feel like I’m never going to achieve the self-confidence I lack (hence my rather crabby comment above!).
I’m just hanging on to the hope I will have more self-worth and confidence when I get back from the Retreat in December. It encourages me no end to hear how much you loved it.
I can’t wait to see you in December – so much of what I talk about requires not only techniques, but also as you know, deep inner confidence, which is why I created an immersive 5 day programme in the first place so that people could approach these situations without that brick wall that freezes them with fear in a difficult situation. We’re going to have an amazing time on the retreat (thanks Anita for your encouragement too – really appreciate it) – until then, don’t beat yourself up and just take very small baby steps outside your comfort zone. Reward yourself even for the *tiny* wins, even if you spoke to a checkout person in the grocery store. It’s about tiny 1% shifts, not enormous life-changes in a single day. Keep going – I’ll see you very soon for a hug in person!
Thank you so much for taking the time to reply to my comment.
Everything I’ve heard you say about core confidence at the seminar in London and on the retreat video really resonates with me and I feel like you and the retreat have thrown me a lifeline.
I’m so ready to attack my issues head-on and hopefully help other women there do the same.
Thanks for your helpful advice (beating myself up is a regular habit).
I can’t wait for December – and that hug!
Looks like in October 2015 you were planning to attend a Dec 2015 retreat. Well it’s now April 2016, you’ve had a few months to create new habits or resume life: is it better? Worse? The same? I’m curious about the practical effectiveness of Matt’s solutions. Of course, it all depends on how an individual applies it, but Anita you sound like a decent representative for many typical introverts. Hoping you can share from “our” introverts’ perspective what can be gained from attending a retreat.
Also, did you get that hug? Lol I wish you much success ~
Matt and Stephen give the rest of us introverts hope that we can slowly but surely break out of our shells. I have improved quite a bit over the past two years since I’ve started watching the youtube videos and reading the blog posts. Keep up the great work guys! :)
I’m absolutely the same as you, I have always had an initial reserve. But we can all become more gregarious with the right practice of people and situations and prescence of mind. I’d love to see you on a karaoke, sorry I’ve never even met you, I don’t want that to sound strange!
Its nice to add something to an encounter or to people, I had such lovely conversations recently in the doctors waiting room and the gym. I like to smile above all and look friendly as well, to be so in your demeanour. We give off a lot of communication non verbally so our whole body language needs to be warm and engaging too. And I had great banter with the lady I met in the gym, humour goes a long way. I think as you get older you have the ability to be more risqué. Well I certainly am.
Definitely be in the present. My mum went into a long story about a guy who could only be in the present, after an accident and he was blissfully happy. I’m sure and I think in an encounter, sorry to keep using the same word, it is the only way to be. But we need to think of the future, not in monetary and formal terms, things to be done but that’s where our hopes, dreams, ambitions are. Where would we be without them. I met a monk in the street the other day and we had a great philosophical chat and another guy literally standing in a que?! I kinda stepped in front of him and he said, age before beauty. But then he went on to to say life is high self worth, inner peace, heaven is a place in the mind. He’s right and so is sex, a nirvana in the mind as well as body pleasure. He was mind blowingly spiritual, I came away feeling very calm. It’s not all about the money.
Thank you for another great article Stephen and congratulations, you must be so happy.
Another excellent article!
Reminds me of my all time favourite quote and what has become a mantra of mine:
“You know, sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally twenty seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it” – Benjamin Mee
As a natural introvert, I’ve used this mantra, Dale Carnegie’s training formulas and also the advice of the brothers Hussey, I can honestly say that although it’s still difficult at times to put myself “out there”, every time I do, it has always been worth it.
Thanks Stephen! For me, this post just explained what charisma is, on a way I can think how to reproduce it.
Introversion is often misunderstood and has little to do with “how talkative or outgoing or even charismatic or dare I say, even how awkward one is in various social situations.” According to Meyers-Briggs, introversion vs extroversion is merely about a person’s default preference thing one does in order to recharge. As in, when you are low in energy, do you tend to turn inward or outward? Do you regroup or fill your battery by being alone or being with others? Recognizing of course, that all of us do both to varying extents.
I’m trying to download this, but it gives me an error that my gmail.com addresses isn’t a valid email. Help!
Guess I need to pay attention. :o)
Your blog is good but your book makes you think you have to be perfect to get a guy and be confident all the time and stroke his ego and it says nothing about how men pull away sometimes and to focus on yourself and making yourself happy during these times. You also emphasise that men want to make women happy but don’t say you shouldn’t rely on them to do so. And all this talk of being a high value woman a real high value woman doesn’t need constant advice on how to keep a man she is just happy and confident in herself and does whatever feels right and natural. Sometimes things don’t work out, timing, incompatibility, etc and intuition plays a big part.
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