When I think of charisma I think of Will Smith. The man has something about him that just makes you like him. His charisma is infectious too – after a Will Smith movie comes out everyone is trying to be like him. So how do we develop charisma like Will?
What is Will Smith Charisma?
Before we can talk about developing charisma we have to look at exactly what type of charisma we are trying to develop. Yes, that’s right – there are a few different types of charisma. Some of them aren’t so good.
First of all there is normal charisma which is where people are charismatic for no particular reason. You can try and figure out why people find them charismatic but you can’t quite put your finger on it. Quite often they are good looking.
Secondly we have negative charisma. This is like Adolf Hitler. This man was so charismatic that he could lead thousands of people to do very bad things. He brings out the worst in people.
Thirdly, and most importantly, we have positive transformational charisma. This is the type of charisma that makes people see the best in themselves. It makes people believe in something. It makes people happy. This is Will Smith.
How to develop Will Smith style charisma
All charasmatic people have a few things in common. If we aren’t very naturally charasmatic we need to look at what they do and try to emulate it in our own style.
1. Empower people
The most charasmatic people on Earth empower you when you are near them. Will Smith does this constantly. He makes people around him feel funny. He makes people feel like they can travel the same journey he has – rags to riches. Empowerment is a typical trait of charasmatic people.
Negative charasmatics, on the other hand, try and keep all the power for themselves. You might see this with a CEO at work or someone in your family. They have some charasmatic power but they feel that by degrading others it will make them look big. The contrary is true – the more power you give others the more they will perceive you as being poweful.
Take a look at this speech Will gives to a bunch of people involved in the arts. It is a little fuzzy but the voice is clear. Notice how he uses examples to empower people to continue.
2. Listen carefully
Will Smith listens to people when they are talking to him. A lot of famous people are just waiting for their turn to talk. Bad idea. When you listen to someone it is noticeable. We have all been at the table with the guy who doesn’t listen when you talk. It is annoying as hell.
Careful listening also allows you to formulate meaningful responses. Charasmatic people always add something to a situation. It might be knowledge, wisdom, humor or just hope. Whatever it is they usually do it after listening to what a person is saying and establishing how they are feeling.
This is one of my favorite Will Smith interviews. It is hilarious. Notice how the language barrier isn’t a problem. Will listens to both verbal and physical cues. He also empowers the other guy to be funny as mentioned before.
3. Smile and laugh
Will Smith isn’t afraid to bellow out his massive laugh. He doesn’t hold back. He is always smiling and after a while the smile becomes infectious. It is very difficult to be in a sad mood when someone around you is happy and laughing and smiling. Their inner happiness somehow affects what is going on around them.
Check out Will on Letterman. He lifts everyone he directs his attention to by smiling and being happy. How can you effect change if you have not changed yourself?
4. Be yourself
Charasmatic people are not trying to be like anyone else. Of course we can take lessons from people like Will Smith but we should not try to copy how they talk, act, walk, etc. When you start to do this you lose the naturalness that charismatic people display. People who are comforable in their own skins and are not phased by other people’s opinions are often the most charasmatic.
Originally posted on February 28, 2008 @ 3:03 am