While I’m sure you can already light up a room in your own, unique way, it never hurts to really turn on the charm in certain situations. Think job interviews, networking events, and even parties and get-togethers with friends. In these situations, we all notice the person who has charm and charisma. So, how can you light up a room?
I’ll get to that in a second. But first, let’s go further into why you might want to steal a little bit of this charm for yourself. “To be charismatic and ‘light up a room’ means you’re memorable and people want to connect with you,” millennial coach Christiana Hill tells Bustle. “When you tap into the charismatic alter ego version of yourself, you’ll often find that a) it becomes more natural and b) the connections you make with new people, or the situations you find yourself in as a result, often push you forward in life and career and relationships.”
While it’s certainly not your job to be charming or charismatic — especially if it’s not in your nature — knowing how to capture that essence and occasionally use it to your advantage is, well, advantageous. Below, some surefire ways to light up a room.
1. Build Up Your Confidence Beforehand
You can’t exude confidence if you don’t have any. Which is why, if you’re looking to make a glowing impression, you’ll have to do some personal work, first. “Focus on your best qualities and traits,” says spiritual counselor Davida Rappaport. “Take a moment and write down all of the things that are wonderful and fantastic about you … If you need a little boost, remember those words and the feelings you have associated with them.”
2. Enter Every Room With A Warm Energy
Instead of bursting through the door complaining about traffic or griping about the heat, practice entering rooms with a more positive vibe — at least when it counts most. “Keeping your greetings with others as purely positive is a fantastic way to brighten up a room, and often opens them up for some emotional sharing later in a conversation,” speaker Sam Coster tells Bustle. It really can make all the difference.
3. Channel Your Alter Ego
If you’re naturally shy or introverted, it can help to take the”fake it ’til you make it” approach. “My advice? Channel your inner alter ego,” says Hill. “Ask yourself what the fun, courageous, charismatic version of yourself would do when he/she walks into a room and embody that person. It’s you, just the version of you who doesn’t question him or herself.” This trick can truly boost your confidence, which — as we all know — leads to better interactions.
4. Give Off Those Kind Vibes
Once you’ve arrived at the party/networking event/job interview/etc., it can’t hurt to go for a “kind and open” vibe. “Standing with open posture (no crossed arms) and a lightly smiling face (just to ward off any scowls you’ve got on there) makes you immeasurably more approachable,” Coster says. And that can win you all sorts of friends and opportunities.
5. Pay Attention To Your Posture, Too
Posture is one of those things that’s easy to forget about. If you’re feeling nervous, for example, you may slouch on into a room without realizing how slumped and defeated you look. So stand up straight. “People will always notice the tall person, or someone who has good posture,” Rappaport says. “There is something fascinating about someone who has good posture. It shows confidence and charisma.”
6. Dish Out A Few (Genuine) Compliments
One way to be relatable and super likable? Truly notice people — what makes them special, what makes them interesting, etc. — and then dish out a compliment or two. “Charismatic people are engaging,” lifestyle expert Heather Monahan tells Bustle. “When you are approaching someone, be sure to give a genuine compliment whenever you can.” They’ll really appreciate it.
7. Pay Attention To Your Voice
No one should change their voice or feel self-conscious about it. But, in some situations — like during a networking event — it can help to pay attention to your tone. “Try varying the pitch, tone, rhythm, speed, and volume during everyday conversation,” says resume expert and career coach Peter Yang. “This will make you seem far more expressive and charismatic, and you can really supercharge your personality this way.” If you talk super fast, you might also want to focus on slowing down, since this will make people stop and listen to what you have to say.
8. Listen To Show You Care
If you’re chatting with someone and get interrupted, or notice their question or story has been ignored, be that awesome person who reels the convo back in. As Coster says, “This is the sort of thing that makes people really feel like you give a damn about them — especially if the interruption is more than a few minutes.” And that’s a surefire way to win them over.
9. Find The Good In Every Person And Situation
There’s something very special about people who can find the good in situation — no matter how big or small. So promise yourself now that, whenever you enter a room, you’ll do so with caring mindset. “People will remember you for your positive outlook on life and want to be part of it,” Rappaport says. ‘Nearly everyone likes to be around someone who is happy and positive.”
10. Wear Something That Makes You Feel Great
It’s tough to light up a room when you don’t feel comfortable in your own skin. That’s why it’s important to wear whatever makes you feel your best. “If you have a lucky outfit or a few outfits that fit you perfectly — they feel as though they were made for you — wear them,” Rappaport says. “If you feel great in your clothes, that feeling will translate in such a way that you will glow and exude charisma.”
11. Stay Interested
OK, so you won’t want to go overboard or act fake. But do try to take an interest in everyone you meet. “If you create some genuine interest in the other person and ask them a few good questions about themselves, most people will talk — and thereby carry the conversation,” Renée Jones, a life coach and counselor, tells Bustle. People love to feel heard and seen, so they’ll remember you for making the effort.
It really is as simple as that.