[WATCH]: How To Be Charming Like George Clooney
(Feature photo sourced from Charisma on Command YouTube Channel)
Every now and then we run across people who simply ooze charisma. They seem comfortable in their skin and help others to feel comfortable, too. Socially, they seem to have an almost effortless flow and a contagious sense of humor that makes people want to be with them.
When it comes to charisma and charm, one of the most poignant examples is George Clooney. Not to sound cliche, but he's the guy women are attracted to and the guy which inspires other guys. What is it? How does he do it?
There's a YouTube channel called Charisma on Command that offers advice in this regard. Last October, they posted a video called "5 Easy Steps to be Effortlessly Charming." Throughout they cited George Clooney as their example, and to many of us, this makes sense.
Here's a synopsis of what they discussed: (See video above for more.)
Focus on setting the tone. Before you even begin to engage in a conversation, let the first 10-20 seconds of an interaction be about make the environment comfortable for you and others. One example they used in the video showed Clooney walking out to do a talk show interview and being relaxed, greeting the audience and the host, and taking in the space first. It was contrasted with someone else walking out in a stilted, anxious manner looking worried from the get go.
Laugh with your eyes. Have you ever talked with someone who is smiling at you but it seems hollow and contrived. Yep. Me, too. When you smile with your eyes, too, you come across as much more relaxed and authentic. Also, people can tell you're having fun with the things you're saying and they in turn enjoy them more, too.
Make genuine eye contact. But not like an intimidating laser beam or like you're having a stand off between alpha dogs. No, more like a "boomerang." Deliver strong eye contact when delivering punchlines and/or periodically. But give people "attention breaks," too.
Find the balance between teasing others and complimenting them. Ah, this is a fine line to walk. There's something charming about someone who can crack jokes with other people, even at their expense IF--and it's a big if--they only do this with people with a similar status. Clooney does this with fellow celebrities, but he always compliments them, too. And he almost always compliments and is even self-deprecating when speaking with less well known people. "Punch up or to the side, but never, ever 'down.'"
His goal is not to "be charming." His goal seems to be making himself, and others, feel good. Really, all true etiquette should be about making others feel comfortable and uplifted. This is a perfect example. You'll know when you're in the presence of something with true charm when, even if things go wrong, they are handled calmly and become another way to have a good time.
It's almost like he's asking the question: "What would make both of us feel more comfortable right now?" Or, "what would help both of us have more fun in this moment?"
When that's the goal, rather than being "charming," true charisma will flow much more easily.