We’ve probably all seen those men who can enter any room and instantly command it. I’m not talking about the loud and boisterous dolt who makes a scene with obnoxious alpha-male jackassery. I’m talking about the man who exudes a silent, magnetic charisma that electrifies the entire room just by his presence. People feel better when this type of man is around and they want to be near him.
The benefits of being able to walk into any social situation and completely own it are innumerable. The man who can command a room is more persuasive in his business presentations, easily meets and makes friends, and attracts more women. While many men are born with the ability to charismatically command a room, it can also be learned. Below we’ve provided a few tips to get you started on being El Capitan of any social or professional situation.
Walk in boldly. Many men walk into a room timidly because they don’t want to appear presumptions or self-important. While you shouldn’t barge into people’s home, once you’re invited in, walk in with a bit of pep in your step. You’re supposed to be there, so act like it.
Theodore Roosevelt was a master at walking into a room boldly. In 1881, Roosevelt was elected to the New York Assembly at the age of 23. Accounts from fellow assemblymen on Roosevelt’s first day in office all describe the impressive entrance of the young man. They recall him bursting through the doors and pausing just for a moment so people could soak him in. According to historian Edmund Morris, this became a lifelong habit of Roosevelt’s; he would literally bound from room to room in the White House. Take a lesson from TR: save the walking softly business for your rhetoric.
Hold your breath when you walk in. Win the Crowd author and Magician to the Millionaires Steve Cohen has a trick that he does before we walks onto a stage or into a room to perform. Before he makes his appearance, he takes a deep breath, filling his lungs entirely. He then holds his breath and walks into the room. As he talks, the air is naturally exhaled. This simple action increases blood to your face and makes you look “more radiant and lively,” and consequently more confident. In addition, taking a deep breath and holding it also makes you taller, which brings us to our next point….
Stand up straight! Numerous studies have proven that people are attracted to taller men. Taller men get paid more and they get more women. Unfortunately, not all of us were born with Shaq-like height. Don’t sweat it. Just work with what you got. Work on improving your posture. When you enter a room, don’t walk in with shoulders slouched and your head facing down like a whipped puppy. Show your confidence by walking in with your back straight and your chin up. Try not to stick your chest out too much or else it will look like you’re posturing like a silverback gorilla. Just maintain your natural and correct posture. By doing this, you’ll add inches to your frame and increase your presence in the room.
Take control of your surroundings. We feel most self-assured and at ease when we’re familiar with our surroundings. Familiarity gives us a sense of control, which makes us feel confident. How can you be familiar with a room if it’s your first time entering it? Steve Cohen suggests doing small things to instantly take control of your surroundings. For example, when you sit down at a table in a restaurant, rearrange things on the table. Move a saltshaker or your water glass. It sounds silly, but by doing this you tell your subconscious that you have control (even if it’s nominal) of your surroundings, which in turns makes you more confident and magnetic. Look for small but polite ways in which you can take control of your surroundings in your everyday activities. You might be amazed by the results.
Make eye contact. Every book on self-confidence or assertiveness will tell you that a simple way to increase your presence in a room and your connection with other people is to look them in the eye. The reason it’s repeated ad nauseam is because it works. Eye contact is key to creating a connection with people. History’s most magnetic men all had the ability of making a person feel like they were the only person there. Bill Clinton is a perfect example of this. Adroit use of eye contact is an essential part of this ability.
Eye contact should be engaging, but not overbearing. Don’t stare a person down non-stop. You’ll just creep them out. Look into their eyes, while occasionally flitting yours to the sides of their head and then back. If you have trouble looking people in the eye, try this tip: Take notice of what color eyes the person you’re talking with has. Are they green? Blue? Brown? Or do they have a unique mix? Not only does this help maintain eye contact with people, it’s also a great way to remember people’s names. After taking note of a person’s eye color, start associating that color with their name. You’ll gain bonus charisma points for being able to recall their name during the conversation.
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Eliminate filler words. A nervous tick that plagues many men is filling the space between their words with needless “ummms,” “yeahs” and “likes.” Using filler words is not only distracting, it shows that you’re not confident in what you’re saying. If you’re going to say something, say it with ganas, hombre! Don’t muddle up the conversation with needless filler.
But what should you do in those moments when you’re still collecting your thoughts as you speak? Our natural tendency is to fill the air with an “uuumm” or a quick blast of several “likes.” But fight the urge to do this. Instead embrace the silence. As you come to moments in the conversation where you have to collect your thoughts, just keep your mouth shut. This does two things. First, you eliminate the distraction of the annoying filler words. Second, and more importantly, you draw people in closer to you by creating anticipation in what you’re about to say. By remaining silent, you pique the curiosity of your listener and subtly take control of the situation. Of course, avoid too many long pauses; that will only make you seem awkward.
Focus on other people. If there’s anything you take away from this article, let it be this. If you really want to be the man in the room that people are drawn to, focus your interest on them. Many men have the false idea that if you want to command the room, you have to make everything about you. These misguided souls wear flashy jewelry or skin-tight clothing that shows off their well-chiseled body. Their conversation focuses on them — their cars, their bench press, their sexual exploits, etc. While a few pinheads will be impressed with this sort of thing, the vast majority of the population will think it’s a bunch of crap.
The reality is that the magnetic gentleman — the man who can walk into any room and own it — is others focused. People want to feel loved, appreciated, and important. Sadly, many people these days aren’t feeling much of that. Perhaps their boss never compliments them or their wife never voices any appreciation for all that they do. If you can fill that void in people’s lives by focusing on them and acknowledging their importance, you’ll instantly bring them under your magnetic influence.
Think back to a time when someone genuinely complimented you. How did you feel? Pretty damn good, probably. How did you feel about the person giving the compliment? Admit it, you most likely thought, “Wow, I really like this guy!” It’s only human nature. We’re drawn to people who show an interest in us. People are like mirrors. When we shine a light on a person, they reflect that light back on us. If we shine a light on every person in the room, we end up being the brightest man there.
So, next time you enter a room, forget being charming. Hell, forget about commanding the room. Just focus on how you can make others feel important. The charm and the room will follow naturally.
Have any other ideas on commanding a room like a man? Drop a line in the comment box.