Recently, one of my best friends asked me a simple question: “Do you think people can be taught to have presence in a room?”
After years of studying human interaction, public speaking, hosting events and looking at things unconventionally, here is what I have found:
Start With Confidence
Want to captivate a room? It starts way before you arrive. People can tell if you are insecure or when your words don’t align with your intentions.
If you are going somewhere, why not first try sitting quietly and becoming clear about what you want out of your social interactions? If your intention is to close the deal, then you have to really believe you can close it. You have to exude confidence that your product is the best, which needs to come from within.
If your product isn’t the best and you plan on lying, the other party will most likely be able to call your bluff or just get bad vibes from you. Other people can sense when you’re not genuine, whether you realize it or not.
Next, Start Visualizing
Want to own a room? Start visualizing what it means to be extremely confident and see that in your head. If your visualization is strong enough, you’ll actually feel what it’s like to be confident in your entire body. When your whole body is involved, the feeling that you just walked in a room and nailed it should radiate through you.
Most olympic athletes, professional golfers and other high performers use visualization as a form of practice. Their visualizations are so intense, they’re almost as good as actually practicing the sport. They practice this until they’ve convinced themselves of their confidence.
Find a Mentor
I have a few friends whose fathers are extremely good with people and know how to own a room. They’ve been very successful in business. So when I am invited to spend time with them, I always accept. Tim Ferriss says he hangs out with Kevin Rose for this reason and suggests studying people like Bill Clinton giving a speech.
Have you ever seen someone whom others are star-struck around? Study them. Watch James Bond movies and emulate his smoothness. Next time you find yourself attracted to someone, go up to them and ask them what their secret is.
Surround yourself with friends who have great interpersonal skills and actually believe in themselves from the inside-out. Find authentic people. Whether you like it or not, you start picking up the traits of the people you spend time with. And remember, it’s not always the loudest guy in the room who is most confident.
Want to practice having presence? Why not join Toastmasters public speaking organization? Start going to networking events every single night. Find a friend who wants to work on this too and recap what you learned together. Have a cocktail, but not more than one. Liquid confidence does not equal real confidence.
It might sound weird, but your behavior will only take you so far. Eighty percent of the battle is actually within yourself. Your energy needs to come from within.
Having a magnetic personality is a real, scientific concept. In physics, everything has a gravitational, magnetic field around it — including human beings. When people are magnetized towards you, they get sucked in to your gravitational pull. Imagine telling a story and having people attracted to you like a magnet. This is how humans know when someone is staring at them. If someone is projecting their energy on you, you can feel it. It’s a sense that everyone has but most people aren’t aware of.
Next time you want to hold someone’s attention, actually focus on what this person is saying. Listen as intently as possible. Don’t think about what you are going to say next. Stop wondering what time it is or who just texted you. Put your mind in a meditative state and make that person feel like they are the most important person in the world at that moment. I guarantee they will feel your magnetism.