Being able to command a room is a skill that only certain people have, and it’s one that can be immensely useful for anyone in a leadership position. If you can command a room, then you can get people to listen to your instructions, you can build respect, and you can help to establish calm when there is a panicked atmosphere.
So how do you do this?
Use Body Language
In one study, participants were asked to rate speakers who they thought were highly charismatic. In almost every case, those participants rated the people who spoke with the broadest gestures and most movement as being the ones who were truly charismatic.
This is because we actually use body language for the lion’s share of our communication. Therefore, when you gesticulate and move around the room, it ensures that your body seems congruent with what you are saying.
This in turn makes you seem much more interested in what you are saying, and much more genuine in it.
At the same time, taking up more space makes you appear more confident and dominant, while moving around more will make you easier to pay attention to.
Speak From a Place of Emotion
The mistake many people will make is to try and “fake” this charisma by forcing themselves to move unnaturally. Unsurprisingly, this seldom works and instead only makes you appear more insecure.
That’s why the best way to be more charismatic and to use your body language correctly, is to truly believe in what you’re saying. Moreover, you need to really believe in what you’re saying.
One way you can do this is to tap into a powerful emotion whenever you speak. When you think about how important, exciting, infuriating, or endearing something is, you will be able to convey that same emotion to your audience.
And great communication is about transmitting emotion as much as it is about transmitting words.
But while pacing and gesturing can get you a long way, you can also command a room with the power of silence. Next time the office is raucous and you want attention, try standing silently in the corner of the room with your arms crossed.
This will have an unsettling impact on the team and slowly they will become silent and pay attention too. It takes a huge amount of presence to be able to silence a room this way, and huge confidence to do so without opening your mouth.