Clothes certainly maketh the woman but charm renders you immortal. Just think of the world’s most charming people such as George Clooney or Stephen Fry, the late Princess Diana or Joanna Lumley. All people for whom grace and charisma outshines the brittle beauty of say Angelina or Victoria Beckham.

Carole Ann Rice

Carole Ann Rice

So how can you access your charm gene?

Here are a few simple steps that will take you from lack luster to legend and will raise your profile from floor to soar.

  • Act “as if” you are charming. Shoulders back, smile in place, walk as though you know you light up the room. Let your body language be warm and welcoming. Others will believe it and pretty soon your psyche will do too.
  • Make an impact – Shake hands warmly and look your contact directly in the eye, smiling broadly. State generously how pleased you are to meet them saying their name, (which you instantly make a point of remembering), as you do so. Break the ice with a pleasant observation – “isn’t this lovely? I do so love….”
  • Look really interested – Most people are starved of being listened to, of being heard. It is the biggest honour to show genuine interest in another person. Dare to be wrapped in what they say and ask interested, leading questions – “How interesting, so tell me how you exactly fricassee Spam?” You will be very well thought of.
  • Be generous.   Give things away; introduce people to each other, share information and your time. Be sure to be the person who talks 20% to other’s 80%.
  • Give compliments – Find excuses to praise others – “Oh I can imagine you would be so good at that” – “that colour is made for you” but never tell lies or be obsequious. There is a fine line between smarm and charm so beware.
  • Accept compliments – Be gracious when others wish to compliment you. Don’t assume the flattery was someone’s throwaway remark to make you feel better. It is meant with genuine intent so thank the giver and say kindly (even if you feel uncomfortable) “how kind of you to have noticed” which acknowledges the other person thoughtfully.
  • Be well read. It doesn’t mean you have to have complete in-depth knowledge of the Greek tragedies but be up on current affairs, pop culture and latest trends so you have a store of relevant issues to discuss with people. Be sure to include others and orient the conversations around the topics which interest them.
  • Don’t argue. Learn to disagree in a way that shows respect. Being pedantic or being “right” about everything is not attractive. Needless to say swearing, cursing, be-littling or gossiping are also off limits.

A caveat- all of the above must be conducted from the heart or it won’t work. It’s not about manipulation but treating others with savoir faire and aplomb. The rewards are abundant as Beyonce once sighed: “I’m just a sucker for a charming person”

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