Gentlemen, we all know that respect isn't given – it's earned.
It's not easy, though. It's a tough world out there, and fortune favors strength. The best way to showcase that strength is by commanding respect.
It's a broad topic. There's no way I can do it justice in a single post, but I can give you gents a rundown of some key characteristics to make you stand out.
Here it is: 21 fool-proof ways to build your charisma and earn respect from anyone in the room.
- Know What Your Purpose Is.
- Believe In Yourself.
- Dress Like The Man In Charge.
- Call Your Safety.
- Bring Your Own Crew.
- Acknowledge Others Silently.
- Have Direction.
- Have A Margin For Error.
- Speak To Be Heard.
- Speak Slowly.
- Don't Hide In Corners.
- Stand Up Straight.
- Don't fidget.
- Lean In.
- Sit In The Right Place.
- Have Stories In Your Back Pocket.
- Use Gestures.
- Beware Of The “Scan.”
- Know When To Leave.
1. Know What Your Purpose Is
First off, you need to know why it is you're showing up. Are you going to a networking event? A work lunch? Or are you simply going to have a drink? All of these are factors that you need to consider before proceeding.
Believe it or not, your intention has a significant impact on your results. If you attend (what turns out to be) a networking dinner with a mind to hang out at the bar, do you think you'll get anything done?
Didn't think so.
2. Believe In Yourself
Everyone has something that they can draw on to give them more confidence. Maybe you have a lot of professional experience in your field that outshines others in the room. Maybe you don't have the experience, but you have an education that allows you to see things differently.
Heck, maybe you don't have either. However, you pride yourself on being a good listener and excellent conversationalist. Regardless of what category you fall into, there is something you can use to your advantage. Even the least-experienced gents possess something that naturally gives them an edge to earn respect.
You just need to find out what it is.
3. Dress Like The Man In Charge
Gents, I have a whole Youtube channel and blog dedicated to this – you knew this was coming. A guaranteed way to earn respect is simply to dress like you're worthy of it.
If you're underdressed for the occasion, like it or not, you won't be taken seriously right off the bat. Even in situations where casual is the name of the game, fortune favors those men who push the envelope a little and look better than their friends.
Clothing is a tool – a tool to help you get noticed, to hold you to a higher standard and to get you the opportunities you deserve. Having your uniform handy is an easy way to do this.
4. Call Your Safety
What's a “Safety?” We're talking your wife, children, or a good friend. Anyone that serves as a positive influence in your life can count in this category.
Before a big event, make a habit of giving that person a call. You can either tell them about the presentation you're about to give and seek some encouragement or simply tell them how much you appreciate them.
Your Safety is the person you call before a big event for a morale boost.
You wouldn't think so, but the positive reinforcement given to you and given to your Safety can have a considerable impact on your morale.
5. Bring In Your Crew
When we have friends along, we instantly become more legitimate in the eyes of others. The fact you're having a good time with others serves as solid proof that you are a man that is not only socially accepted but sought after. It's among the easiest ways to earn respect.
In addition to that, friends simply provide a source of comfort in otherwise unfamiliar spaces. Sure, you can branch out and make connections, but you can rest knowing that your buddy will have your back. The worst-case scenario is that you simply talk to each other.
6. Acknowledge People… Silently
There is power in silence, and a simple nod is an effective way to earn respect.
There is a lot of power that comes from a nod.
Whenever you come in – regardless of the nature of the event – acknowledge people by giving them a simple, slight bow of the chin.
7. Have Direction
Know your objective wherever you are – even if it's to make a b-line for the bar.
If you don't know anyone or don't have an objective, you still have some options. You could do some research ahead of time to learn who will be there and if you'd like to meet them. You could even simply go around greeting people until someone sparks your curiosity.
Failing those, a simple smile and nod will suffice. Sooner or later, someone will react better than the others – you just found your conversation target.
8. Give Yourself A Margin For Error
This means that if work starts at 9 am, you leave the house at 8:15 – maybe even 8 sharp.
If you know that there's a lot of traffic in your area, consider leaving home a whole hour early.
If there happens to be a lot of traffic for example, or if you spend more time than usual in the bathroom, you still have that extra wiggle room to make it by 8:45.
9. Speak To Be Heard
The key here to earn respect is not to mumble, but not to scream either. Speak firmly enough to be heard without the other party having to ask you to repeat yourself.
10. Speak Slowly
You don't have to speak in total slow-mo, but it is important to speak at such a speed where you are actively thinking about what you say.
Our mouths are often too quick for our brains, which leads to “ummms” and “likes.” Avoid these – pace yourself, and you'll sound much more intelligent.
Believe it or not, there is significant power showcased through the simple act of pausing.
Before speaking, one great power move is simply to stay silent before even commencing. Furthermore, save the pauses for concluding your strongest points – that way they really sink in.
12. Don't Hide
What's among the worst things you can do? Being timid.
You'll be surprised at who you'll connect with if you just put yourself out in the open.
I get it, it can be hard for some guys. However, by being outgoing, you prove to everyone that you are a beacon of confidence. Even if you find it difficult to put yourself out there, the act can be as simple as relaxing by the bar and being open to conversation.
13. Stand Up Straight
Posture is key in order to earn respect. When you see someone slouching, whether they intend to or not, they look like they lack energy or don't care.
It's also essential for your health. By having good posture, you ensure that your muscles and bones are all in the right place.
14. Don't Fidget
It makes you look weak and indecisive. You don't have to be a statue necessarily, but you also want to make sure that your movements are slow and deliberate.
15. Lean In
This helps to forge a sense of privacy with the person you are talking to. It drives home the impression that you are invested in the conversation – and that will make them like you more.
Just don't go too far into their personal space…
16. Sit At The Right Place
Say you're at a work meeting. You step into the conference room – there are chairs lining the walls, but there are also open seats in the central table. The boss is going to sit at the head of that table
Where do you sit?
The simple answer is the table, and as close to the boss as possible, preferably to his/her right. You may not be presenting or even speaking, but you want to be seen. Sitting close to the center of power lends you a certain legitimacy in the eyes of others – and you will earn respect this way.
This can apply to a myriad of situations – from work meetings to simple get-togethers.
17. Have Stories In Your Back Pocket
Storytelling is a skill humans have prized for thousands of years. The very first historian, Herodotus, was hailed as a celebrity across the ancient world. Today, authors like Stephen King and George R. R. Martin are no different.
As a good storyteller, you'll become the life of the party.
You don't need to be a famous writer in order to earn respect. Take some time to prepare your stories ahead of time. Take the most interesting and relevant moments in your life and structure them accordingly.
Learn to structure your stories based on the hook, the buildup, and the delivery that ties it all together.
18. Use Your Hands – Gesture
Some folks say I do this a lot, and maybe I overdo it. Nevertheless, it's better to do it too much than not at all.
Use of gestures can really engage an audience, and this goes for whether you are presenting or simply talking with some friends.
19. Beware The Dreaded “Scan.”
Have you ever seen a man that got caught in a boring conversation, and he is just looking away, scanning the room?
Gents, avoid this at all costs. It's an undeniable sign of weakness. It shows a man who is stuck somewhere he doesn't want to be but is powerless to escape.
If you get bored, politely see yourself out as soon as possible.
How to solve this? Simply excuse yourself, or politely ask the other person to get to the point.
20. Know When To Leave
This relies mainly on your own judgment, gents. It's a subtle, but effective power play to make your own determination as to when to leave.
You're a man who has things to do, and if you show that this is not your only obligation, the message you send is precisely that – power.
21. Practice, Practice, Practice
These are habits you need to form over a long period, so keep at it! As with all things, only practice makes perfect.
Gents, there you have it – 21 quick tips to earn respect from your peers. As point 21 states, you need to keep at it. These habits won't come along instantly – but once they become second nature, you will note the difference.