You recognize them by the twinkle in their eye, their smile that oozes confidence (but not arrogance), and that certain something you can't quite put your finger on, but that draws you in, makes you want more of them. That "something" is charisma, and it's what sets a great orator apart from an ordinary speaker, a salesperson of the year apart from a mediocre one -- even a beloved president apart from a losing candidate. Experts say while 50 percent of charisma is innate, the other half is trained, which means everyone has an opportunity to hone their charisma skills. Here are some suggestions for developing yours:

  1. Assume every person you meet is important, and treat him or her as such.
  2. Shake hands strongly and firmly (and, even better, say something positive while doing so).
  3. Keep an open body posture, with your hands away from your face while speaking.
  4. Stand up straight and tall, but not rigidly.
  5. When speaking to a group, speak conversationally from a bulleted list (not by reading from a script).
  6. Take the time to remember people's names, and use them in conversation.
  7. Look at the color of people's eyes (they will notice the extra attention you're giving them).
  8. Compliment people freely (as long as the compliments are sincere).
  9. Notice and acknowledge people's strengths and accomplishments.
  10. Use pauses while you speak to create emphasis.
  11. Take care of your outside appearance (look your best).
  12. Smile, ideally a little bit longer than the person you're looking at.
  13. Hear the emotions in people's words, and respond to them.
  14. Use positive body language, including maintaining eye contact, briefly touching a person on the upper arm, and moving around while you speak.
  15. Be genuinely interested in those around you (ask them their opinions, inquire about their life and interests, listen and don't interrupt).