How To Make A Good First Impression [Video] + Charisma University

Behind the scenes of How to Make Amazing First Impressions…

Editing this video was gnarly.  It turned out being a massive file that took nearly 24 hours to export and get on the web.  I had to split it cause my computer kept crashing (hence the parts 1 and 2 you’ll see below).

But I got it done (woot woot!)  Video is at the bottom of the post

But before that….

From How to Make A Good First Impression to Charisma University…

So while the topic of how to make a good first impression was the crowd favorite, there was also a huge response to the bigger project I’m thinking of developing: Charisma University.

If you haven’t heard about it, it’s because I haven’t said anything publicly.  The first news went out privately to my email list.

(I wanted to give the first chance to the people who have been the most active in giving feedback, because that is a huge part of being a founding member.)

You can read about how to be part of Charisma University here.  Although no spots have officially been filled yet, there is a wait list forming.  We’ve got more people than there are spots so far, but if you sign up, there is still a good chance you can be a founding member.

Anyway, this How to Make Amazing First Impressions video is just one piece of what I envision Charisma University becoming…

Some motivation so you know how life-changing making an amazing first impression can be…

Learning how to make a good first impression has:

  • helped me and Ben get dozens of job offers in 30 days after we each whiffed in our first year of attempts
  • led to meeting amazing friends (one of whom met us for a half hour before moving to Rio with us).
  • and knowing how to make a good first impression in only 15 seconds led to me dating a girl that I am currently seeing…I’ll tell the whole story in the video.

Write in the comments what else you would like to learn!  Those comments are how I develop everything I write and film!

UPDATE:  Both the first impression video and Charisma Univeristy were huge successes and now have been turned into full length training courses.  You can get the first impression course here and sign up for the wait list to join Charisma University here.

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22 Responses to “How To Make A Good First Impression [Video] + Charisma University”

  • Hi Charlie,
    Nice video mate. I like the six steps to charisma as a framework for understanding an interaction and also so I can breakdown my communication skills into parts and develop them one at a time. I am quite strong in some of the areas whilst there are areas I can improve on and knowing where to look will save me lots of time and effort! I don’t like the term “inner game” because it isn’t clear as to what you mean and I don’t believe my self esteem/model of the world should be viewed as a game. I think this part of the process is the most fundamental to get sorted otherwise I will just learn a few techniques and behaviours and go around performing an identity that isn’t congruent with my true self. Having the framework to develop an understanding of charisma is vital and having actionable steps to implement the ideas will give valuable experience but ultimately what makes someone charismatic is an authentic and congruent reality and that comes from honest self reflection and an ability to be honest at all times. I’m sure you will cover this in your course but I thought Id drop you my thoughts 😉
    really looking forward to breaking down the six elements of charismatic conversation!
    Cheers mate

    • Thanks for the feedback Jordan! I understand what you mean re: inner game. I mean it in terms of the habitual self talk we have, the principles we live by, and the knowledge that we live in accordance with our values. Totally not married to the term “inner game,” so I’ll play around with it and see if I can find something that signifies what I mean more clearly.

      You mentioned the parts you are good as vs. the parts you struggle more with. Just curious, what aspects do you find more difficult and what information do you think might be helpful?

    • Hey Charlie, very helpful video!!
      One quick point I’d love to add in relation to your SEGWAY Acronym, is that you mentioned that ‘Y’ was forced on to make the acronym work.
      I’m not sure if you have read Dale Carnegie’s book “How to Win Friends and Influence People” but he mentions in it that a persons name “is the sweetest sound to their ears.” For this reason I believe ending the conversation with, “it was a pleasure talking to you Charlie!” is really important.
      Other than that it was a fantastic video, and I’m definitely looking out for more! Keep it up!

  • Charlie,

    Loved the video man. It’s funny because a lot of what you said seems to be pretty simple but in my own life I can attest to the fact that it works, I can think back to times at parties or events where I’ve been “on” and I’ll realize that I was actually doing the things you mentioned subconsciously. I can also think back to times when I’ve struggled at similar events and I’ll realize that I was not smiling and acting closed off.

    As for the video I thought the times you brought Henry out from behind the camera were really helpful. It’s good to have a tangible example of what you’re saying.

    Look forward to the next video.

  • The struggle I have is in confidence/state management and lack of clarity and certainty around conversational skills.

    If I’m a bit uncomfortable I can fall back into old patterns of withdrawal and nervousness. I believe that its a mindset issue and until this is sorted the rest is just a performance and not authentically me. Knowing how to further build my build self esteem would be helpful and also outlining what behaviours rob us of our self esteem so we can become more aware of how and when we are doing these things. The more tools I can learn to overcome my negative emotional states the better!

    Doing the work to have a library of conversational tools will be most helpful as I will know that I can rely on my skills to communicate effectively until I get back into a positive state. As far as the six elements of charisma go I think a resource outlining each of the six elements of charisma similar to the one in the Anti-Pick line/Kickassery regarding role-plays. Where you give examples of dialogues but also the critical aspects and frameworks supporting them would be most helpful. Like what elements does a standard monologue or loud boundary have? Does it state our belief/value, then does it state our reasons for this belief, does it imply a frame, how is it best structured? Does it incorporate get out clauses for people to take back an offensive remark? Does it incorporate humour? What other elements are needed? What do each of the six elements of charisma need to be successfully incorporated into our natural personalities and Could you create a fill in the gaps style worksheet outlining these elements for us to practice with?

    Keep up the good work mate


    P.S I use the term “internal motivators” regarding my inner game as it implies what are my intentions are at this moment. Am I feeling unworthy and insecure or am I feeling calm and confident. The answer to these questions often determines what state I will be in and wether I will behave authentically or wether I will perform/overcompensate. It also allows me to use some of the tools I have learned to overcome these thoughts/feelings and to return to a state of calm and confident.

  • Just finished the second video. HAHAHA so funny to see your bro practice his skills. I had the same experience practicing with my mate the other night, we felt stupid but it was HILARIOUS!

    I really liked the what you said about unlearning the filter> That pretty much summed up what causes my negative state issues.

    I enjoyed seeing you talk in person, the demonstrations were helpful and the brief clips were very insightful. The slideshow was a little boring.



    • Haha, two votes for more Henry! I’m all over it 🙂

      Thanks again for the suggestions – I think they are spot on. The “previously known as Inner Game” section will definitely cover those mindsets you were talking about. As for frameworks, I will make sure to be explicit with those when talking about extended conversations and storytelling. You’re right though, framework without examples (or vice versa) is not super helpful. I’ll try to keep a good balance.

  • Hey Henry, did your brother actually “not care” when he waved to the model at the party.. or was there a coy smile along with it 😉

    Really good material Charlie and I really like the format of these presentations – I like the Will Smith clips, your charming self talking to the camera (“watch what I’m talking about”) and I like ending with the actionable advice.

    I’m off to go touch people!


  • Charlie,

    What a great presentation man. Been stuck on the screen of my laptop for quite some time(and NB i have loads of studying but its indeed worthy). Unfortunately I am from the other side of the pond, and especially from a country where presentation skills are not widely teached (Greece) and also much less used/ specified and jotted down. All of my American friends have stressed the fact that presentation skills in the states are a backbone of the educational system since primary school. (kinda jealous here but thankfully we’ve got CoC)

    When it happens to turn on the TV, I stumble upon these talk shows and people who are supposed to be communication professionals in a medium with a huge ‘customer base’ like television do not even use eye contact. Let alone all the other advice that you so gracefully spell out for us. I sit there and watch them astounded as to how clueless they might be and how little is being asked of them from the audience. [I occassionally also wonder what their payckeck might be]. People have learnt to get satisfied with so little in terms of quality communication, and this habituation is very unproductive in the long run. And it is perfectly fine with me if they sit there and talk about gossip and half baked celebs, but when it comes to politics for example, my country is in huge need of actual CHARISMATIC leadership. It would transform the country and the lives of the people.

    For the time being, I’ll only say thanks once again for having started to put me in a position to recognise where people around me are [massively] underperforming, poorly representing themselves and also how not to be one of them

    I should probably get back to studying for my finals
    Thanks to both of you guys.

    • Wow, crazy to think that the country that invented “charisma” is so far behind! To be fair, the American school system still has a huge focus on regurgitation of facts for a test. I took only one public speaking class in my entire 17 years of student-hood and that was the LAST year.

      Glad this was a nice distraction for finals 😉

  • Hey Charlie,

    I really enjoyed the video as well. More than anything, I think your use of examples and displays of the theories in action do the best job at helping me visualize what I need to improve, and the end goal I should be trying to achieve. The videos and demonstrations help to put a realistic, more actionable feel to what we are learning. In terms of inner game, I think that one thing helpful to note about your equation is how symbiotic these topics really are: That the more improvement we experience in one of the areas you are teaching (killer first impressions for example) the more this will feed our inner game, and in turn this increase in inner game will help fuel better first impressions, conversations, etc.


    I found a really cool article that you might want to forward to Charlie, just to avoid future back pain. Lots of good stuff in here 😉

    • Author of that article sounds like a total punk. Not to be trusted 😉

      Also Henry, you’re full of it. I even asked her to confirm: I spoke first. Sorry you’re too slow 😛

  • Charlie. Awesome video bro. I really like the SEGWAY acronym. Using acronyms was always a technique to help me remember important stuff and this will really help me. I know you deal mostly with men but a lot of what you’re talking about is good for females as well, that’s why I read your stuff. However, as a female, “inner game” is a term that I can’t quite relate to. Sounds more masculine but I get the idea so it’s not imperative you change it. I think the idea of a “filter” and the reference to alcohol is an important thing to point out. That’s definitely how alcohol is used and I’ve used it myself for that. I have to take some time and think about that aspect more. You practice what you teach and it’s evident on the video – nice presentation man. Also, Henry is a good model. Keep up the good work. Can’t wait till the next parts.

  • Hey Charlie! Loved the video man. A couple things:
    -Huge fan of both the live demonstration and SEGWAY acronym. They made the presentation way clearer and easier to understand, I actually would have liked to have SEGWAY at the beginning and end
    -About the time length, I liked the detail! But I’m also someone whose been reading your site for months and I’m willing to invest the time. If I want to link it to a friend who didn’t know anything about you, I’d realistically probably tell them to start it at the 10 min mark. Your call.
    -Is it possible to make the screen presentation smoother? It’s slightly distracting to watch you mouse through different screens. I’m not an IT guy, but you can probably use some sort of powerpoint software to just click through slides with words and then videos
    -I also especially liked the part about answer “how are you” effusively and being ready for the common questions. Getting conversations started right off the ball is obviously important in it’s own right, but my biggest anxiety in meeting new people is getting the conversation started, so this helps with my mindset as well
    -Would love to hear more about “building the world” and other improv/comedy techniques! I know I can find them elsewhere but would be interested in your thoughts on which ones specifically are applicable in conversation/charisma.
    Have a great day!

    • Good suggestions Ben. You are not the first to comment about mouse movement. I’m a total tech schlub, but I’m sure I can come up with a better solution. Might not be IMMEDIATE, but I promise to work it out over the next few videos.

      Building the world will definitely have a big part of a class in Charisma University. Once I work with the founding founding members, I can probably put together a Cliffs Notes in a blog post 🙂 Improv comedy forms the basis of it, but it is definitely not the same. Because the goal isn’t just to be funny, it’s also to earn respect, which is something the “funny guy” sometimes doesn’t realize

  • I wanna tell you man. I remember I time in my life, a couple years ago, where depression drove me to really meet new people everyday and I became much more charismatic. I’ve fallen off that horse and lost a lot of that charisma, and have been wondering what I’m missing. After watching these 2 videos, I realized you described so many of the things that I used to do automatically! Honest smile, make people laugh, direct the conversation, and using details (like the russel brand chair example)! This is gonna help me lots.

    Question: What do you suggest for making people feel unique and special? You mentioned it as one of the 4 things to make a great first impression but I didn’t see you give any advice on it. Thanks again man, I can’t wait to turn these things into habits and enrich the relationships in my life!

    • For making people feel special there are two main things. The first is taking a genuine interest (after earning their respect). Ask them questions. Not just “What do you do?” but “Do you like it?” “What excites you?” As you get past the small talk, take opportunities to compliment them specifically (only when you really mean it). So you could say, “You left your job to create your own business. Lots of respect. Most people don’t have the courage to do that.”

      The second thing is just remembering their name. Even for short encounters. This has a huge effect on people, especially when they’ve decided they like you. To help remember, get in the habit of using people’s names when you say goodbye: so something like, “Great meeting you, Tom!”

      • Thanks for getting back so quick. I can see how these things would work even better after earning respect. Honest compliments, interest, and remembering the name. Keep on doing what you’re doing Charlie!

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