New book from NYT bestselling author Lewis Howes is now available!

New book from NYT bestselling author Lewis Howes is now available!


Vanessa Van Edwards

Why You're Lacking Charisma & How To Create It


Are you having trouble making friends or being assertive? Do you want to be more charismatic? Charisma is often seen as a trait that is reserved for the lucky few, like celebrities and politicians. But the reality is that anyone can create charisma in their life if they know how to tap into their inner power. Charisma can help you get ahead in your career, make new friends, and even find love. So how do you create charisma in your life?

Welcome back, my friends. I am pumped and excited about today’s episode because our guest today is Vanessa Van Edwards. She is the lead investigator at Science of People, which aims to help students to become more successful and charismatic.

In this episode, we dive in deep on how you can instantly create trust and reliability, the difference between charismatic cues and danger zone cues, the fascinating research about social cues and how to use them, and so much more. This is an exciting episode of The School of Greatness, so if you’re ready to take your life to the next level, then buckle up, relax, get ready with your notes, and let the class begin.

Who Is Vanessa Van Edwards?

Vanessa Van Edwards is a bestselling author of Captivate: The Science of Succeeding with People. She works with business owners and entrepreneurs, growing businesses, including trillion-dollar companies. She is well-known for teaching science-backed people skills to different audiences around the world. 

Vanessa has been featured on various media platforms such as CNN, USA Today, BBC, Entrepreneur Magazine, CBS Mornings, The Today Show, and more. She’s written a new book called Cues: Master the Secret Language of Charismatic Communication

Her mission is to help introverts leverage their strengths, teach awkward people to feel more confident, and show top-performers and achievers how to activate their secret skills. She is popular for her unique techniques in turning skills into actionable frameworks that can be applied in daily life. 

Many students have taken her communication courses on Udemy, LinkedIn, and CreativeLive, including her flagship course, People School. Her engaging courses and workshops teach individuals how to succeed in business and life by understanding the hidden dynamics of people and by learning how to create charisma, which often starts with creating trust and reliability.

How to Create Trust and Reliability Instantly

People often wonder how some individuals seem to be so successful and well-liked while others struggle to make friends or build trust. It turns out that there are a few simple things you can do to create an instant sense of trustworthiness and reliability. If you want to be successful, you need to create trust and reliability with your audience. People need to feel confident that they can trust you and then eventually rely on you. It’s not always easy to do this, but there are a few tricks that can help.

“We have to trust someone to rely on them. That’s why starting with your competence doesn’t always work. … To be charismatic, you have to be competent and trustworthy. So we want that perfect balance.” – Vanessa Van Edwards

Trust and reliability are the foundations of charisma. If people don’t trust you, they won’t be drawn to your personality. Also, if you’re not reliable, your charm will wear thin quickly. 

There are two questions that humans ask themselves about the person they’re with, and this happens immediately in every interaction. … The first question they ask is, ‘Can I trust you?’ … The very second question they ask is, ‘Can I rely on you?’ So when you’re in a meeting, on a date, on a call, in a negotiation, [or] on LinkedIn, the two signals that you want to cue people with, as quickly as possible, are ‘You can trust me’ and ‘You can rely on me.’” – Vanessa Van Edwards

There are two signals you want to cue people in interactions: trust and reliability. Both of these qualities are essential for healthy relationships, effective teamwork, and successful businesses. By conveying these signals, you let others know that they can rely on you to be dependable and trustworthy. Cueing trust and reliability may seem like common sense, but it’s often overlooked in the moment-to-moment interactions we have with others.

“The problem is that most professionals right now are going mute. … So we’ve taken out cues from all these assets, and then people have a really hard time trusting us. They have a really hard time listening to us. We wonder why people are slow [to respond] to our emails. It’s because we’re not cueing enough. We have to have hundreds of cues to answer those two questions.” – Vanessa Van Edwards

If you want people to trust you, you need to give them plenty of cues that you’re reliable and trustworthy. It’s not enough to just say the right things — you need to back up your words with actions and body language that show you mean what you say. You need to show others plenty of social cues in order to show to the people you interact with that you can be trusted and that you’re reliable and supportive. 

“Gestures carry more weight than words.” @vvanedwards  

The Fascinating Research About Social Cues and How to Use Them

You know those moments when you walk into a room and suddenly feel out of place? Or when you can tell that someone is trying to send you a message, but you’re not sure what it is? These are both examples of social cues, and we all use them every day. But what exactly are social cues? And how can we use them to our advantage? 

Social cues are the unspoken messages we send to others through our body language, expressions, and behavior. They form an important part of communication and help us to connect with others and build relationships. There are four types of social cues, and Vanessa briefly explained each one of them.

“There are four different types of cues. There’s highly warm [cues] — nonverbal, verbal, and vocal. So these are [the] things that make you highly warm, highly trustworthy, [and] highly likable. There’s highly competent cues — verbal, nonverbal, and vocal. And then there’s charismatic [cues], — the ones that are just knocking out of the park. … And the last one is danger zone cues. Danger zone cues are the cues that get us into trouble. They’re the cues that liars use. … So in the danger zone, it is very hard to inhibit those cues.” – Vanessa Van Edwards

Highly competent cues are some of the most powerful tools you can use to achieve success in any area of your life. They are cues or signs that indicate a high degree of competence. Highly warm cues often convey positive emotions like happiness, love, and affection. They convey your gentle disposition and that you are approachable, allowing you to build healthy and strong relationships.

Charismatic cues convey confidence, power and emotional intensity. When we see someone exhibiting these cues, we tend to view them as more competent and trustworthy. People who use charismatic cues are more likely to achieve their goals. 

On the other hand, danger zone cues are like red flags that show up in our relationships, telling us when it’s time to back away. If we’re not careful, we can ignore these cues or dismiss them as “no big deal.” If we want to stay safe and healthy in our relationships, it’s important to pay attention to danger zone cues and take them seriously. 

In order to be charismatic, you need to know how to send the right cues. Effective communication is key, and you need to be able to gauge the situation and figure out what type of communication will work best. Understanding the difference between the different types of cues is essential for success.

Why You Should Listen to This Vanessa Van Edwards Podcast Episode Right Now…

Friends, this interview is truly unique because it is packed with so many words of wisdom from our special guest, Vanessa Van Edwards. Listen to the full episode for more, and if you’re inspired by our conversation, share it to your friends in social media and make sure to tag Vanessa Van Edwards, @vvanedwards, and me, @lewishowes, on Instagram. You could change someone’s life today.

Follow Vanessa on social media. She’s on Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter. You can also subscribe to her YouTube channel for access to more of her videos on people skills for business, behavioral psychology, personality science, and more.

I want to acknowledge Vanessa for being such a wonderful human being. Her charisma radiates to everyone and creates positivity. Although this is her third time around here at The School of Greatness, I asked her once again for her definition of greatness, which according to her changes over time.

“Greatness is showing up as you are, how you feel, and feeling free to be that way. So that means you like the people in your life. You respect the people in your life. You’re showing up congruent. You’re showing up with lots of integrity where your cues match your words, which match your emotions. And I think that I am my greatest self when I can show up somewhere as myself and not worry about having to hide, fake, or change.” – Vanessa Van Edwards

Greatness is not about being perfect. It’s not about having a certain level of talent or privileged upbringing, and it’s definitely not about fitting into some mold that someone else has created for you. True greatness comes from simply showing up as your authentic self and feeling free to be that way. So don’t wait another minute! Start tapping into your inner greatness and see what amazing things unfold. You may be surprised at just how awesome you can be!

I want to remind you all, if no one’s told you lately, that you are loved, you are worthy, and you matter. Now, it’s time to go out there and do something great.

To Greatness,

Lewis Howes - Signature

“Highly charismatic people have the perfect blend of warmth and confidence.” @vvanedwards  

Some Questions I Ask:

  • Why is it so important to label your emotions?
  • Why does Obama use a thumb-pinch instead of pointing?
  • Why aren’t people responding to our emails?
  • Why is it so hard to deal with toxic people?

In this episode, you will learn:

  • How to instantly create trust and reliability instantly.
  • What Vanessa learned from analyzing over 490 Shark Tank pitches.
  • The difference between charisma and narcissism.
  • The fascinating research about social cues and how to use them.
  • Plus much more…
Connect with
Vanessa Van Edwards

Transcript of this Episode

Music Credits:


Kaibu by Killercats

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