8 Best Books about Charisma to Build Your Confidence and Social Skills

Here are the best books about charisma to help you discover the secrets behind the most likeable and influential people you know. 

8 Best Books about Charisma to Build Your Confidence and Social Skills


A quality that’s hard to describe, but even harder to miss. 

It’s a powerful experience to be around someone who radiates confidence and charisma - someone whose presence seems to have a mesmerizing effect, even when they’re silent. 

Here is a list of the best books about charisma to help you become that person. 

These books will walk you through the science of likeability, so you can discover how charisma works and learn ways to build more influence within your social circle. 

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure for more information.

What are the Best Books on Charisma?

Here are the best books about charisma to add to your reading list:

1. Captivate: The Science of Succeeding with People

Captivate by Vanessa Van Edwards is one of the best books on charisma that I recommend checking out. 

I took Vanessa's Master Your People Skills course on CreativeLive and can say that she truly knows her stuff. 

As a human behavior investigator, Vanessa Van Edwards studies the hidden forces that drive the things we do and the way we do them.

In this book, she shares a wealth of valuable shortcuts, systems, and suggestions for taking charge of interactions at work, at home, and in any social situation.

One of the best things about this book is that it's very practical.

Not only will you learn science-backed explanations on how charisma works, you'll also be provided with useful hacks that will help you build rapport and create a great first impression. 

Highlights include: 

  • The Social Game Plan - Learn how to work a room
  • The Seven Microexpressions - Learn how to speed-read people's emotions
  • Conversation Sparks - Learn how to generate dopamine in people's brains during conversations

Read this book: get hard copy on amazon | get the free audiobook

2. How to Win Friends and Influence People

How to Win Friends and Influence People is a timeless classic that teaches essential skills that will both earn you respect and endear you to others. 

When I first read this book, it made me reflect on my daily interactions and interpersonal relationships in a way I had never done before. 

Why? Because the concepts it discusses are deceptively simple but incredibly powerful.

You will discover: 

  • Six ways to make people like you
  • Twelve ways to win people to your way of thinking
  • Nine ways to change people without arousing resentment

You'll learn how to make new friends and how to maintain your current friendships, even during moments when you don't see things eye to eye.

This is important to learn, because charisma also involves the way you react to difficult situations!

Read this book: get hard copy on amazon | get the free audiobook

3. The Like Switch

This book is professor and former FBI special agent Dr. Jacker Schafer's guide to influencing, attracting, and winning people over. 

During his time working in the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Program, Dr. Jack Schafer developed dynamic strategies for profiling terrorists and detecting deception. 

In this book, he applies everything he's learned in his career to the day-to-day battle of getting people to like you. 

You'll discover how to instantly read people, improve your likeability quotient, and master nonverbal cues that influence how people perceive you. 

Basically, you'll learn how to think and act like your favourite investigators from crime drama TV, so you can take control of your daily interactions in a meaningful way. 

Read this book: get hard copy on amazon | get the free audiobook

4. The Charisma Myth

People often think that charisma is something you're either naturally endowed with or not.

However, this book presents charisma as an applied science that can actually be taught. 

As author and leadership coach Olivia Fox Cabane reveals, in controlled laboratory experiments, researchers have been able to raise or lower people's level of charisma as if they were turning a dial.

This is good news, because it means that charismatic behaviors can be learned and perfected by anyone.

Drawing on techniques she originally developed for Harvard and MIT, Cabane breaks charisma down into its components.

She also provides a mix of fun stories and specific practices that will help you become a more charismatic person, while maintaining your true personality.

Read this book: get hard copy on amazon | get the free audiobook

5. How to Make People Like You in 90 Seconds or Less

Whether meeting a new client or going on a first date, you only have a few seconds to make a favorable impression.

So how can you make your time count? 

In this book, author and neurolinguistic programming practitioner Nicholas Boothman establishes a breakthrough program of rapport by design.

According to Boothman, the key to successful face-to-face communication is simple: The way to make a person like you is to make yourself be like that person in 90 seconds or less.

Therefore, he teaches you how to connect with another person as quickly as possible: by picking up on their tone of voice and body language, reading their sensory preference, and responding in a way that shows you're on the same page.

Read this book: get hard copy on amazon | get the free audiobook

6. Emotional Intelligence 2.0

Being in tune with your emotions and the emotions of other people is an integral part of developing charisma. 

Emotional Intelligence 2.0 is a book that shows you how to increase your EQ by learning about and applying four key skills:

  1. Self-Awareness
  2. Self-Management
  3. Social Awareness
  4. Relationship Management

The principles in this book are designed to help you manage, adapt, and thrive in even competitive and turbulent environments, such as the workplace. 

By employing your emotions in an intelligent way, you'll not only get better at what you do - you'll also become the sort of person everyone wants on their team.

Read this book: get hard copy on amazon | get the free audiobook

7. The Fine Art of Small Talk

Most of us seem to have an interesting relationship with small talk

We hate it - or so we say - yet we tend to gravitate back to it when there's nothing else to fill the silence. 

But imagine how different things would be if you could master the art of small and use it as a tool for developing deeper, more meaningful relationships?

That's exactly what this book teaches you to do. 

In The Fine Art of Small Talk, nationally recognized communication expert Debra Fine reveals techniques and strategies that anyone can use to become a better conversationalist. 

With practical advice and conversation cheat sheets, this book will help you learn to feel more comfortable in any type of social situation, even if you're naturally shy and reserved. 

Read this book: get hard copy on amazon | get the free audiobook

8. Gravitas: Communicate with Confidence, Influence and Authority

Have you ever wondered why some people earn attention and respect when they speak and others don't?

The clue is in one word: gravitas

In this book, leading voice coach and speaker Caroline Goyder reveals how to develop this quality and speak in a way that people will listen.

First, you'll learn how to double down on your values and capabilities, so you can display a sense of warmth and charisma that comes from deep within.

Next, you'll be guided through a series of exercises that will teach you how to put together passionate presentations, productive meetings, and persuasive pitches that people will remember and act upon. 

Read this book: get hard copy on amazon | get the free audiobook

Final Thoughts

Thanks for checking out this post on the best books about charisma.

Ultimately, these books are designed to demystify the concept of charisma and address common misconceptions about what it takes to get people to know, like and trust you.   

At the end of the day, charisma can be approached as both an art and a science.

It's an art because it requires tact and experience, but it's also a science because it's something you can develop when you're equipped with the right knowledge and actionable resources, such as the above books!

Happy learning :)

P.S. You can get a free audiobook about charisma here.


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