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Dwayne Johnson: The Most Charismatic Man Ever, Analyzed

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According to Slate, 46% of Americans would like to see Dwayne Johnson run for president. And it’s no surprise, as he’s regarded as one of the most charismatic people ever.

But how is he so charismatic?

In this guide, you’ll find some of the body language cues Dwayne uses to dazzle the world.

Let’s dive in!

Charismatic Cues of Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson infographic

The Smolder

Dwayne Johnson is famous for his signature look, the smolder.

Definition: Smolder (n.): A lower lid flex, aka flinty eyes, steely eyes, or a “smize” (thanks Tyra).

It might look funny at first, but when Dwayne smolders, he gives intense eye contact that can make people feel warm. Dwayne even has the smolder as an iconic “trait” that he uses in the movie, Jumanji: The Next Level:

You might notice that Dwayne also hardens his lower eyelids when he smolders. This is a crucial part of the smolder that indicates intense focus (and also allows us to block out external imagery and focus on a small area)—for example, we might smolder when trying to read a billboard sign far away.

How to Use This Cue: Harden your lower eyelids purposefully and authentically. When you’re in a conversation and deeply listening to the other person, use this cue to show that you’re paying attention.

Captivating Gestures

When we listen to Dwayne talking, we realize it’s not just his voice that he uses. He uses his captivating gestures, or his whole body, to animate and tell a story.

Take a look at this clip, where you can see Dwayne using a variety of expressive gestures:

During his conversations, Dwayne tends to double up on what he’s conveying by using his voice AND his gestures:

  • He uses both hands to compare two things: “A” and “B.”
  • He speaks with his mouth askew when telling stories.
  • He uses his hands to demonstrate the size of objects.

Honest and authentic people often use gestures to underline and emphasize their words.

Cues Book Cover

I have a list of all my favorite Cue hand gestures in my latest book, Cues: Master the Secret Language of Charismatic Communication. Be sure to pick it up to learn them all!

How to Use This Cue: Use more dynamic and expressive gestures during your conversation! Pay attention to your hand gestures and facial expressions during your conversation. If it helps, you can even record yourself and ask a friend for feedback.

Dig Deeper

Dwayne Johnson digs deep. When someone talks to him, he really pays attention and tries to ask questions:

In this clip, Dwayne simply says, “Talk to me about that.” By saying this simple phrase, he really says, “I want to know more about you,” and also, “I have time for you.”

How to Use This Cue: Ask more questions! This is one of the easiest ways to show interest. Once the other person responds, try asking a follow-up question to dig deeper. Want to know what questions to ask? Try this article: 36 Deep Questions to Ask Your Significant Other So You Can Truly Know Them

The Savor Smile

When most people think about being charming or positive, they think of someone smiling. But the problem is that there’s a “fake” type of smiling people often do—the one you might see on red carpet runways and from toxic friends.

Dwayne Johnson, however? He does what I call a “savor smile.”

A savor smile is the most charming of smiles.

Savor smiles are seen as more attractive. They are smiles that take longer than half a second and give the feeling that you are truly relishing someone’s presence, ideas, or story.

How to Use This Cue: Slow smiles can often be more meaningful! Instead of flashing a smile quickly and letting it sit on your face, try practicing this now—smile slowly. Let that smile slowly blossom on your face (give it at least half a second), and make it become a savor smile to automatically increase your charisma!

Verbal Mirroring

One of the things Dwayne Johnson does really well is using the other person’s words.

Did you notice the subtle mirroring in the above clip? Mirroring is when two or more people use similar gestures and other body language cues in a conversation. In this conversation, you can see mirroring when they both say:

  • “Hi.”
  • “How are you?”
  • “Good.”
  • “Always lookin’ out.”

Not only does verbal mirroring build rapport with each other, but it allows them to feel like they’re on the “same page.”

How to Use This Cue: Verbally mirror someone if you want to get on the same page. If they say, “Hi, how are you?” say back, “I’m good! How are you?” If they say, “It’s been great!” say, “Great! Yeah, I’ve also been… ”

The key here is to take a few important words from their previous statements and sprinkle them in the conversation. Be careful not to overuse this, or you might be called out!

Encouraging Touch

Dwayne is constantly touching others, whether he’s meeting an old friend or a welcoming TV show host.

The science of touch is clear: If people are comfortable with the touch, then it produces feel-good chemicals in the body. If they aren’t then you might notice one of the closed body language cues. Gauge their reaction by seeing if they naturally open or close their body language after a touch, and never overtouch or touch too quickly.

How to Use This Cue: Casual, warming touches are the key. I explain exactly how to use touch and the different touch zones in my book, Cues, but what’s most important to know is the safest ways to give someone encouraging touch:

  • high fives
  • fist bumps
  • handshakes
  • hug (if a hug is welcome)

Eyebrow Raises

Dwayne Johnson (especially as The Rock) is known for his signature eyebrow raises.

There are 2 important things happening here:

  1. He created a charming, iconic gesture that he’s known for.
  2. He picked a superpositive cue. We raise our eyebrows when we’re interested or see/hear something we like.

How to Use This Cue: Emphasize something interesting or a fascinating fact you hear with an eyebrow raise, and they’ll be inclined to tell you more.

If you enjoyed this guide, you may be interested in taking a deep dive into more of the cues that make us charismatic! Pick up a copy of my latest book, Cues: Master the Secret Language of Charismatic Communication to learn more.

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