You might think some people are born with charisma. But new research suggests that it's a skill, hinging on one simple question: Are you a night or morning person?
Researchers from Indiana University and the University of Washington found that charisma is linked to a person's circadian rhythm — the 24-hour clock that regulates your sleep, cognitive function and mood. Their study, published earlier this month, concluded that early risers are much more charming in the morning, while night owls are more inspiring in the evening.
In other words, if you want to impress someone with your charisma, you may not need to spend hours brushing up on your public speaking skills. Just make sure they're catching you at the right time of day.
"[Charisma] fluctuates through the day, so it's not something that we are particularly born with — but we can learn," Cristiano Guarana, a study co-author and assistant professor at the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University, tells CNBC Make It.
If you don't already know whether you're a morning or evening person, start with a chronotype test — Guarana recommends one from the nonprofit Center for Environmental Therapeutics' website — to help determine your peak charisma hours. Then, "you can assign your day or manage your schedule based on those peaks and valleys of energy that you have," Guarana says.
Guarana says he considers himself a morning person, so he typically schedules his most important meetings or "cognitively demanding tasks" in the morning.
"I leave the afternoon for the things that are not super demanding," he says. "Having this knowledge is really helpful to me."
To conduct the study, researchers used a chronotype test — similar to the one from the Center for Environmental Therapeutics, Guarana says — to separate 131 college students into groups of morning "larks" and night "owls."
Then the researchers randomly assigned participants from both groups to give fake graduation speeches beginning either at 7 a.m. or at midnight, and tasked observers with evaluating the speeches based on how inspirational they were.
The team concluded that the "larks" gave more inspirational speeches at 7 a.m., while the "owls" spoke more persuasively at midnight.
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