How to Make People Like You in 90 Seconds or Less cover

How to Make People Like You in 90 Seconds or Less - Book Summary

Make Instant, Meaningful Connections for Interviewing, Selling, Managing, Pitching

Duration: 22:28
Release Date: June 24, 2024
Book Author: Nicholas Boothman
Categories: Communication Skills, Personal Development
Duration: 22:28
Release Date: June 24, 2024
Book Author: Nicholas Boothman
Categories: Communication Skills, Personal Development

In this episode of 20 Minute Books, we are diving into "How to Make People Like You in 90 Seconds or Less" by Nicholas Boothman. Published in the year 2000, this book offers a fascinating exploration into the dynamics of first impressions and rapid relationship-building techniques.

Nicholas Boothman, who brings his extensive background as a former fashion and advertising photographer combined with his expertise in neuro-linguistic programming, crafts a compelling guide on mastering the art of instant connection. This book is for anyone who has ever felt the need to improve their conversational and social skills, from salespeople looking to enhance their interpersonal effectiveness to individuals eager to expand their social circles.

In this book, Boothman shares invaluable strategies for engaging with strangers, making lasting impressions, and decoding the subtle cues others give off during interactions. Whether you are looking to boost your confidence in meeting new people or aiming to enrich your personal and professional relationships, "How to Make People Like You in 90 Seconds or Less" can transform the way you connect with the world around you. Join us as we uncover key insights that can help you become effortlessly likable, all in a matter of seconds.

Make new friends fast and leave a lasting impression

Does the thought of initiating a conversation with a stranger make your palms sweat? If so, you're not alone. The process of meeting new people often involves uncomfortable small talk, leading to even more uncomfortable silences or forced eye contact. It's no wonder that many of us prefer the comfort of our established social circles to the daunting prospect of making new friends.

But — consider the benefits of expanding your social network. Not only does it increase your circle of friends, but it also hones your interpersonal skills, which can profoundly impact both your personal and professional life. This guide will show you how to become instantly likable and give you the tools you need to impress potential new friends within just ninety seconds.

Discover key insights such as:

- What someone’s eye movements can reveal about their thoughts and feelings;

- Why a person who leans in is generally more likable; and

- How expanding your social network can actually contribute to a longer, healthier life.

Discover the health and success benefits of building strong social connections

From the dawn of humanity on the plains of Africa, Homo sapians have thrived on community. Our ancestors gathered to hunt and cook together, understanding the simple math — survival was more likely in numbers than alone. This intrinsic desire to connect and form bonds has not faded over millennia; it remains a core aspect of the human experience.

Whether mingling at cocktail parties or congregating at conferences, our gravitation towards social interaction is indomitable and universal. Beyond being a fundamental human trait, forming these bonds is crucial to our health and happiness.

Strong social ties are not just nice to have; they are linked to our longevity. Dr. Lisa Berkman's study at the Harvard School of Health Sciences followed 7,000 people over nine years, revealing that individuals with sparse social connections had a threefold increased risk of dying from medical illnesses compared to those with robust social networks.

But the benefits of networking don't stop at health. Success in virtually any area of life — from career ambitions to personal relationships — significantly hinges on the breadth and depth of our social connections. Be it hearing about job opportunities through former colleagues, finding romantic connections through friends, or even snagging tickets to sold-out events through acquaintances, a wide network can open a multitude of doors.

Yet, despite these benefits, establishing new connections is not always straightforward, especially in the absence of common interests. Moreover, making a lasting impression quickly is crucial, as you often have only about 90 seconds to engender interest before the moment passes.

Fortunately, mastering the art of instant connection is achievable. Learn crucial techniques and strategies in the upcoming sections that will empower you to forge meaningful connections in 90 seconds or less.

Mastering the art of first impressions with body language, eye contact, and smiles

Understanding the crucial role the first moments of an interaction play in building a connection is fundamental. But, did you realize that impressions begin forming even before you speak? Your body language, eye engagement, and facial expressions are the initial indicators influencing how others perceive you, making it vital for these elements to exude openness and invitingness.

Begin with your posture. To signal openness effectively, ensure your body is oriented with your heart facing the person you're engaging with. This stance not only communicates sincerity but also your full devotion to the interaction and your readiness to connect.

Eye contact is your next powerful tool. By maintaining direct and steady eye contact, you foster an immediate sense of trust, a critical foundation for any fruitful conversation.

Now, let's talk about your smile—the universal symbol of friendliness. Be the first to smile in the encounter. A genuine, warm smile can work wonders by reflecting your positive attitude and openness, making the other person feel more comfortable and relaxed.

Upon setting this friendly atmosphere, it's time to break the ice. Keep it simple; a cordial "hello" or "hi" sufficed with a cheerful tone is perfect. Introduce yourself by stating your first name and invite the other person to share theirs. When they do, repeat their name to confirm assimilation — "It's great to meet you, Brenda!" This not only shows attentiveness but also helps in remembering their name.

Lastly, subtly lean in towards the person. This slight forward motion signals genuine interest and openness. You can pair this with a firm yet respectful handshake, or opt for a hands-free approach, keeping your hands naturally by your sides. This approach sets the stage for a respectful and engaging dialogue, paving the way for a meaningful connection.

Cultivating the right mindset to foster strong connections

Building rapport with someone can often be effortless when you share common interests, such as being fans of the same sports team or enjoying similar genres of books. But, what if you don't immediately find common ground? This is where the concept of 'rapport by design' comes into play, allowing you to forge a connection intentionally.

A key component of establishing rapport by design hinges on your attitude during interactions. You have the option to cultivate either a useful or useless attitude. A useful attitude focuses on the positive outcomes you hope to achieve from the conversation, while a useless attitude dwells on what you want to avoid or what is going wrong.

To enhance your likability and the effectiveness of your communication, it's crucial to adopt a useful attitude. This mindset not only influences the words you choose but also enriches your body language and facial expressions, making you appear more approachable and engaging. Conversely, a useless attitude can lead to closed-off body language or negative expressions that might alienate others.

How do you adopt a useful attitude? Start by clearly defining your objectives for each interaction. Understand what you aim to achieve and tailor your approach accordingly.

Consider a practical scenario: Imagine you are traveling home for the holidays, and your flight suddenly gets canceled. With a useless attitude, your focus might be on your frustration and inconvenience, possibly leading you to vent these feelings unproductively, such as by angrily demanding a solution from the airline staff. In contrast, embracing a useful attitude means concentrating on finding a helpful staff member who can assist in booking an alternative flight. By keeping your end goal in mind — to get home efficiently — you're more likely to engage positively, using open body language and a friendly demeanor to facilitate achieving your objective.

In essence, by steering your focus toward a desired positive outcome and maintaining a useful attitude, you naturally adopt the behaviors and expressions that enhance your chances of success in any interaction.

Enhancing likability and trust through open and consistent body language

As we delve into the nuances of building effective communication, it's crucial to understand that body language plays a significant role. It can broadly be categorized into open and closed types, each conveying vastly different messages.

Open body language includes gestures like unobstructed arms and a forward-facing posture, signaling receptiveness and eagerness to engage. When you approach someone with your body open, exposing your heart area, you initiate a non-verbal invitation for connection. This openness often leads to a mutual trust and strengthens the bond between the conversational partners.

Conversely, closed body language, such as crossed arms or a sideways stance, tends to protect the heart and conveys feelings of defensiveness or reluctance. These gestures can subtly communicate resistance or nervousness, hindering the development of a trusting relationship.

Facial expressions also play a critical role in conveying openness or resistance. An open face is typically engaging, with smiles, direct eye contact, and expressive features like raised eyebrows. A closed face might appear stern, with minimal eye contact and rigid facial expressions, signaling disinterest or discomfort.

But consistent body language goes beyond gestures and expressions; it involves the coherence of your vocal tone, the words you choose (verbal), and your visual cues (visual). The alignment of these elements greatly influences how credible and trustworthy others perceive you to be.

Communication expert and former UCLA professor Albert Mehrabian emphasizes the importance of this congruity. According to his studies, a mismatch among what you say, how you say it, and your body language can cause the listener to doubt your sincerity. For instance, if someone claims they are "fine" while avoiding eye contact, crossing their arms, and tapping their foot, the verbal message is contradicted by their body signals, creating a sense of discomfort and mistrust.

To ensure that you are perceived as likable and trustworthy, strive for consistency in your communication. Align your gestures, facial expressions, and tone with your words to convey a unified and genuine message. This congruency not only enhances your credibility but also fosters a more comfortable and effective interaction.

Enhance rapport by naturally mirroring the mannerisms of others

Mirroring the actions and behaviors of others is an inherently human attribute—you've likely been doing it unconsciously since you were an infant. From syncing with our mothers' rhythms as babies to adopting similar tastes in fashion as our partners, mirroring is a natural part of human interaction.

But what's the reason behind this instinctive behavior? It’s not merely mimicry; it's a fundamental aspect of how we connect and empathize with others. For example, when someone smiles at you, it's almost reflexive to smile back. Similarly, witnessing someone yawn, or react to pain, often prompts us to mirror those expressions or reactions.

This tendency to synchronize our behaviors plays a crucial role in forming connections and building rapport. People tend to feel more at ease and connected with individuals who exhibit similar behaviors and mannerisms. Research even suggests that this synchronization extends to our choices in friends, partners, and even in professional settings, influencing whom we choose to hire or date.

In practical terms, synchronization in interactions means subtly matching the body language, facial expressions, breathing patterns, and vocal tones of the people we communicate with. This doesn't mean exact imitation, which can be perceived as mocking, but rather a subtle and respectful alignment.

For instance, consider a scenario involving a salesperson in a quiet art gallery. If a patron is browsing silently, an effective salesperson would do well to adopt a similarly quiet and respectful demeanor instead of adopting an aggressive sales pitch. This helps in creating a comfortable atmosphere conducive to conversation and potential sales.

Vocal alignment is also a powerful tool for synchronization. If you naturally speak in a loud voice but are interacting with someone who speaks softly, lowering your voice can make the other person feel more understood and comfortable. By aligning your vocal intensity with theirs, you foster a sense of shared space and understanding, which can significantly enhance the rapport.

In essence, effective mirroring and synchronization are about respecting and adapting to the communication styles of others to build rapport and make others feel relaxed and valued in your presence.

Fueling engaging conversations with the right questions and active listening

Mastering the art of conversation is not just about the words you choose; it also hinges on your approach and how well you listen. To guide a conversation effectively, a balance of well-crafted questions and genuine listening is essential.

Starting a conversation can be as simple as using the right kind of questions. Broadly, questions can be categorized into open and closed types. Open questions are particularly powerful because they encourage a detailed response. For example, in a social setting like a restaurant, you could comment, "What a lovely restaurant," and follow up with an open-ended question like, "Where do you think the chef is from?" Such questions, typically starting with "Who," "What," "Where," "When," "How," and "Why," prompt your conversational partner to share more than just a yes or no answer.

Conversely, closed questions, which prompt a yes or no response, might stifle the flow of conversation. These are formed with phrases like "Are you...," "Have you...," and "Do you...". Asking a question such as, "Do you come here often?" limits the potential response and can halt the dialogue.

While asking thoughtful questions is critical, equally important is how you listen to the answers. Active listening involves fully engaging with not only the words but also the emotions behind them. This means listening with all your senses, maintaining appropriate eye contact—enough to show you are engaged but not so much that it becomes unsettling. Your body language should also reflect your attentiveness; face your conversation partner, lean in slightly, and nod to show understanding.

When responding, it’s crucial to do so thoughtfully. Avoid interrupting and when it's your turn to speak, connect your response to what has been shared. For instance, if the person mentions a potential move due to a job offer, a good active response might be, "Wow, that sounds like a big change. How do you feel about moving to Miami?"

By combining open-ended questions with active listening, you not only keep conversations alive and flowing but also deepen your connections, making every interaction meaningful and engaging.

Optimize your conversation by understanding and adapting to sensory preferences

In the realm of effective communication, understanding the sensory preferences of your conversation partner can significantly enhance rapport. This concept was brought to the forefront by Richard Bandler and John Grinder in the 1970s when they founded neuro-linguistic programming, or NLP. They identified that people predominantly experience the world through one of three sensory channels: visual, auditory, or kinesthetic.

While everyone uses a mix of these senses, typically one dominates. Recognizing which sense is predominant in your conversation partner can tremendously improve your interactions.

Visual individuals are driven by how things look and often think in images. They tend to dress sharply, speak quickly, and use phrases like "How do you see yourself?" or "I see what you're saying." Connecting with a visual person can be enhanced by matching their speed of talking and paying attention to your appearance.

Auditory-focused people are drawn to the nuances of sound. They enjoy engaging conversations, have expressive voices, and may pursue careers in fields like broadcasting or teaching. Common phrases include "Sounds familiar" or "I didn't like the tone of his voice." To connect better with auditory individuals, it's beneficial to speak clearly, maintain a melodic voice, and listen attentively.

Kinesthetic people are tactile and value physical sensations. They typically speak slowly, appreciate textured clothing, and use language like "How do you feel about..." or "I'll get in touch with her." When interacting with kinesthetic individuals, it helps to match their slower pace of speaking and use a softer, more reflective tone.

To determine someone's sensory preference, observe their eye movements—a technique rooted in NLP. For instance, when asked to recall a favorite vacation memory, a visual person might look upward as if visualizing the memory, an auditory person might glance sideways towards their ears, recalling sounds, and a kinesthetic person might look downward, focusing on feelings or tactile memories.

By noting these eye movements, you can discern which sensory channel predominates and adapt your conversational style accordingly. This subtle alignment with their sensory preference can make your interactions more pleasant and effective, significantly boosting your likability and rapport.

Key insights for making a remarkable first impression

The essence of forming a strong initial bond with someone lies in the very first moments of interaction. The initial perception someone forms about you can significantly influence your likability and the potential for a meaningful connection. Demonstrating an open and engaging demeanor is crucial, as these early seconds set the tone for the relationship.

It's vital to approach every new meeting with a genuine openness and a readiness to connect. However, it's important to act quickly — if you don't capture someone's interest and liking within the first 90 seconds, the chance to form a connection might slip away. This book underscores the significance of these first moments and offers practical advice on how to make them count.

How to Make People Like You in 90 Seconds or Less Quotes by Nicholas Boothman

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