There is no question that body language is important. And, according to Leil Lowndes in her book How To Talk To Anyone, you can capture — and hold — anyone’s attention without even saying a word. Here’s how:
The Flooding Smile
“Don’t flash an immediate smile when you greet someone,” says Lowndes. If you do, it appears as if anyone in your line of sight would receive that same smile. Instead, pause and look at the other person’s face for a second, and then let a “big, warm, responsive smile flood over your face and overflow into your eyes”. Even though the delay is less than a second, it will convince people your smile is personalised for them.
“Pretend your eyes are glued to your conversation partner’s with sticky warm taffy,” Lowndes advises. Even after they’ve finished speaking, don’t break eye contact. “When you must look away, do it ever so slowly, stretching the gooey taffy until the tiny string finally breaks.” This technique will help you appear more intelligent and insightful. You can also try counting your conversation partner’s blinks.
In a group of people, you should watch the person you are interested in, no matter who else is talking. If you concentrate on that person even when they are simply listening, you show that you are extremely interested in his or her reactions.
The Big-Baby Pivot
People are very conscious of how you react to them. When you meet someone new, turn your body fully toward them and give them undivided attention. Lowndes says, “Pivoting 100 per cent towards the new person shouts, ‘I think you are very, very special.'”
Limit the Fidget
If you want to appear credible, try not to move too much. “Do not fidget, twitch, wiggle, squirm, or scratch,” Lowndes says. Frequent hand motions near your face can give your listener the feeling that you’re lying or anxious.
Hang By Your Teeth
This visualisation trick will help you look more confident with your posture. Visualise a leather bit hanging from the door frame and pretend that you are taking a bite on the dental grip, and let it sweep your cheeks into a smile and lift you up.
Hello, Old Friend
When you first meet someone, imagine they’re your old friend. According to Lowndes, this will cause a lot of subconscious reactions in your body like softening of your eyebrows. An added benefit to this technique is that when you act as though you like someone, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy — you might really start to like them.