The first few seconds of meeting somebody are crucial because that’s the optimum time for making a good impression. Which isn’t very long! Hence why using simple tricks can help to cement you as the likable person you are to whoever has the pleasure of meeting you. First I’ll concentrate on the physical aspect - as it’s the most crucial - before giving you a conversational guide of how to endear somebody to your unique personality.
Step One: Smile :).
Inevitable but true! The reasons are obvious: everybody wants to be happy and happiness is represented by a smile… and a smile turns into laugher; which is infectious. As we all want to be happy we are naturally drawn to positive, friendly people instead of those who look miserable. Also, if you have a stern or sad look on your face you don’t look very approachable! Smiling is a way of saying “I like you, talk to me” to somebody’s subconscious mind and it’ll make you feel happier as a side effect.
Step Two: Elbow Touch
The elbow touch is a body language secret. If you brush somebody’s elbow for less than a second they‘re prone to feel positively about you (do so without them realising or they may question your attraction to human joints). It’s a hard trick to pull off but it really works! If you ever have to shake somebody’s hand you could use your left hand to subtly graze their elbow and just watch them smile back at you.
Step Three: Open arms
Open body language is very important. Closed body language - from arms to legs, says that you are thinking negative thoughts and are unlikely to be engrossed in the person you’re with. On the contrary open body language says you are an honest and happy person who they want to be around. Ensure you face the person directly, with a level standing and open palms while you’re in conversation.
Step Four: Posture
Stand straight! Slouching is commonly associated with insecurity and laziness, which are both undesirable traits. In truth many people have them but regardless I’m assuming you’d rather project yourself as confident and capable, in which case hold your head up high and arch your back. It’ll command respect and you will consciously feel more powerful as a result. It’s all trickery!
As with posture, this is about confidence. Not being able to maintain eye contact with someone usually means you’re unsure of yourself and therefore sending out the message that you aren’t worth knowing really. This is of course not true! So when you’re both speaking and listening to somebody, always look them straight in the eye (for a comfortable period of time) and you’ll have their attention whilst letting them know you have theirs.
Step Five: Head Tilt
It’s a well known fact that the secret to being a great conversationalist is to listen. Nothing else is as effective because the reality is that people love talking about themselves. Even people who claim otherwise do - they just love talking about what they don’t like about themselves instead of what they do. So in conversation, you want to do everything you can to convey to the speaker that you’re listening and not just waiting for your turn to speak. When you speak your head should be straight but as the other person responds, tilt your head and nod occasionally to affirm your ears are in fact working. To further confirm your understanding try to include agreeing sounds such as “mm” and “yeah” as they talk (when appropriate) so they feel like their opinion is valued! Using the head tilt also shows you’re sympathetic to their viewpoint and implies you’re thinking about what they’re saying, even if you’re thinking “I wonder if this head tilt thing has worked yet because my neck is starting to ache a little…”