Do you want to make successful sales pitches, present a new product, convince your superiors of your initiatives or score at job interviews? If you have ever pursued specific goals, you will have quickly discovered that to meet them, you need to win people over to your side. By observing human nature and characteristics and using convincing body language and compatible gestures, you can achieve your goals faster. The following 10 tips will help you win people’s favour towards you and your ambitions.
1. See through group dynamics
Become a trained observer of relationships: When different people in a group laugh together, they automatically establish eye contact to the person closest to them, or the one they trust the most. Using this observational strategy, you can also identify which person in the group you trust the most and which person you look to when in doubt.
2. Earn sympathy points
Benefit from the following rule of thumb: Everyone whom you ask for a favour, will develop sympathy for you. Anyone who obliges you with a favour, subconsciously creates reasons why it is worthwhile or beneficial for them to help you, such as ‘he/she is my friend’, ‘he/she is nice’, or ‘he/she is sure to return the favour’.
3. Resist interrupting pauses in conversation
When a conversation partner keeps you waiting for your desired response, then keep waiting for their response rather than simply moving the conversation along. The resulting gap in the conversation will press your opponent to deliver an appropriate answer.
4. Correct hand gestures inspire confidence
Rather than a threatening index finger, show the entire surface of your palm when a question is directed towards you. An open hand – for instance, when asked for directions – signals confidence, competence and openness.
5. Nod your head to be convincing
Whether you are the speaker or the listener, nodding your head from time to time helps indicate clearly that what is being said is truthful and interesting. Your body language will invite listeners to agree with your statements. As a listener, you can signal your interest in turn by nodding occasionally and making it clear that you acknowledge the statements and feelings of the other person.
6. The incomplete stays memorable for longer
From psychological point of view, interrupted and unfinished tasks and statements remain in the memory for longer compared with completed tasks or finished statements. This phenomenon is known as the Zeigarnik effect. Try deliberately omitting details from your stories once in a while, so that your conversation partner consciously has to fill in the gaps in order to process the information. Your incomplete statements will stimulate the imagination of your partner, prompt interest, if necessary, or persuade them to ask specifically about the missing details.
7. Interpret the body language of others
During conversation, pay attention to whether your conversation partner’s feet are pointing towards you. This indicates that the person is listening and mentally present. Use your observations to assess your opponent, and, here appropriate, give fuller expression to your statements with clearer body language or by using shorter, more concise sentences.
8. Become skilled at learning new names
Especially when making new contacts, it is important to address people personally. Try naturally incorporating a new acquaintance’s name when you address them, with phrases like ‘Hello, ____’ or ‘It’s good to see you, ____’. This will help you to memorise the person’s name while personally addressing them at the same time.
9. Give warm greetings
First impressions count! As a rule, people who are greeted with enthusiasm or an expression of joy, will respond in the same manner or react pleasantly surprised.
10. Keep eye contact
Maintain eye contact with your opponent for a maximum of 60% of the conversation time, in order to come across as friendly and focussed. If you keep less eye contact, you will seem uninterested, whereas too much can make you appear too aggressive.
Ultimately, the key to success in winning people’s favour towards you and your ambitions, is to apply all these techniques sensibly and regularly, in combination with one another. If you don’t see immediate results, keep practising patience and take the time to allow them to become second nature to you. We wish you lots of success!