How to make people like you in less than 90 seconds by Nicholas Boothman

I wasn’t aware that the listicles that you often see while scrolling the internet are so popular, until I saw some friends citing one of them in our random conversation.

From winning the love of your life, what women want, how to manage time and the like, these listicles cover everything like a personal counselor. 


Author : Nicholas Boothman
Originally Published : 1999
Publication : Workman Publishing Company
Pages :171
Genre(s) : Non-Fiction, Self-Help, Psychology, Sociology

So when I saw the title of this book, I was hesitant if it would be something similar, for one surely knows that it’s not materially possible to make people like you in 90 seconds (or less!), until I read it.

Nicholas Boothman has also written books on how to make someone fall in love with you in 90 minutes, how to convince people, how to connect in business and more. Being an NLP practitioner himself, he sure knows “How to make books click”!

The relevance of this book couldn’t have been more highlighted than now when the world knows how important it is to connect with people on a personal level. Having been a fashion photographer for over 25 years, Boothman knows the significance of connecting with people to make them comfortable. Body language, tone of voice and establishing a warm rapport are all important aspects of it. He says that even the most reclusive of artists and people work their way in the belief that someday their work of art will help them connect with other people. People who make new connections live longer because they also make connections inside- in their brains.

What connections do we make? Do online connections matter? Like in posting a heavily photoshopped image of oneself online and then basking in the praise heaped by ‘friends’, many of whom you barely know personally. No, those are not the connections. It means making friends in person, seeing them, studying their body language, observing their expressions and expressing before them. It is here that likeability comes into picture. Likeable people give clear indications about willing to be so, through their laughter, open body language, eye contact and a sunny disposition that attracts others.

Boothman also gives the reason about the 90 seconds rule- people’s attention spans are short, barely 30 seconds, so you have to make a favorable impression within that time. Three things that count to hold people’s attention for longs are

  1. Your presence (how you look, how you move)
  2. Your attitude (what and how you say something)
  3. How you make others feel

Boothman is very categorical in giving us the five step formula to achieve this

  1. Open – greet by opening up your body, don’t shrink
  2. Eye- make eye contact
  3. Beam- be the first to beam a smile
  4. Hi- Greet with a couple of words as you smile
  5. Lean- very discreetly, leaning towards the other person gives subtle hint that you are focusing on that person.

Establishing a rapport is a must. Begin with positive words- how happy you feel to meet, tell a joke, an anecdote or simply praise something about the other person. That sets out a positive dialogue between the two. Find common ground to begin with. Scan the other person and pick up subtle hints through his body languages, gestures or words. If you know something beforehand, you’re already set. Our attitudes reflect our inner conversations- if we focus on what we don’t want, we do just that. So better we set clear expectations about what we do want.

Body language may be subtle but speaks louder than words. Being aware of how we’re appearing to others helps in communicating more without words. Keep an open posture- open hands, spread out body, stable demeanor and eye contact. It goes like words- voice-body languagewhen we talk and reverse when we’re listening. There must be congruity in what we speak, how we speak and how we appear while speaking.

Syncronizing:Boothman says there’s a huge difference between ‘I Like you’ and ‘ I am like you’. It happens always that we instantly like some people and dislike some without any obvious reason. We synchronize our body language with that of the person we take a liking for. Tilting the neck a bit, putting the palm on the face and facing the person directly, we do it unconsciously.

A superb guidance comes when Boothman asks you to focus on your sensory preferences– what is your dominant sensory preference- auditory, visual or kinesthetic? How to know the preference of the person before you? Pick up hints on the use of words and body language. It’s all about aligning ourselves to others, in the end, that makes them like you!

Key takeaways-

  1. Being liked by others is not by chance alone, but could be controlled and worked upon
  2. Understanding how people drop hints and how they pick and perceive hints dropped by us is the key to being liked
  3. Focus on your words- voice and body language
  4. Remembering that it takes hardly 30 seconds to make an impression.

Why I recommend this book

Because networking hugely banks on our likeability which can be worked around. Connecting with people and getting them to like us is an art in itself which can be learned. In all professions and in personal life, being a person whom everyone likes works in your favor. Why not learn the ropes. Early!

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