Are you a confident communicator? Did you know that the moment a stranger notices you, they decide who you are? Their brain makes 11 major decisions and a multitude of computations. Are you safe? Can you be someone to trust or avoid? Do you have status or authority? Could you be a potential intimate partner? Are you competent? Will you be friend or foe? Do you come across as selling, compelling or repelling? As a confident communicator, these are things you must know or be relegated down the social order.
Your listeners’ unconscious computations decide who you are at lightening speed. Researchers from New York University Graduate School of Business found a startling fact. They discovered that we make eleven major conclusions in seven seconds.
We make 11 major decisions about a person in 7 seconds
First impressions can attract or repel. Get it wrong and you’ll soon discover the cost. You cannot stop people from making instant decisions about you. Though you can help them to see you in a favourable way. A confident communicator knows that one of the greater influencers are our non-verbal cues. Studies have found that non-verbal cues are over four times more powerful. More influential than anything you say.
7 Keys to be an Influential Confident Communicator
1. Adjust your attitude. We seek out attitude in milliseconds. Before you go anywhere or do anything, adjust your attitude. Before you enter a meeting or do a presentation or catch up with a friend or client. Make a conscious choice about the attitude you want to completely embody. Say to yourself, “Right now, I’m deciding to be problem solver.” Then completely embody who you think a great problem solver is. We often think in archetypes and identities, so shift yours to be the best you can be and be that confident communicator.
2. Smile. This one decision sends a cacophony of signals to whoever you approach. While it’s a no-brainer, so often we forget to do this one simple thing. A smile is an invitation that says, “I’m friendly, helpful and come in peace.”
Can Eye-Contact Make All The Difference?
3. Make eye contact. If we look into the eyes of the person we’re about to meet sends a signal that says, “I’ve got nothing to hide”. Looking at someone’s eyes indicates interest and openness.
4. Raise your eyebrows. This is a universal sign of recognition and acknowledgement. You’ll see this as a typical behaviour among friends when they first spot each other from afar. You can do this by opening your eyes a little more than normal and you’ll create an “eyebrow wave.”
5. Straighten your posture. Nothing says confident communicator more than posture. It’s the non-verbal boost to trust. Lift your sternum (breast bone) a few centimeters. Not only will you look more confident, you will also feel more confident. Standing tall, pulling your shoulders back a little and holding your head straight is key. It sends a raft of signals including confidence and competence.
6. Shake hands. Did you know that in the context of rapport, a single handshake is equal to three hours of interaction?
7. Lean in. Uniquely and powerfully, leaning forward shows that you’re engaged and interested. Most people like us to be about one to two feet away. Yet those who are more kinesthetic prefer us to be little closer and in business, I would suggest a two foot rule. Regardless, leaning forward shows that you’re engaged and interested.
Finally, the quality of our relationships are the difference that makes the difference. Being a confident communicator helps others to feel more comfortable in your presence, creates long lasting relationships. Ignoring these skills means you risk eliciting fear or a lack of trust in others. Worse, it can send a signal that says something’s not right here.
The 11 Major Decisions Keys
Not surprisingly, 7 Seconds is all it takes to decide to buy from someone or run for the hills. Our human need for safety will have us judge at every opportunity. Here are the 11 decisions we make in 7 seconds.
1. Education level
2. Economic level
3. Perceived credibility and believability
5. Level of sophistication
6. Sexual identification
7. Level of success
8. Political background
9. Religious background
10. Ethnic background
11. Social and professional desirability
R!k Schnabel is Australia’s #1 Brain Untrainer and teaches company executives how to be a confident communicator. He is a Master NLP and Life Coach trainer, Coach and an international, multi-best-selling author with Life Beyond Limits. https://lifebeyondlimits.com.au/