Presenting Yourself
People like people like themselves


The Key to Presenting Yourself and How to Build Rapport

Research has found that most of our communication with others is done via nonverbal means. In other words, although we may be talking with someone, only 7 percent of the total communication the other person receives, for example, in the context of trusting us,is verbal. Only SEVEN percent of what they receive - and of WHAT THEY BELIEVE - is our actual words.

Our tone of voice, HOW we say it, conveys 38 percent. And the majority - 55 percent - comes from our facial expressions and body language.

Doesn't that say something very significant? The vast majority of our communication with someone, of what they will pick up from us as they decide if they like what we say and do, comes from everything BUT the actual words we say. Instead, itís more important HOW we say it and itís more important what we do with OUR BODY while we're saying it.

7% - Words
38% - How words are said
55% - Body Language

They say that opposites attract. But in most cases people like people like themselves. When we first meet someone new, whatís the first thing we do? We talk about the weather, sports, music, whatever UNTIL we find something in common. Once we find that, the conversation takes off.

Even in those relationships where they insist that they like the person because they are "So different from me" they will look for instances where they share many likes and dislikes. Itís the commonalties, the shared interests, which make a relationship work.

So, how can you get people to like you?

First of all, stop worrying about what to say. Yes, what you say is important, but remember, this is just 7% of the communication. What you want to focus on are the other parts of communication Ė the 38% of HOW you say things and the 55% of what you do when you say it.

Matching and Mirroring

The first thing you want to do when talking with someone is to match their tone of voice and how fast or slow they talk. If they talk quickly, then you should also talk quickly. If they talk slowly, then talk slowly. And if they talk loudly, then you must do the same. Likewise, if they talk quietly.

Now, just go back, in your head ... when was the last time you had a really enjoyable conversation with someone? During this conversation, if that person was talking quietly, slowly, really thinking about their words, were you responding with a loud fast voice? No! Almost certainly you had the same tone and tempo as they did.

So the next time you meet someone you donít know, talk just like them and see how quickly they take to you. Do it subtly and they won't even consciously notice what you're doing. However,their UNconscious will be acknowledging that you've "honoured" their map of the world, and then will open to yours.

But the easiest thing you can do to build rapport with someone is to model their body language. If they cross their legs, you cross your legs. If they lean back, YOU lean back. If they move around, you do the same. Whatever they do, you follow, (after a polite moment's pause!). This is the FIRST thing you should do if you want someone to like you or be comfortable with you (for example, in an interview).

This is such a simple thing and it works so well. And if you think itís "cheating" go somewhere public... when you see two people having an intense, warm conversation, chances are there will be SOMETHING about their body language that is the same. And we do this all the time. The next time youíre with someone you like and youíre having a particularly enjoyable time, notice your bodies. Something will be alike: So observe the similarities between the two of you. Notice EVERYTHING Ė the voice, tone, tempo, hand gestures, body language, body position, everything.

And whatís even more interesting is that once youíve built that rapport with someone, which you have done by pacing them, you can start LEADING them. For example, if the person is leaning towards you with their hands separated and youíre doing the same, having a wonderful conversation, after a few moments try sitting back and clasping your hands. The vast majority of the time, the other person will AT LEAST sit back or maybe just bring their hands together, often both. It works every time!

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