You are one person in several billion. It’s easy to slip into feelings of insignificance or to feel like you’re just one quiet person among far too many to be noticeable. With all that going on, how can you capture someone’s attention?
Well, there’s good news! As it turns out, these feelings of smallness don’t mean you aren’t an interesting person with lots to offer. The trick is learning to showcase that from the beginning, so people find you attractive, too – and fast, before their attention spans run out!
Here are ten ways to capture someone’s attention in 30 seconds or less.
1. Leave Some Mystery
Have you heard of the uncertainty reduction principle? You can use it to your advantage to get the positive results that you want. It states that the human brain continually seeks to reduce levels of unsureness or uncertainty about the things it is focused on.
Similarly, there is also the Zeigarnik effect, which suggests that the human brain tends to have a better memory for incomplete thoughts, information, and tasks. This technique is commonly used in business or audience-oriented presentations, but you can use it in your everyday life too!
When introducing yourself, don’t spill your whole life story right away. Give a little bit of information that is interesting, but don’t expand on it unless asked about it – and the people around you will ask about it, trust us!
2. Get A “Yes” Response First
When you open with a question that elicits a “no” response from a person, what you’re doing is changing the person’s entire perception of the event.
You see, “yes” and “no” are more than just positive and negative indicator words. They can change the way the brain processes information. “No” responses close the minds of the people giving them. If the first question you ask is responded to with a “no”, that person is already losing interest, and fast.
But what about “yes” responses? These open the person up to possibilities, putting them in a mindset of positive thinking and potential interest. They haven’t slammed the door on you – instead, they’re opening it further. You can elicit “yes” responses by:
- Opening with a question that only confirms what you already know, “You work as a teacher, right?”
- Asking a question that is almost 100% guaranteed to net a “yes” response; “Wouldn’t it be nice to get a raise?”
- Mirroring a previous statement from them, “It sounds like you’re having a difficult time getting through to your mom right now, huh?”
3. Use Body Language
Nonverbal communication is equally essential to verbal communication and can tell another person crucial, subconscious information that changes their levels of interest in you. If you slouch and give off closed-off vibes, you are less likely to capture someone’s attention.
To be likable and, therefore, attractive to others, you need to create positive thinking in your conversation partner. Here are some body language tips for positive communication and attention-grabbing:
Maintain an open posture without crossed arms or legs when speaking to someone else. Face your body in their direction with openness and stand with confidence – squared shoulders, straight back, and pleasant disposition. Be relaxed but confident!
· Eye Contact
When you don’t use eye contact, your conversation partners can feel like you’re talking to a wall. Don’t overdo it, but look at the other people and meet their gazes to give your presence a more resounding impact. This action speaks of confidence and allows you to build a connection with others.
Appearing friendly is often all it takes to encourage others to stay in a discussion or conversation with you. It makes others feel welcome and like you like them, which makes them like you in turn. If you look moody, you’ll drive everyone away, no matter how interesting you are.
4. Engage The Senses
Human beings naturally pay more attention to people who stand out. Their senses inform their subconscious thoughts of who is most impressive. You can engage someone’s senses to grab their attention by:
- Having a good understanding of fashion (vision)
- Wearing something with a unique twist or pop of color (vision)
- Maintaining a friendly, open posture and expression (vision)
- Putting on a lovely perfume, cologne, or scent that is pleasant but not overbearing (smell)
- Speaking in a confident, clear voice (hearing)
- Offering candy, gum, or something else small to the people you meet (taste)
- Providing earnest, firm, and confident handshakes (touch)
- Gently touching others in a friendly and non-invasive manner, such as by tapping their shoulder or patting them on the back (touch)
5. Have A Hype Team to Help You Capture Someone’s Attention
If you’ll be out and about and are aiming to catch the attention of potential dates or even clients and employers in a not-too-formal setting, you can ask a hype team to come along with you. It’s difficult to talk about your achievements without bragging, but other people talking about them for you can do the trick.
Ideally, you and your friends will be happy to hype each other up whenever someone needs it. This way, it isn’t you asking for a favor, so much as it is just you and your friends doing what comes naturally. Still, there’s nothing wrong with asking favors from friends to help hype you up for something important!
Others will likely be more interested in you when they see that others are eager to talk about you, as long as it’s not overdone. Then, you don’t need to do any bragging – just let what everyone else says speak for you!
6. Use Movement
Movement is an immediate attention-grabber. It stands out in the stationary world, and anything that stands outdraws the human eye. Plus, the human attention span doesn’t do too well when nothing’s happening.
So if you want to keep the attention of someone, use movement. Draw the eye of your conversation partners through action. Here are some ways to do so:
- Nod or shake your head in acknowledgment
- Talk with your hands (in moderation)
- Let your body language speak (in moderation) – shrug, look thoughtful, and turn to follow the other person
- Mirror the body language of the other person (subtly)
- When telling stories or giving presentations, don’t be afraid to go all out with motions and movements
7. Find A Way To Sell Yourself Without Bragging
We talked about having a hype team to do the bragging for you, but that’s not always an option. There will be times when you have to speak for yourself. But don’t worry! Keep your positive thinking going, because you can do this.
Of course, you’ll want to avoid sounding like your bragging, so don’t talk directly about your achievements or your material possessions. So don’t discuss:
- The amount of money in your bank account
- The car your drive or the expensive things you own
- The achievements you’ve won or earned
- Your job position (beyond a simple statement of your general occupation)
- The number of people you’ve slept with
But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t brag at all! Just do it through storytelling. Talk about where you grew up and what got you where you are today in a conversational tone. People often enjoy hearing inspiring stories of success, especially from a humble background. Talking about how you overcame your past is bragging diplomatically!
8. Find What You Have In Common
What do you have in common with those around you? Pay attention to other people and find what you share with them. For example:
- You like the same shows or sports team, as you can tell from the keychain on their bag or the decorations on their desk
- You both have kids around the same age
- You have mutual friends who introduced you to each other
- You are facing the same struggles
- You’re in a similar, simple situation – like you were both rained on while rushing into an appointment!
Now, use these things you have in common and start a conversation around them. This connection establishes an immediate connection with that person that makes them want to keep talking to you. This is a great jumping-off point and will grab their attention quickly!
9. Become A Storyteller
When you know how to tell an engaging story, people will want to listen to you and give you their attention. Of course, this is easier said than done. Being a storyteller requires practice, especially if you don’t have an innate ability for the skill. To practice, you should:
- Consider what you want your stories to say about you
- Write or plan your chosen account based on what you want them to convey; make it honest and factual, but intriguing and interesting
- Practice your delivery in the mirror
- Start by sharing the stories with your family and friends; ask them for feedback or pay attention to their responses
- Improve on the flaws and keep practicing
10. Be Unique
We’ve already talked about the importance of standing out in grabbing attention, and this extends to the rest of you, too. When you let yourself be dictated by everyone around you and blindly follow the crowd, you’ll blend in and be indiscernible from the next person.
You don’t have to fake uniqueness, of course, to capture someone’s attention. In fact, you shouldn’t, as a lack of sincerity always become apparent sooner or later. However, what you should do is put on some positive thinking and dare to be your 100% bold, authentic, original self. Wear what you want, think what you want (but be open to other opinions), and do what makes you happy, even if it’s not what’s popular.
Still, there is something to be said for being fresh, new, and inventive. Again, this isn’t something you should fake, but if you have new ideas or ways of living to offer, don’t be afraid to show it off! It’ll grab the attention of plenty of people and keep them hooked and interested.
Catching and holding someone’s attention is as simple as understanding the human mind, being genuine, and genuinely wanting to forge bonds with others. Once you have those tricks up your sleeve, all you have to do is use the ten methods we discussed, and you’ll be able to capture someone’s attention quickly!