We all know people who always like to take without giving; they always want to be at the receiving end and never at the giving end. We may refer to these people as selfish and self-serving. They ignore an important principle in life: to take, you must first give.
So you are wondering how to get someone’s attention? My best bet is this person probably hasn’t even noticed you or even if they have, they haven’t given you the kind of attention you want. And you are looking for a way to get this person to give you all the attention you want.
Here’s the simple answer: to get attention, you must first give attention.
Sounds simple right? Maybe a little bit too simple. Yet the statement above is so profound that it could change your life entirely if you practice it.
Let me repeat it: to get attention, you must first give attention.
This law of giving and taking is so powerful that Robert B. Cialdini wrote about it in his book, Influence, The Psychology of Persuasion. In his book, he termed the law of giving and taking as the rule for reciprocation. He says:
“The rule says that we should try to repay, in kind, what another person has provided us. If a woman does us a favor, we should do her one in return; if a man sends us a birthday present, we should remember his birthday with a gift of our own; if a couple invites us to a party, we should be sure to invite them to one of ours.”
Surely you will agree, then, that the best way to get attention is to give it first.
Naturally, some people get more attention because of their social status, their looks or some other peculiar reason. With this method of getting attention, you do not have to be handsome, pretty, rich or a snappy dresser to get attention. You can get all the attention you want by using what is thought in this article. Anyone can learn to get attention. You only need to learn to freely give and freely receive.
And this is very important: if you are only interested in getting the attention without giving any in return or without doing anything to merit that attention, then please do not read any further. The methods thought herein are for hardworking people who desire to learn the ropes of truly getting someone’s attention and holding that attention.
Let’s dive in, then, shall we?
The Secret to Holding Attention
There’s a powerful quote by Dale Carnegie that reinforces the principle that to receive we must first give. He says:
“You can make more friends in two months by becoming genuinely interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”
Let me modify that. You can get more attention in two months by giving genuine attention to other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people to give you their attention.
Dale Carnegie goes on to say: “Yet I know and you know people who blunder through life trying to wigwag other people into becoming interested in them. Of course, it doesn’t work. People are not interested in you. They are not interested in me. They are interested in themselves – morning, noon and after dinner.”
When I was younger, I noticed a guy who I wanted to be friends with. I tried to get him to notice me too but he never did. I was a shy lad back then and didn’t think I would ever have the courage to walk up to him and introduce myself.
One day, after beating myself up for not having enough courage as a man, I walked up to him and introduced myself, citing that I had noticed him for a while and decided to say hi. That was the start of a wonderful friendship. I do admit that I did more than walk up to him to say hi; I gave him all my attention, showed my genuine interest in him, and looked him straight in the eye. You could say that I put on my “charm”. Bringing us to the next thing you need to learn to get someone’s attention: Charm.
Getting the attention of people requires a mix of charm and wit. You must charm people whenever they are in your presence and you’ll never want for their attention. The secret to holding people’s attention is charm.
What is Charm?
Charm is the result of using specific skills that most of us have little or no knowledge about. This implies that charm can be learned. I want you to think of charm as a personality quality and skill you can develop by doing the things that charming people do and being the kind of person that charming people are. Those who have charm get listened to—they get attention from people.
When we talk about charm, we do not mean having good table manners, being handsome or pretty, or having an exquisite fashion sense; we are talking about something more profound. True charm is something that transcends mere appearance. It’s that ability that some people possess to make others around them feel exceptional. Charm has an engaging quality to which we respond powerfully and emotionally.
“You must have this charm to reach the pinnacle. It is made of everything and of nothing, the striving will, the look, the walk, the proportions of the body, the sound of the voice, the ease of the gestures. It is not at all necessary to be handsome
or to be pretty; all that is needful is charm.”—SARAH BERNHARDT
Below are case studies that depict the power of charm and how to capture people’s attention with ease and aplomb.
Case 1: The following are remarks by professional speaker Mark Sanborn, commenting on meeting president Bill Clinton.
“… [H]e projected a totally ‘in the moment’ focus on each person he met…. [H]e exuded warmth; he seemed a man genuinely interested in liking you, and not concerned with whether or not you liked him. How much of that was genetic and how much developed I can only speculate. All I know is that I was, in that brief moment of meeting, totally charmed by a person I neither agreed with nor even expected to like.”
Case 2: An excerpt from Dale carnage’s book, How to win friends and influence people. It shows how it requires very little to charm someone; all you need to be is a good listener.
“For example, I met a distinguished botanist at a dinner party given by a New York book publisher. I had never talked with a botanist before, and I found him fascinating. I literally sat on the edge of my chair and listened while he spoke of exotic plants and experiments in developing new forms of plant life and indoor gardens (and even told me astonishing facts about the humble potato). I had a small indoor garden of my own – and he was good enough to tell me how to solve some of my problems.
“As I said, we were at a dinner party. There must have been a dozen other guests, but I violated all the canons of courtesy, ignored everyone else, and talked for hours to the botanist.
“Midnight came, I said good night to everyone and departed. The botanist then turned to our host and paid me several flattering compliments. I was “most stimulating.” I was this and I was that, and he ended by saying I was a “most interesting conversationalist.
“An interesting conversationalist? Why, I had said hardly anything at all. I couldn’t have said anything if I had wanted to without changing the subject, for I didn’t know any more about botany than I knew about the anatomy of a penguin. But I had done this: I had listened intently. I had listened because I was genuinely interested. And he felt it. Naturally that pleased him.”
Case 3: An excerpt from the book, The Power of Charm: How to win anyone over in any situation. It reinforces the power of listening as a tool to charm others.
‘Soon after, I said to Nicky, “What is so fascinating about Ivan that you looked mesmerized by him?”
‘She thought for a moment and said, “When he speaks to you, it’s as though you’re in a cocoon with him. No one exists in the world for him but you. And when he listens, he listens as though every word you say is important and needs his undivided attention.” ‘
The case studies above highlight the important techniques needed to become a charismatic person.
How to Charm Anyone
The secret of charm is therefore made simple: make others feel important. You can do this by praising and appreciating people for the little things they do; be hearty in your approbation and lavish in your praise.
Here are some techniques you must add to your communication skillset to become charismatic.
The Art of Listening: Becoming a good listener is the best way to become a better conversationalist. Concentrating all your attention and listening to someone when they are speaking is the biggest compliment you can pay the person. Try it, the next time someone is speaking to you, give all your attention to that person. The person will realize this and repay you with his or her full attention.
Eye Contact: Genuine eye contact is the most intimate form of communication; this explains why most people try to avoid eye contact. Keeping strong eye contact with someone feels like bearing your soul out to the person. The eye communicates in a way that verbal communication cannot; its intimacy rivaling no other. As an additional trick, you can flick your gaze from one of the person’s eye to the other to reduce the intensity of constant eye contact.
Head Movements: Nodding your head during a conversation helps the other person know that you’re truly listening to them. Sometimes you can gently tilt your head to signal you’re very engaged in the conversation. Head movements help to affirm to the one talking that they’ve got all your attention.
Vocal Cues: Active listeners always make vocal noises like “Uh-huh”, “Aah”, or “Mmhmm”. They also give verbal reassurances such as “Really”, “I see” or “Well, is that so”. These reassure people that you are an active listener and that you care about what they are saying.
Body language: Our body language also plays a very important role in communication; it accounts for an astonishing 55 percent of our communication. This shows how much attention we must pay to our body language. In conversation try to always keep your whole body turned toward the other person. If you have your legs crossed, do so with your top leg and knee pointing toward the other person. Your arms should be unfolded and you should use your hands for emphasis when you speak. These ways create a clear picture of openness and receptivity; they also suggest that you are fascinated by what the people you are talking to are saying.
All the techniques above will make the people you interact with feel important and they will love you for it. And always remember: to get attention, you must first give attention. Thank you for taking the time to read this article.
Let me know in the comments section below what you think and how you intend to incorporate these newfound techniques in your life.