Be Seen to Be Heard – How to Be Memorable

Before you talk to with someone, you’re both assessing non-verbal communication signals. The majority of the time, others see you long before they hear you. Since they’re looking at you, it only makes sense to send effective signals to become more memorable.  And things that are remembered are more influential than things that are not.  

[Tweet “The majority of the time, others see you long before they hear you.”]

Have you ever noticed that some people are much more noticeable than others? Or even that some people are readily noticed in a positive way, while others are noticed in a negative way.

Then there’s everyone else – not really noticed much at all. Most people tend to blend into the background and fail to send any useful signals. They aren’t seen as a potential ally or threat. If you’ve ever felt invisible, this is the reason why. You actually are “invisible” to the brain of everyone around you.

Once a person’s brain classifies you as “neutral”, you’re quickly forgotten. That brain has other concerns to deal with. You’re viewed as unlikely to provide anything positive or negative. You’re the equivalent of a tree to a person that doesn’t need any shade at the moment.

Send memorable signals 

If you want to be memorable and influence others, you need to send the right signals.  Here are just our top five …

  • A genuine smile. Not that fake thing you throw around most of the time. 
    • Smiling people are viewed as happier, more confident, and more likable.

    • This can be a good way to judge how others feel about you. We tend to smile at those we like and fail to smile and those we dislike.

    • Faking a smile is extremely difficult without practice. The easiest way to tell the difference between a fake and a real smile is in the corners of the mouth and cheeks. In a real smile, the corners of the mouth are upturned, and the cheeks raise.

    • Also, look for some wrinkling around the corners of the eyes during a real smile.

    • Practice your smile in the mirror and see how real you can make it look.
  • Raising and lowering your eyebrows. This is a very quick movement. It’s really just a flash, and only takes a fraction of a second. The eyebrows only move minimally. You’ve probably never consciously noticed it in others, but you will now.

    • Consider if you were angry or aggressive. Would your raise your eyebrows? Imagine yourself feeling angry and stomping through the grocery store. Your eyebrows would be down and would stay that way.

  • Tilt your head. Left or right, it’s entirely up to you. It’s believed we do this to expose our carotid arteries (those are the arteries in your neck that carry blood to the brain) to show we’re not a threat.

    • This doesn’t mean that you walk around with your head laying over to one side. But, tilt your head a little bit while interacting with others that you’d like to get to know better.

    • Studies have shown that people are rated as more attractive, trustworthy, and kind when they tilt their head during conversation. You can see this behavior in many animals, too. Watch the dogs in your neighborhood.

    • Again, imagine you’re in a hostile mood. What do you do? You keep your chin tucked down which also protects your neck.

    • A lowered head, lowered eyebrows, and the lack of a smile send the very clear signal that you’re not a friend.
  • Mirroring. Mirroring is exactly what it sounds like. You essentially mirror the body language and mannerisms of the other person.

    • If the other person tilts their head, you tilt yours.

    • If the other person has their arms crossed, you cross yours.

    • If the other person is slouching, you slouch, too.

    • Avoid making your intentions too obvious. If you look like you’re mimicking the other person too closely in real time, it will be viewed as odd or awkward.

    • Notice this behavior in others in social settings. Notice who is mirroring and who is not. We naturally mirror others when rapport is high. You can create rapport through mirroring.

    • Once you’ve been mirroring someone for a short time, you can lead them. Change your body position and watch them follow you.

[Tweet “We naturally mirror others when rapport is high.”]

  • Lean in. When two people like each other, they in toward each other. You can see this everywhere you go in everyday life. Look for it.

    • Also, notice when two people clearly don’t like each other. They lean away from each other.

    • People that like each other also point their torsos toward each other. If they’re standing, they’ll also point their feet at each other. Notice the next time there’s a group of people standing and talking. Look at where everyone’s torso and feet are pointing.

[Tweet “If you want to send a positive message to someone, face them with your body.”]

If you are struggling with being seen, find a coach or accountability partner.  There are many more ways to increase your influence.  

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