The Sullivan Nod

Here’s a body language tip:

It’s called the Sullivan Nod. When you are talking to an audience, and you are listing three or four or five options, smile and nod when you’re describing the one you want them to choose. Chances are pretty good that they’ll choose it.

The “Sullivan” of the Sullivan Nod is Jim Sullivan, a restaurant consultant. He says, “Whenever servers suggest a beverage, have them smile and slowly nod their heads up and down as they make the suggestion. Body language is powerful, and research shows that over 60% of the time, the guest will nod right back and take your suggestion!”

Sullivan doesn’t suggest that you excitedly jump up and down and frantically nod your head and scream, “Yes! Yes! Yes!” He just suggests that you subtly demonstrate the physical response you’d like the audience to take.

Humans are social animals, and they tend to mirror the actions of those around them. When we smile, people around us tend to smile. When we lean in towards another person, they tend to lean in too. And when we nod and say yes, they tend to nod and say yes, too.

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