Live from NCOF: 90 Seconds to Interpersonal Success

Orlando, FL–Upon the introduction to Monday morning’s opening general session, “How to Connect in Business in 90 Seconds or Less,” author and motivational speaker Nicholas Boothman sprinted into the ballroom to the strains of David Bowie’s “Let’s Dance.” From the get-go you knew that Boothman wasn’t just another speaker with a PowerPoint presentation.

The British-born Boothman contends that the first 90 seconds are crucial to any encounter, whether in a casual setting or in business. Our subconscious survival instinct kicks in, and our mind and our body decide whether to fight, flee, or interact and whether the person we’re meeting is a friend or a foe.

“Our reptilian brain sets the filter, and a decision is made involuntarily,” he said, a process that takes two seconds. Instantly, when a person is coming toward you, you make one of four decisions: eat it, ignore it, run from it, or shag it.” Drawing laughter from the packed ballroom, Boothman shrugged: “I’m British.”

When meeting a person, he advised looking him in the eye. It sounds simple, but Boothman said that you’re not doing it right if you can’t tell the person’s eye color.

Boothman also said to stay away from using “don’t.” The word creates a block with most people, who are better able to process positive rather than negative messages. Boothman related an anecdote of a neighbor who had an awful time keeping passers-by from feeding his horses despite the presence of a rather large “do not feed the horses” sign. The neighbor’s problem disappeared when the sign was changed to read: “We only eat apples and carrots.”

“All business is about taking ideas to market,” Boothman said. “We are all part an ideal delivery system, and we deliver these ideas using words and body language.”

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