By Traci Brown, Guest Contributor

What would you do if you could talk anyone into anything? Would you get more out of your networking? Negotiate better deals for yourself? Get your kids to clean the bathroom? Would you have a little more fun and talk your way into a first class upgrade at the airport for free? Talk your way out of a traffic ticket? Would you get gutsy and talk your way into a presidential party you weren’t invited to?

When you can persuade, you hold the keys to the universe. Anything you want can be yours. Who has time to learn how to get these big results? Not you, right? Wrong. Follow these rules and with 15 minutes of practice, you’ll be well on your way to becoming extraordinarily influential and getting lots more of what you want.

Rule #1: Stop Judging

We’re wired to always judge everything around us. This comes from millions of years of having to be highly concerned for our safety at every moment. In the developed world, lions and tigers aren’t out to get us anymore so it’s safe to be non-judgmental. Avoid pigeonholing people into whatever box you put them into. Ask yourself what thought patterns are present to create their presenting behavior. Then you can understand what you need to do in order to get them to change their behavior to something more beneficial to you (and them).

Rule #2: Get Them Into an Open Position

People who demonstrate closed body language are creating thought patterns that are closed. Where the body goes, the mind will follow! When you see someone with crossed arms or legs (or both), this is not the time to present ideas you want them to buy into. Before you go into your sales pitch, get them to move out of their position. Give them something to hold like a drink or a pen, take them for a walk, or get sneaky and ‘accidentally’ drop something and get them to pick it up. Do what it takes to get them to move and interrupt that negative pattern!

Rule #3: Nod Your Head Yes

People are wired to follow each other. That’s how cultures are built. You can use this to your advantage. Remember, where the body goes, the mind will follow. Nodding your head means “Yes”. You don’t want to make yourself like a bobble head, but you can gently nod your head as you present your ideas and notice that they likely will begin to follow, putting themselves into a positive stage surrounding your ideas.

Rule #4: Use Embedded Commands

In the school of Eriksonian Hypnosis, it’s taught that certain words, phrased properly and with the right intonations, can bypass people’s filters, allowing you to guide and direct their minds. That’s powerful! One of the tools is to use embedded commands in your sentences. It’s easy, just pay attention to how you phrase what you want them to do. So a regularly stated phrase might be “I want you to mow the lawn.” can be rephrased to “I’d like to suggest that you (pause)…mow the lawn now.” (say the last part with a gentle commanding tone). Try them both out loud and see how they sound. The latter will sound much more acceptable and most likely get the response you want. The embedded command is ‘mow the lawn now’. By using this phrasing, you’re painting the picture in their mind of them mowing the lawn. Where the mind goes the body will follow… and yes, this technique has been reported to get unruly 8-year-old twin boys to go clean the bathroom. It will work for you, too!

Yes, these take some work to master. Get a buddy and practice for 15 minutes. Notice how differently you can phrase statements that usually come out of your mouth and how you can use your body language differently. Soon you’ll notice how much more you’re getting of what you want when it counts.

About the Author

Traci Brown teaches strategic body language for unconscious persuasion in keynotes worldwide. She’s a frequent guest on TV interpreting the body language of criminals and politicians and author of “Body Language Confidential”. For information about booking Traci for an event, or contact Traci directly at