Saturday, June 21, 2014

Axiom 51: Eye Contact

"Men in General judge more from appearances than from reality. All men have eyes, but few have the gift of penetration." -Niccolo Machiavelli

"The eyes are the most powerful social signalers that we have and hence are sometimes called 'the windows of the soul' One of the key elements of what is called 'social skills training' is getting just the right amount of eye contact. Too little and we come across as shy and awkward; too much and we seem rude." -Glen Wilson

Many successful people have great natural eye contact. It is something that everyone should practice to become more naturally charismatic. Not enough eye contact and you won't build any trust. Too much eye contact and you'll come across too intense.That's why practicing makes perfect.

Here's how to do it:
  • Look everyone in the eyes long enough to see what their eye color is then look away. This will get you in the habit of making strong eye contact initially.
  • Match their level of eye contact. Look them in the eyes as long as they are looking you in the eyes. When they look away then you look away. Matching naturally builds rapport.
  • Your eyes convey emotions. Make sure they are open and relaxed, not tense and narrow.
  • As a general rule don't break eye contact first. The person who breaks eye contact first conveys a submissive subliminal message.
  • Use eye contact more when listening than speaking. Make sure when they are speaking that you are maintaining eye contact 75% of the time. This lets them know you really care about what they are saying.
Start practicing as soon as possible so you can build good eye contact skills. You can start on people walking down the street, cashiers, waitresses, etc. After a couple of weeks you'll notice a huge difference.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Disney's International Food & Wine Festival

I've been a lot places and eaten a lot of food, so when I heard I was going to be at Epcot during their International Food & Wine Festival I was interested so see if it was the real deal or just a cheesy tourist trap. I talked to a buddy of mine that lived in Orlando for a while and he assured me that this was a "must see" for any Orlando trip.

For you newbies here's a basic overview of what it is and how it works. I usually don't go into too much detail about these things, but the information found online is really poor.

Walt Disney World in Orlando is made up of various theme parks. One of these theme parks is called Epcot. You've probably seen the the giant silver sphere (pictured above) - This is Epcot. In the rear of Epcot is a section of the park called, "The World Showcase". This is where they have the International Food & Wine Festival for a few months each year.

The World Showcase is a built around a lagoon. They've recreated 11 countries around this lagoon that you can walk through and experience: Mexico, Norway, China, Germany, Italy, The American Adventure, Japan, Morocco, France, United Kingdom, and Canada.

I was impressed. Disney really paid attention to all the details. The cool thing is Disney has actual people from those countries working there. If you go during the International Food & Wine festival there are temporary food & drink booths setup from many more countries: Argentina, Scotland, Australia, and Greece just to name a few.

The food was great. My favorites were the fish & chips in the United Kingdom, boeuf bourguignon in France, and the avocado margarita in Mexico. I also appreciated the fact that the beers complemented the food they were serving in that country.

My only complaint was that the park closes early. So come early, make sure you come during the International Food & Wine Festival, and make sure you stay for the nightly fireworks show at the end. I will definitely be back to go eating and drinking around the world.

The pictures I took really didn't do it justice - so for more info here's a video.