Guy Kawasaki: Keys to Increasing Your Likability | Summary and Q&A

March 7, 2011
Stanford eCorner
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Guy Kawasaki: Keys to Increasing Your Likability

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This video discusses the three pillars of enchantment: likability, smile improvement, dressing appropriately, and having a great handshake. Likability is crucial in making a lasting impression, and it can be achieved through a genuine smile, effectively dressing for the occasion, and mastering the art of a perfect handshake.

Questions & Answers

Q: How can likability be achieved?

Likability can be achieved by being genuinely pleasant and likable. It is important to have a smile that reaches the eyes, rather than a fake smile that only uses the jaw muscles. Crow's feet, which signify genuine happiness, contribute to a great smile. Plastic surgery and Botox should be avoided in favor of embracing natural facial expressions.

Q: Why is dressing appropriately important?

Dressing appropriately is essential for likability. Underdressing in a formal setting can be seen as disrespectful towards the audience, while overdressing may create a sense of superiority. The key is to dress equal to the audience, neither above nor below, in order to establish a connection and avoid creating any barriers.

Q: What makes a great handshake?

The perfect handshake consists of several key factors. According to a study funded by the citizens of the United Kingdom, the ideal handshake involves maintaining eye contact for a second or two, being at the right distance from the other person, having a firm yet not overpowering grip, and ensuring that your hand is smooth and dry. A great handshake can leave a positive and lasting impression.

Q: Why are first impressions important?

First impressions are important because they heavily influence our initial perception of someone. Within seconds of meeting someone, we often form judgments and opinions about them. This initial impression can impact our future interactions and determine whether we perceive someone as likable or not. Making a positive first impression is crucial in building strong relationships.

Q: How can one improve their smile?

To improve your smile, focus on expressing genuine happiness by using your eyes. The Pan Am smile, a fake smile that only involves the jaw muscles, should be avoided. Instead, embrace crow's feet, as they indicate true happiness. Natural smiles that reach the eyes are more charming and likable.

Q: What are the key components of likability?

Likability is made up of three key components: a great smile, appropriate dressing, and a perfect handshake. These components contribute to making a positive first impression and establishing a connection with others.

Q: Why is a genuine smile important?

A genuine smile is important because it indicates likeability and sincerity. Smiles that reach the eyes are more authentic and are perceived as more attractive. People are more likely to be enchanted by someone they find likable, even if their product or message may be great.

Q: How does dressing impact likability?

Dressing appropriately contributes to likability by demonstrating respect for the occasion and the audience. Underdressing or overdressing can create a disconnect and make it harder to establish a positive connection. Dressing equal to the audience helps to bridge the gap and create a sense of camaraderie.

Q: Is a strong handshake the only important factor?

While a great handshake is an essential factor in making a positive first impression, it is not the only determining factor. Likability is a holistic concept that involves multiple components, including a warm smile, appropriate dressing, and other non-verbal cues. However, a good handshake can set a positive tone right from the start.

Q: How long should the eye contact be maintained during a handshake?

According to the study conducted by the University of Manchester, maintaining eye contact for a second or two is ideal. This duration allows for a connection to be established without making either person uncomfortable. Eye contact during a handshake demonstrates confidence and respect.


First impressions matter, and likability is crucial in creating an enchanting presence. Focus on developing a warm and genuine smile that reaches the eyes rather than using fake smiles. Dressing appropriately, neither overdressing nor underdressing, is key to establishing a connection with the audience. Lastly, mastering the art of a perfect handshake by paying attention to eye contact, grip, and other factors contributes to making a positive initial impression. These components work together to enhance likability and charisma.

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