- Learn to read body language. Pointing your feet or knees towards your subject tells them that they have your full attention, while open, upward-facing palms say 'I'm listening'. Mimicking their movements or laughing in unison makes the other person feel that the two of you are more alike.
- Use friendly touch. Lightly touching their forearm or elbow sends a subtle but distinct message.
- Preen. Licking your lips, flicking your hair and innocently stroking your face are signs of self-consciousness that make the other person aware of the effect they are having on you. (Remember, you do want them to know how you feel!)
- Listen. Ask open-ended questions and pay attention to what your flirtee says. Nothing is more attractive than someone who thinks you are fascinating.
- Smile. If you only do one of the things in this list make sure it's this one.
- Be the bearer of good news. Regaling Daily Mail histrionics about asylum-seekers or house prices will not become you. Talk about things you like and things that inspire you. And if your friend says 'I love football' and you hate it, for god's sake don't fess up.
- Make direct immediate eye contact. A frank open countenance is a good thing, an unblinking stare is not. Worse still is pretending to make eye contact when in fact you're talking to an earring or a fringe.
- Ask questions that show that you're listening and that you're really interested. Starting your sentences with 'I wonder' or 'I think...' is a sure-fire way to get the ball rolling.
- Mirror your friend's gestures. When you're chatting to someone you're interested in, your body language and gestures often synchronise. This is often an unconscious thing and not the same as mimicking, repeat not the same.
- Playing with a strand of hair, a straw or a stirrer can be alluring. Don't over-egg it though and girls, never run your finger around the rim of the glass. You'll look like a hooker.
- Leaning towards your friend sends out positive signals. And if you cross your legs make sure your knees face your friend and not the other way. The leg crossing perfected by Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct is considered a forthright gesture, recommended once you've dispensed with formalities.
- Give sincere compliments. People love to be flattered even if they pretend not to. Practice daily with colleagues, the posty or fellow supermarket shoppers.
- In conversation, casually touching your friend on the arm or hand, or brushing lint off a jacket are gestures which will be appreciated. Flicking dandruff off shoulders is never acceptable, even if they're your own.
- Sit up straight with your chin up. Slouchers looks slovenly and like they need a good shake.
- When introduced to someone shake hands, repeat their name and ask a question. Don't let the introduction just hang there or it'll wither within seconds.
- Use all of the above in moderation.
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