Want to Meet Women? Here’s Your Guy

Adam & Amanda Lyons demonstrate proper body language when approaching women. Lenny Gilmore photo, RedEye

The mission: Get digits.

It’s harder than it sounds for six singles who signed up for a three-day, $1,300 boot camp in Chicago this weekend to learn the art of seduction and dating from a professional coach. Run by 29-year-old dating expert Adam Lyons, the workshop focused on topics such as improving body language, learning conversation starters and avoiding first-date mistakes.

Texas-based Lyons, who said he was voted by his classmates as the least likely to get a girlfriend at age 15, is the master trainer and CEO of the North America branch of PUA Training (for pick up artist), a self-help program and website targeted toward single men with locations and events in L.A., New York and London. Lyons and other trainers travel every month to host seminars and workshops for people looking to boost their dating lives. The company was founded in 2006. He said the boot camp is part of a real male self-help movement that’s different from what one might get elsewhere.

“Read a men’s magazine for advice for what to do with girls,” Lyons said Friday during an interview before the workshop. “It’s all about how to pull a stripper, how to convince your girlfriend to have a threesome. … What about how to meet a nice girl? What about this is a good date? They don’t get that advice anywhere.”

Men who enrolled in the workshop traveled from all over the Midwest for reasons that ranged from wanting to initiate a serious relationship to meeting new people, Lyons said. This seminar was composed of men interested in women, but Lyons says his program caters to different sexual orientations.

Luke Runyon, 21, of Kalamazoo, Mich., signed up to gain more confidence and conversation skills. “I’ve never really had a lot of friends,” he said. He said he was outside his comfort zone, but added, “If my approach anxiety is gone, it’ll be well worth the price.”

The first night started Friday with lessons in body language and techniques to start conversations. Participants in the workshop, which took place at a rented meeting room in a downtown condo building, learned to initiate conversation by asking basic questions, giving compliments or making observations.

“We kind of think of [meeting new people] like Internet dating,” Lyons said. “You might start talking to somebody who’s got a good profile but you don’t know if there’s an actual real connection until the two of you start exchanging e-mails. We bring that online environment into real life. They’re going around the bar actually meeting random people and then seeing if there’s a real connection once they’re talking to them and of course you get better cues in real life.”

The culmination of Friday’s lesson was a group outing to John Barleycorn in Wrigleyville. Workshop participants went in with the same ground rules: Don’t lie and don’t drink; they also agreed not to buy drinks for girls or talk to people who were overly served.

All six got phone numbers. Mission accomplished.

Do’s & don’t's
Adam Lyons, twice voted world’s best pick up artist by a panel of professional dating experts, gets personal with RedEye. Leonor Vivanco, RedEye

Q: What is the best conversation starter?
A: The best one–not the easiest, and there’s a big difference–the best is what we call the observation. If you observe something new, something random, something out of the ordinary and you start talking about it loud enough and somebody else hears, they start eavesdropping and at that point, they’re already in the conversation. Then any question you refer to about it like, “Hey wow, what’s going on over here?” they’ll be in. … Those conversations will always be the best and then you introduce yourself as an afterthought.

Q: What’s the worst place to meet guys and girls?
A: Family restaurants. Anywhere where families are going to be going is going to be bad news really because people are not in the right kind of zone where they want to be picked up.

Q: When setting up the first date, should you text or call?
A: Do it in person. Then when I’m texting you, we’re just handling the logistics of the meet-up.

Q: If you don’t do that?
A: Then text is better than phoning just because you never know if someone is going to be free to pick up the phone. What we actually teach is to ask the girl what’s the best way of staying in touch so again she gets to say what she wants.

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