"I want to help out guys," Clauson said.,Ryan Clauson, a sophomore at Northeastern University, has released a two-hour long audio recording called Listen Act Attract, designed specifically for aiding college men stuck in a rut in their search for the right woman.
"I want to help out guys," Clauson said. "Women don't realize that every guy is nervous when approaching a girl-any guy that says he's not nervous is lying. There are different levels of being nervous but every guy gets it. It never really goes away and you always get that feeling. But it gets much reduced with this program."
Clauson's audio advice recording takes the dateless male from the moment of approaching a woman and starting up a conversation, to keeping the dialogue interesting in a way that makes her attracted to him. In this way, he believes the individual may better bridge the gap between the initial encounter to planning another time to hang out.
"There are a lot of books out there about dating, marriage and sex, but before you get to any of that stuff you have to learn, what do you do in the very beginning?" he said. "I give very specific examples and specific advice goes way beyond 'Be confident and smile.'"
Although the audio recording officially launched March 1 of this year, the concept has been in the making for quite some time.
From early 2003 until late 2007, he researched all forms of communication, zeroing in on the attraction between men and women, consulting professors and experts and reading hundreds of books.
He estimates that he has also interacted with at least 2,000 college women over the past five years in order to weed out the stereotypes associated with males and the dating scene.
"I don't want it to be this thing where guys are just using this bag of tricks," he said. "It's completely honest, ethical and completely upfront. The knowledge you learn about communication is going to help you with women and it's also going to help you with your professors, your friends and your family."
In addition, Clauson speaks to college students in seminars teaching these basic techniques of communication and how they relate to happiness.
"I got involved in communications because I was always a very nervous kid. I was very shy when I was in high school," the 24-year-old said. "but I was always a problem solver. I always thought there [was] a solution to everything, When it came to communication with women, I had a big realization: what if communication in general, more specifically with women, was the same thing as learning math or a foreign language or learning a new musical instrument?"
Because his interest in communications lay specifically in the lack of connection between college lads and ladies, he worked with guys one-on-one during his leisure.
"Four years ago, I started working with guys and helping them," he said. "It went from my immediate friends and then friend-to-friend and then other guys would hear about it, and it would slowly expand. It was getting to the point where I said, 'I need to make a program that can do this for me.' It became too much to handle."
With this notion came the idea to launch a new business. His work on the LAA audio program began a year ago, after he, along with close friend Daniel Snyder, fused together Clauson's knowledge of communication and psychology and put it onto the two-hour long tape. After reading several books on how to start a business, Clauson and Snyder spent hours in the studio every day perfecting the recording.
Clauson first met Snyder, a junior music industry major at NU, when they were both recruited to play hockey for the Huskies four years ago.
"Once our career focus became readily apparent, hockey came to an end and we decided to further develop our crafts," Snyder said in an e-mail.
Snyder was highly involved in music as a producer and songwriter, and was hired by Clauson to produce and make co-creative decisions for the audio program as well as compose the bed tracks underneath Clauson's vocals.
"Ryan and I have always been entrepreneurs at heart and when he approached me with his business model last year, it was a natural fit to combine our talents and create the company's initial product," Snyder said.
Brian Schatz, a 20-year old marketing major at Northeastern first heard about the program when he saw Clauson speak live at a seminar on improving communication at NU's on-campus lounge.
"After using Listen Act Attract, I can easily say that I carry myself differently and my attitude has changed for the better," Schatz said in an e-mail to The Beacon. "I have learned so much about male and female behavior along with the social psychology of college life that I wish I knew all of this before I came to college in fall of '05."
Clauson discusses how many times a man and a woman who probably would have liked each other fail to work out because the guy who approached her said something he heard from his friends. The real problem, he believes, lies in the common phrase-just be yourself.
"That's the worst piece of advice I've ever heard," he said. "If you can't talk to girls-if you're nervous around women and you're being yourself, you are saying 'Ok, I'll just be nervous around women,'" he said. "I play hockey, and if you ask me how to skate and I say 'nah don't worry about it, just be your non-skating self' you're going to laugh at me and you're going to say, 'no, teach me how to do it.'"
Schatz said he recommends the product to any male who wishes to be better at attracting women.
"It will totally change a guy's perspective when it comes to socializing with women," he said.
But not everyone likes the sound of a self-help tape. Some Emersonians are skeptical that the device can be successful.
Freshman Cosmo Bjorkenheim also believes that using a program teaches men how to speak to women is unnecessary.
"I feel like people who would use this program are the same type of people that would use Match.com," the film major said. "It's ridiculous. I would almost consider going to a seminar and then using that as a pickup line, like 'Hey I just took this course, so can I try it out on you?' I feel like that's the only way that it could work."
Clauson believes that his program is beneficial to both women and men because it's designed to improve men's communication skills. He believes that women will have more men who are interesting to talk to and more fun to hang out with.
"When I was making the program, I wanted women to know about it," he said. "I wanted women to talk about it, I wanted to get feedback from women."
And as many college women may agree, Clauson recognizes that there are some techniques men use that simply don't work.
Jasmyne Pope, a freshman writing, literature and publishing major, said that she appreciates a guy who can approach her face-to-face.
"I'm a little bit wary about people I don't know approaching me in a non-direct way, so messaging me on Facebook is the wrong way to go, and people do that all the time," she said. "That's weird. If this program i
s going teach them the proper way, and as long as he's [Clauson] teaching them to come to me directly and talk in person, not via texting, or something else kind of shady, that's fine with me ."
Clauson hopes that LAA will do just that. Its success, he said, lies in the fundamentals of communication, rather than the Internet.
But while communication remains a part of Emerson's charm, Pope said that perhaps, the males here could learn a thing or two more from Clauson's program.
"I think some guys could definitely use it. A lot of the guys here at Emerson are really awkward," she said. "My friends and I have this thing-all the guys are either gay, taken, or insane or just incredibly awkward. I'd like to see some of the awkwardness cease and desist."
Tips to Attract
Clauson's Listen Act Attract Program tries to offer a solution to companionless college students. In an article posted on his blog at campusgrotto.com Clauson provides three tips on how to better communicate with the opposite sex.
1. Ask better questions.
What is your major, how old are you, where are you from and what dorm do you live in are questions that lack insight and receive one word, emotionless answers. Look for a conversation starter that will help her feel emotional about something. Ask questions like: What excites you? What are you passionate about? What is one of your happiest memories? These are questions that will open the doors for a deeper and more meaningful conversation. More importantly, don't ask questions that will initiate negative topics. If you do, the woman will associate you with the negative emotions.
2. Quit it with the compliments.
Most guys think that complimenting a girl will make her like them more but the opposite is true. Complimenting too quickly or too often during a conversation indicates that you have no inherent value. By relying on your compliments instead of your personality to make the girl interested in you, you are unattractive to women. While your intentions may be good, they will see your compliments as a disguise for your lack of personality.
3. Don't lie.
Changing your opinion just so it matches with the girl you're talking to is dishonest and is unattractive to women who seek strong-minded men. If you tell a girl you love the Red Sox and she says she likes the Yankees, many guys would quickly change their opinion to match the girls. Disagreeing with a girl when her opinion differs from yours is always more attractive then agreeing with everything she says.