Recently I experimented with radically changing my texting strategy to increase women's interest. It was stunningly successful because I fixed awkward conversation killers and learn to perform high-status behaviors. Reductionism OP, please nerf.
I am now considering applying the same strategy to my in-person flirting. Ten or so behaviors (eye contact, slow movements, posture, etc.) are likely to inspire attraction. Given that learning the optimal behaviors in texting was so effective, I intend to learn the in-person behaviors next. I will hire an acting coach and we will pretend flirt exactly like learning a golf swing - adding a few more behaviors each time until they feel natural. I expect the acting coach will have other tips.
Some say "faking" confidence is impossible. But they said the same for tinder. Furthermore, if there is a 90% chance they are right that confidence is unfakable, the acting class is still positive utility.
If I'm missing something, post below.
After finishing Geoffrey Miller's Mate, I arrived at a similar position. If someone did not understand courtship more broadly and the classic PUA failure modes, my advice would probably make them worse. But if you have a good model and are already okay at conversation, reminding yourself to have open gestures and make confident eye contact provides net benefit. Your toddler analogy is helpful.