A British man who bills himself as a real-life version of the pickup coach played by Will Smith in the film "Hitch," says his work isn't just about seduction but also about helping men feel confident around women.

Adam Lyons, a self-titled "attraction expert" who has received the dubious distinction of being the third-best pickup artist in the world, is in Toronto to host a pickup skills boot camp over the weekend -- his first in Canada.

The 27-year-old who was voted least likely to ever get a girlfriend when he was in high school, tells Canada AM the craft of picking-up has gone way beyond party tricks and cheesy lines.

Instead, through his work with U.K.-based PUA Training he tries to impart a skill set that will attract women to the person, rather than to a rehearsed act.

"I really think we're making a big movement towards helping guys become that much better at becoming interesting to the opposite sex," Lyons says.

"So the girls see these guys and they say hang on a minute, this guy is interesting, fun, good at conversation. Okay, I want to be here, I want to be involved."

In an age where many young professionals are working long hours and online dating is becoming the new norm for many, Lyons says one of his goals is to help men once again feel comfortable with approaching women in public.

"This is just teaching people the art, again, of going up to people, interacting with them, finding out about them and respecting, that's really the key."

He adds: "It's a science that's been lost."

So what is Lyon's top tip for date-challenged men? Once the initial contact is made, he says it's all about choosing the right first date and avoiding awkward situations.

That could mean abandoning some favourite old first date standbys that he says really don't make sense.

"Most people go on a date and they do dinner and a movie. I mean how much worse could it get? You go to dinner where you're going to sit there for two hours, it's high pressure and you've got to try to maintain the conversation, you're eating food, how awkward is that?

"And then two hours goes by, suddenly you start making a click, and you go in a dark room and sit there in silence for two hours."

Basically, Lyons says, the dinner and a movie option is too long and involves too much intense face-time.

"I think people should actually go out there and either keep it really short or much better do an activity," he says.

"Go to the zoo, go bowling, laser tag -- anything where you've got something going on outside of the two of you that you can talk about."

Lyons has even broken his pickup philosophy down to a mathematical formula where comfort minus rapport, plus qualification plus sexual escalation, equals attraction.

This formula will be drilled into those who participate in the Toronto boot camp this weekend. There will also be theory, goal-setting, conversation and body-language sessions, even female instruction, before they head to a bar to test out their skills -- a final exam of sorts.

In the end, Lyons says women also benefit from his workshops.

"Although I only concentrate with helping guys, I am really helping girls, giving them more boys to choose from," he says.