Connecting using Sensory Based Words
Every individual has different thought and speech patterns. These can be grouped into three main 'ways' of thinking - visual, auditory (sound), and kinesthetic (feeling). Many people think in a combination of ways, with each way of thinking developed to a different extent. People tend to relate best to others who communicate using language that ties in to their way of thinking. For example, describing an image won't work as well for an auditory thinker as for a visual thinker.
Sensory based words are words that identify a person's speech pattern. To use sensory based words, listen to the way a person speaks (i.e., do they use visual, auditory or kinesthetic words), and respond to him/her appropriately.
Most audiences will contain all types of thinker, so in a presentation setting make sure that you use these three types of senses.
Visual people tend to primarily think in images. They look upwards or straight ahead when they are thinking. Visual people can often talk very fast, as they can have their 'visual' thoughts very quickly. Visual people when asked to think of themselves on a beach will 'see' themselves in their mind's eye.
Visual people tend to use, and relate best to, sentences with words related to sight, appearance, color and such like (e.g. "I see what you mean." or "What are you trying to show me?"). They like to see pictures and graphs.
"I see what you are saying..."
"That looks good."
"That idea isn't clear."
"I'm hazy about that."
"I went blank."
"Let's cast some light on the subject."
"Get a new perspective."
"I view it this way..."
"Looking back on it now..."
"A colorful example..."
Auditory people think in terms of sounds and voices. They are often conscious of speaking to themselves. They speak slower than visual people do. Auditory people might well remember phone numbers by hearing the tones, and might think of themselves on a beach by hearing sounds of the sea. They tend to look to the side or down to think.
Auditory people like to hear explanations and do not want to read a lot of material (e.g., they say things like, "I hear your argument." or "I said I would like to."). It is for auditory people that we often read aloud in a group instead of people all reading to themselves.
"I hear you."
"That rings a bell."
"It sounds good to me."
"Everything just suddenly clicked."
"Listen to yourself."
"That idea's been rattling around in my head."
"Something tells me to be careful."
"I can really tune in to what you're saying."
Kinesthetic people are very 'intuitive' and 'feel' their thoughts. They talk slowly. They might well remember a telephone number by moving their finger as if to dial. When asked to imagine themselves on a beach - kinesthetic people will imagine the heat of the sun, and the sand between their toes. They tend to look down to think.
Kinesthetic people are experiential and prefer movement and tactile situations (e.g., they will say things like, "I sense that you are uncomfortable" or "Can I bounce this off you?").
"If it feels right, do it."
"Get a handle on it."
"Grasp the concepts."
"A solid understanding."
"I'm up against the wall."
"Change your standpoint."
"You're so insensitive."
"I have a feeling you're right."