Are you aware that not everyone processes information the very same way that you do?
The different senses and how we use them to process information is also known as our internal representation system, or modalities.
The senses are;
What we see Visual modality (V)
What we hear Auditory modality (A)
What we smell Olfactory
What we feel or sense Kinaesthetic (K)
What we taste Gustatory
What we tell ourselves Auditory Digital (AD)
We use a combination of all of these modalities as we communicate with others and ourselves. The most used of the modalities are visual, auditory and kinaesthetic. It is beneficial to understand how you communicate with others, (your representational system) and how others receive your communication, (their representational system).
To become a great communicator you can learn the benefits of using all the modalities to best get your message across. This will ensure you connect with more of your audience. By understanding the different modalities you will become aware of what your audience is feeling, seeing and telling themselves.
People who are visual often look up and may sit erect, often forward in their chair. They will be breathing from the top of their lungs. They are generally less distracted by noise, but may have trouble remembering verbal instructions, as their mind will tend to wander. They will memorise things by seeing pictures and will be interested how your speech or presentation looks. Appearances are important, thus they will be neat, tidy and organised.
People who are auditory will usually move their eyes from side to side. They will breathe from the middle of their chest and are more than likely distracted by noise. They may also talk to themselves. They learn by listening and like talking to others and using the phone. They like to be told how they are going and will want to know what you have to say.
People who are kinaesthetic will often look down. They will breathe from the bottom of their lungs. You may see their stomach moving as they breathe. They often talk very slowly and will enjoy physical rewards. They memorize by doing or repeating something. They may want you to help them walk through what it is they need to learn. They will want to know that your speech or presentation feels right for them.
Ad Auditory Digital
This person will talk to themselves They will want to know that what you have to say makes sense. They can also use the characteristics of all other modalities or representational systems.
When you are communicating with others, be aware of your preferred way of communication and of others. Once you start to depict the differences you will more easily be able to communicate in a way that is easier for you both to connect on a deeper level simply by using all or specific modalities.
One easy way to connect with your audience is to provide a visual (usually a PowerPoint presentation), auditory is your speech, handouts for those who like to see and read and touch, and include for the auditory digital who want the information laid out for them, as facts and figures.
Please leave your comments below. I would love to hear your comments about communicating even better using the different modalities.