public speaking

How To Speak And Be Heard By Everyone

When speaking to people whether in a social setting or business environment, how you speak is more often recognized than what you say.
When I was growing up my dad always said to me “Suzanne it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it”.
For years I did not understand this. I had no idea I was speaking in any different manner than anyone else.

If you want your message heard you must speak the language of who your audience is. If it is one person, find the clues to how they hear, or interpret information. If it is many, include all modalities when sharing your message. Even if your message is telling a joke.
Oftentimes we want to discard someone because they are dry or boring. Or perhaps too overdramatic. More often than not, they just speak a different language. When we realize this, we become relatable to everyone.

Learn to recognize the language looking for a few clues in modalities:

How do they talk? Are they slow and precise? Quick and dramatic?

How do they reference information? Do they ‘feel’ like something is happening? Does it ‘appear’ something is happening? Do they ‘see’ how things are going to play out? Does it ‘sound’ to them like things are going to go a certain way..

Mirror back
If someone says:

“ I feel like something is going to happen” you know they are speaking kinesthetically
“ I see what’s going on…” they are speaking visually
“ It sounds to me like you are on a mission, this is auditory

These are 3 examples of modalities that are always used. How you incorporate them in conversation will make the difference between being heard and being dismissed.

If you are speaking with someone who is visual you will want to include language that they can see, so give examples of visuals that relate to your topic.

Same goes with kinesthetic and auditory. Use language that has them feeling or hearing that which you are trying to say. So rather than having them see the bright white sheets(visual), they will feel the softness on their skin (kinesthetic) or hear them whip in the wind as they hang outside to dry (auditory).

Mirroring also includes body language. Do as they do. But don’t overdo.

– If they speak fast, you speak fast.
– If they speak slow, you slow down.
– If they speak with their hands, do the same.

You can complain if you want that that is ‘just not you,’ but my question then would be, wouldn’t it be nice if someone took the time to understand your language?


My name is Suzanne Jones. I am a Certified Hypnotherapist and a Writer. I have a blog and write based on true experiences. I guide people through either Hypnotherapy or my Writing to regain personal and mental control of their lives. Just one degree of perception change is all it takes.

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11 Responses to How To Speak And Be Heard By Everyone

  1. Mark Bowness says:

    Suzanne, thank you for sharing. It’s great to be reminded of these NLP top tips. There is always a fine line between pacing and mirroring, ensuring that the respondent does not think you are being rude! Great top tips though!

  2. BronsonOquinn says:

    This is brilliant! I’m going to have to start paying attention to these words and understand what modalities people are speaking through. Thanks!

  3. Excellent advice! The secret sauce is the listening side. You can’t pick up those cues if you aren’t listening! 

  4. Great article, Suzanne! You´ve pointed out the main problem of many people who are trying to present something. Maybe they´re prepared, they know all the facts and numbers, so they know WHAT they want to say but they often forget how important is the way HOW they say it – the tone of voice, body language, gestures and so on. By realizing this fact we can improve the quality of the shared message enormously!

  5.  Absolutely Mark. I am a believer in authenticity. I am not suggesting invading and copy catting. Simply getting into report so as to build better relationships.

  6. You’re welcome Bronson. It really does help!
    Thank you!

  7.  Absolutely Christiane! Hey thanks for stopping by!

  8.  Yes, that is exactly the point! Thank you Petra!

  9. Everydayedin says:

    I think I have been with this style of conversation for years without realizing that it is this useful. In fact I thought it is awful to copy
    people Languages.
    Thanks for the article. What a relief !!

  10.  Isn’t that funny Everydayedin, that was my response too, when I first understood this. Pretty neat!

  11. Pingback: Is This Phone on Mute? 6 Tips for Speaking to be Heard

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