Friday, April 15, 2005

Effective Public Speaking and Media Presentation: How Do You Process Information?

By Thomas Murrell MBA CSP International Business Speaker

How you process information makes a big difference on your performance as a public speaker, professional communicator or media performer in an interview situation.

It all depends on what is going through your head in the preparation and delivery phase of these usually high pressure situations.

Research has found 40 per cent of the population prefer Visual (pictures), 10 per cent prefer Auditory (sounds), 40 per cent Kinesthetic (feelings), and 10 per cent Unspecified or Self Talk.

Which approach, known as a Representational System, do you prefer when you have to complete these tasks?

More importantly, how do your clients, colleagues or key stakeholders prefer to communicate & process information?

You can create instant rapport by matching and mirroring how others think.

For example, if you are able to identify how others think, feel and act and then feed back information and communicate in that way, you can connect with people in a deep and powerful way.

You will instantly notice how well you are able to get your message across and create rapport.

How do you identify these preferences?

Well, visual people think in pictures and words like see, appear, look and view are trigger words. They get bored easily, like diagrams, charts and models, and plan using mind-maps. They have trouble remembering long verbal instructions because their mind wanders. If you were like me, traditional lecturing-styles at school and University were not effective learning techniques. They are interested in the big picture and how something looks.

Auditory processors of information hear, listen and are often into music. They are typically easily distracted by noise. They learn by listening and can repeat back what they've been told. They are good on the phone and tone of voice, pace and language used are important triggers.

Kinesthetic learners like to feel, touch, grasp and get hold of objects. They respond to physical rewards and touching. Gut feeling and intuition are important. They memorise by walking through a task, rehearsing and doing.

Unspecified or self-talkers are sensitive to trigger words such as sense, experience, understand and think. They spend a lot of time talking to themselves. They love steps, sequences or processes to memorise and master tasks. They want to know if an idea makes sense and often use other types of learning.

Want to know how to persuade and influence others through the media or public speaking? We have a range of services to suit your learning style from hands-on, practical workshops, to personalised coaching to books and audio CDs. Visit our website for more details.

Source: Adapted from the eZine NLP Tips #16 Predicates/How we think, April 15th 2005.


Public speaker said...

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Dr Simon Raybould said...

The entry makes a big issue of the VAK model of learning (Visual, Auditary and Kinesthetic) as a way to establishing rapport but the research evidence for it is flaky to say the least. It's "one of those (NLP) things" that everyone cites but no one can actually find the origianal reference. It seems more likely now that different things are learned in different ways rather than people simply having a basic preferred style. In short, you can't use the VAK model to establish rapport in the way that this kind of posting imply... they're a bit out of date, I'm afraid.

Our presentation skills courses deal with the need to establish rapport with an audience but simplstic things like this aren't the way.

Maybe I should get around to expanding on this a bit in my own blog... :)

Cheers.... Simon

Thomas Murrell said...


I do not agree - most learning literature - shows people learn and process information in different ways - it is a model and a framework that resonates with many people.

I give the example that if you have to present to a group of graphic designers or architects you are likely to find a higher percentage of visual learners than say accountants or lawyers who are more likely to be auditory.

Also there are gender differences - men are more visual and women more auditory in general. Tom

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