21/11/2011

By Gavin Meikle, Head of Learning and Founder of inter-activ

When we analyse examples of effective communication it quickly becomes clear that vivid descriptive language is much more memorable than dull boring data speak. Whether in a speech, presentation, article or website, the addition of sensory rich language is incredibly powerful.

By sensory language I mean words that resonate with one or more of our five primary senses namely; sight (visual), hearing ( auditory), touch (kinaesthetic), taste (gustatory) and smell (olfactory).

Compare the following simple examples:

- “I understand” (Sensory neutral)

- “I see what you mean” (Visual language)

- “That strikes a chord with me” (Auditory / Kinaesthetic language)

- “I like the sound of that.”

- “I immediately grasped his meaning” (Kinaesthetic language)


Paint Pictures

Painting sensory rich word pictures can help our audience see, hear and feel what we are talking about.
Here is the script I helped one of our smaller clients, a hard landscaping contractor create.

“We are creators of beautiful outside spaces for both domestic and commercial customers.

"We work with homeowners and organisations alike who are fed up with the view from the kitchen window and tired of avoiding the potholes in their crumbling driveways. We help our clients realise their dreams for the green spaces around their homes and for organisations we create an inviting and inclusive environment for their staff and clients.

We ensure that our clients get genuine pleasure from their garden, making it a joy to come home, even on those soggy autumn days.”

I am sure you will agree it paints a series of vivid and engaging images in a few words.

I’m sure you get the picture. You are probably saying to yourself, “How can I use rich sensory language to paint compelling word pictures that will get my clients hearts beating faster so that they are itching to pick up the phone or click on a web link?

All it takes is a little bit of thought and practice.


Gavin Meikle is the owner of inter-activ learning and development, a Southampton based consultancy specialising in effective face to face interpersonal communication and presentations. He can be contacted at gmeikle@inter-activ.co.uk or by phone on 07810 645309.


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