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Use Sensory Language

 

Techniques Public speaking > Speaking Tips > Use Sensory Language

Description | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

Use language that evokes the senses. Paint pictures with words. Talk about and imitate sounds. Discuss taste and smell. Shape things with your body and use concrete and tactile words.

Sensory language embodies the senses in a metaphorical way within ordinary speech. Mix the use of different senses so you get all people on all levels. Be careful not just to stick to the senses that you prefer.

Example

  • Visual language
    • That looks good
    • See what I mean?
    • You appear interested
  • Auditory language
    • I hear you
    • That sounds about right
    • He's a loud character
  • Tactile language
    • She grates on my nerves
    • I was thrown by that comment
    • That feels like a good idea
  • Taste language
    • What a yummy idea
    • You're so sweet
    • That's hard to swallow
  • Olefactory language
    • Something smells wrong
    • That's a noxious idea
    • She's quite fragrant

Discussion

People tend to have more of a preference for some senses and less for others, so if you do not know their preferences (as with large audience), appealing to a mixture of senses is often best.

Sensory language is so common, most people do not realize it is being used, which can make it quite a subtle ploy in talking with others, both on the speaking platform and in everyday life.

See also

Sensory language

 

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