Perceptual Modes Defined

What are perceptual modes?

Within human nature are modes of perception. According to the work of Bandler and Grinder it has been discovered humans have three modes but only one is dominant at any given time. Also only one is preferred. People generally think and process information within these systems.

I see, I hear you, I feel I understand.

They areā€¦

    Visual modes, generating visual images identified by expressions like 'I see' or 'it looks like....' The words are indicating a visual mode of perception. Body language demonstrating this mode would be looking something over. This mode involves the visual senses.

    Tactile modes, having feelings or intuitive thinking identified by expressions like 'I feel' and body language indicative of a dominant tactile sense. The touchy feely body language often accompanies this mode. Even the expression, 'it feels like..' used in the context of conversation.

    Audio modes, talking to them selves (could be silently) and hearing sounds. 'I hear you' would be the identifier. Body language would include tilting the head to turn an ear toward the source of conversation.

The goal of a public speaker is to reach all three. Without knowing what the dominant mode of the majority of the audience, the only option is to reach out to all.


When parts of the talk deals with things that are more visual in nature, use the words see, imagine, in your minds eye, and so forth.

When topics or thoughts deal with sounds, use words like hear, sounds like, the sound of and others.

When dealing with the visceral, use words like feel and even include gestures related to feeling.

As a bonus, when you can, use all three. The wind for instance allows for this and more.

In addition to feeling the wind, hearing the sound it makes, and seeing the power it has, you can also smell the dust it stirs up.

Even smell is a perceptual mode, other wise how would we know that something is rotten in the State of Denmark.

How Can You Put this to Work?

Would you like to improve your ability to connect with your audience, even if it is only an audience of one?

Your Communication Style will further your ability to master perceptual and master communication.

The Audience Home Page More audience topics and information.

Rapport Home: The Public Speaking Website

Lets Connect View Jonathan Steele RN Holistic Nurse's profile on LinkedIn
Lets Connect View Jonathan Steele RN Holistic Nurse's profile on LinkedIn
Better Public Speaking Tips

How Much Water You Drink Can Affect Your Performance!

Click Here Discover The Science of How Much We Need to Drink and The
5 Rights of Proper Hydration

Water Cures Protocol