How to Identify a Highly “Visual” Person

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Somewhere between 40%-55% of people have there primary learning style based on visual sensory input. Some studies have revealed 40%, some 50% and others up to 55%. The important point here is that this represents on average every second person you encounter.

So … what specifically is important to them?

People that greatly depend on visual information typically place a high level of importance on what they see and what things look like. They will take notice your new glasses, new clothes or your latest hair cut. These are the people who really do form long lasting first impressions at first sight. They are very good spellers and memorize by seeing pictures. They can often maintain focus even when there are potentially distracting noises around them.

Often they learn by looking at the world through visual images and understand by making pictures of the meaning. They are often gazing over your head or off to one side; this is because they are literally looking at the pictures or movies they are creating while you are speaking.

They need to see the presenter’s body language and facial expression to fully understand the content of the discussion and tend to prefer sitting as close as possible to the presenter to avoid visual obstructions. They may learn best from visual displays including: diagrams, illustrations, PowerPoint slide shows, videos, flipcharts and hand-outs.  During a meeting or discussion, visual learners often prefer to take detailed notes to absorb the information by seeing it on paper.

The key here is to be the observer (yes … it’s your turn to go visual). If you pick up on the visual learner’s non-verbal commnication, you have the opportunity to work with it and communicate with them in a way that engages and gets win-win results.

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Effective Communication: Serious vs. Funny

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Effective communication can be achieved in a serious, formal, funny or informal way.

Check out this video and have a think about what style suits you best.

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The 3 Types of Effective Communication

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There was a very interesting study completed by Dr. Ray Birdwhistle at the University of Pennsylvania in the early 1970s. After many years experience in the field of communication, Dr. Birdwhistle initiated a study to determine how we as human beings communicate with each other.

At the end of his study Dr. Birdwhistle and his researchers concluded that only 7% of communication between people has to do with the actual content of the words that are being said. The remaining 93% of our communication comes from everything else we are doing while we are saying the words. “Everything else” here refers to the tempo, pitch, volume, and timbre of our voice, as well as our communication through our body language.

So this means interpersonal communication is more than just words. In fact effective inter-personal communication that develops rapport with other people is in fact more than 13 times that of just the words people communicate.

Based on Dr. Birdwhistle’s studies, the following table reveals the percentages of effective communication in each of the 3 types and examples of each:

% Communication Types Attributes
7% Words Questions, pacing and leading, responsive words and phrases
38% Vocals Tonality or tone, voice speed, voice loudness, voice quality (timbre), pausing between words/phases
55% Body Language Postures, signals, gestures, breathing and energy
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