Representational Systems

One of our major and easily recognizable unconscious patterns is Representational System. It is how to code information through our 5 senses: sight (Visual), sound (Auditory), feel (Kinaesthetic), smell (Olfactory), taste (Gustatory). Although we use the 5 senses all the time, we have a Preferred, or Primary Representational Systems.

In our studies we mainly cover Visual, Auditory, Kinaesthetic, plus “ID” (Internal Dialogue), which describes someone whose “Self Talk” is stronger than other senses.

Here’s the Secret:  If we provide information that fits the primary representation system of others, it will be much easier for people to agree on us, reach a consensus, and feel like you are “with them”.

How do you do that? – By using their words and “speaking their language”! 

For a primarily Visual client, you can say: “Let me give you a picture how this product can improve your results.”

For a primarily Auditory client, you can say: “Would you like to hear about how this product can improve your results?”

For a primarily Kinaesthetic client, you can say: “Why don’t you try this product for yourself so you can feel its benefit? “

For a primarily ID (Internal Dialogue) client, you can say, “Let me help you understand why this product is beneficial for you.”

In overall population, roughly 40% are primarily Visual, 40% are Kinaesthetic, and 20% for Auditory and ID combined.

So how do you know what’s the other person’s Primary Representational System? – By observing and paying attention to the words they like to use.

How to tell if someone is a primarily Visual person and Words to use to influence them:


Visual people often stand or sit with their heads and bodies erect, chin up. They tend to breath from the top of their lungs. They often sit forward in their chair.


Visual people tend to be organized, neat, well groomed and orderly.


They memorise by seeing picture and are less distracted by noise. They often have trouble remembering verbal instructions. A visual person will be interested in how things look. Appearances are important to them.

The words they tend use (and therefore the same you should use when trying to influence them):

appear, attractive, colourful, dark, flash, focus, foresee, illuminate, imagine, picture, preview, see, show, sight, sparkle, view, visualise, vivid, watch,

bird’s eye view, eye to eye, perspective, scope, in light of, in view of, make a scene, minds eye, paint a picture

angel, blank, bright, blurry, cinema, clear, contrast, glance, highlight, look, look out, observe, obscure, obvious, outlook, overview, shine, screen, video…

How to tell if someone is a primarily Auditory person and Words to use to influence them:

They typically breath from the middle of their chest. They often talk to themselves, and are easily distracted by noises. Some may move their lips when they talk to themselves. They can repeat things back to you easily. They learn by listening and usually like music and talking on the phone. Their tone of voice is somewhat melodic, depending on the topic. They memorise by steps, procedures and sequences. The auditory person likes to be told how they are doing, and responds to a certain tone of voice or set of words. They will be interested in what you have to say.

The words they tend use (and therefore the same you should use when trying to influence them):

announce, answer, argue, ask, call, cheer, complain, cry, discuss, explain, hear, inquire, listen, loud, mention, noisy, outspoken, question, quiet, request, shout, sigh, sing, talk, tell, vocal, yell

be all ears, be heard, outspoken, purrs like a kitten, rings a bell, to tell the truth, tongue tied, tune in, tune out, unheard of,

accents, alarm, amplify, audible, chord, dialogue, echo, hum, howl, melody, murmur, music, nag, octave, purr, question, ring, roar, rhythm, say, scream, song, sound speak, speech, telephone, thunder, voice, whisper

How to tell if someone is a primarily Kinaesthetic person and Words to use to influence them:

They typically breathe from the bottom of their lungs. You may see their stomach go in and out when they breath. They often move and talk very slowly. They respond to physical rewards and touching. They also stand closer to people than a visual person does. they memorise by doing or walking through something. They will be interested in how things feel, both physically and emotionally.

The words they tend use (and therefore the same you should use when trying to influence them):

comfortable, concrete, exciting, feel, firm, fits, force, grab, grasp, hard, hold, hurt, irritate, pressure, run, smooth, soft, sweep, tremble, twist, warm, weigh, wash, work

boils down to, connect with, control yourself, cool/warm, get a hold of, get in touch with, hand in hand, hands on, hang in there, heated argument, pain in the neck,

affectionate, affirm, breathe, bump, catch, compassion, confused, connection, confused, contact, cool, creepy, excited, feel, fill, grab, happy, heavy, high, hot, incline, lazy, location, mass, motion, pain, push, relief, sharp, soft, spin, strike, tender, temperature, tense, texture, touch, tough, wet

How to tell if someone is a primarily ID person and Words to use to influence them:

The Internal Dialogue person will spend a fair amount of time talking to themselves. They will want to know if things “make sense”. The internal dialogue person can exhibit characteristics of one of the other major representational systems.

The words they tend use (and therefore the same you should use when trying to influence them):

change, conceive, consider, decide, distinct, know, learn, motivate, perceive, process, sense, think, understand, generally, A-B-C, 1st 2nd 3rd, categorise, sum it up, computes, guess, to the point, solutions

advice, analyse, believe, calculate, complete, compute, experience, figure out, logical, make sense, next, order, question, reason, remember, without a doubt

Usually people tend to know what their primary representational system is.  You can also take a test if you want to find out for sure.