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Essential Speaking Skills
All about the art of public speaking.

Chapter 5 : Rapport

First, I would like to explain rapport. Rapport is the process of making an unconscious connection. One of the ways of making this unconscious connection is called pacing. The first thing about pacing is noticing the other person’s behaviour. Pacing is the process of stepping into the behaviour of the person you want rapport with. Pacing is actually more than that. It is a way to make contact, and then lead the other person into the states that you want them in.

When pacing and getting rapport you're using the process that is commonly known as mirroring. You can mirror on many different levels. One of the most common ways of mirroring is something that we do all the time. For instance, we dress a certain way when we go to work. Some offices require that we wear suits. If you were to wear a suit to a construction site you would have what we call disrapport.

Another level is that we adjust our language and manners to be appropriate for whatever occasion we are attending. To use the manners that you would you use at a fine dining restaurant simplify would not fit if you were at a cook out. We also adjust our language. Any man will tell you that he does not talk the same in front of a woman that he's trying to impress as he does when talking to his friends on poker night.

There are several aspects I will go into so you’ll gather an understanding of the different methods of getting rapport. The reason that I have written this out is that you want to have the conscious information so that you can review and practice what you have already learned unconsciously.

The one thing that I want you to realize is that mirroring and matching the behaviour of the people around you is a completely natural act. It is something that you have been doing since birth. It is the way that you learned to talk. It is the way that you learned to walk, There are so many things that you learned as a child by simply mimicking the behaviours of your parents, siblings and friends.

In the pages that follow I would like you to read a section of it at a time. Then take that exercise, try it out, and see what kind of results to get. I want you to realize that any one of these things will be effective but using them all in combination will build a strong unconscious rapport that will allow you to pace and move people into the states that you want them in.

Whole body matching Is where you adjust your body to do se to the same stance and posture of the other person. I want to emphasize that this does not mean to exactly mimic the posture and position of the person's body that you are getting rapport with. What it means is to have your posture and stance similar. For instance, if you’re sitting in a chair across from a person you want rapport with and they have their legs crossed at the knee, you can cross yours at the ankle. That is what I mean by similar.

I want to warn you that if you mimic someone exactly they are going to catch you. They may also think you’re just a little strange. Also, if the position of the other person changes, you can adjust your position. Just allow enough time between when they move and you move. The key here 15 to avoid making choppy erratic movements when shifting your body to match theirs. When moving from one position to the other make sure that you move in the most natural way you can.

Cross matching is where you can match the other persons posture stance or gestures by doing them with the opposite part of your body. For instance if someone crosses their legs you can cross your arms. They are tapping their foot you could tap your finger. This Is a great way to covertly match somebody's body. The best part about it is that it indirectly matches something that the other person is probably not conscious of it anyway.

All of us have movements or gestures that to us are habits. Whether it is the way we move our hands while we talk or the way we lean forward when we make a point. Take the time to notice the other person's gestures and work them into your own natural gestures. Let me give you an example. ~ talking to someone and I notice for instance that when they offer a new idea that they gesture with their hand forward and their palm open facing up. When I talk to them and offer them a new idea, I will offer it with my hand forward and my palm facing up.

The real art of doing this is to minimize the movement that they offer you. The effect will still be as strong. The best part is that you will not appear that you are trying to copy them. It will seem as if it is your own natural gesture.

Part matching occurs when you're only matching one particular part of the body. For instance, if you were to just match the rate someone blinks. The idea of part matching is to match one particular repetitive movement of only one part of the body. This can be something as simple as licking your lips.

Another aspect of part matching is matching the angle someone holds her head and shoulders. I realize this is a lot like matching someone 5 posture, but when someone's sitting down the only part you might see is their head and shoulders. Also this is an aspect that most people are not consciously aware of I'm sure that you hold your head and shoulders on a particular angle depending on the context of your conversation. This is something that you just cannot see. Everyone else can.

Matching facial expressions is also outside of the conscious awareness of the person that you are pacing. I think it is pretty simple to explain that most people cannot see their own face while they're talking. So mirroring the expressions is one of my favourites. You’ll also notice that a person's facial expressions will change depending upon the state that they are in. You can lead someone into a difference state just by using the expression that they use when they are in that state.

Pacing someone's breathing is probably the easiest way to build unconscious rapport. First of all even as you read this you're not consciously aware of the rate that you are breathing. I personally like to pace the things that are outside their conscious awareness. I like the idea that it Is completely covert. Think about it, you have to assume that everybody breathes.

What are they going to do, notice that you're breathing? Even if they do, so what. Everybody breathes. I’ve heard some people say that they have a really hard time detecting the rate that somebody else Is breathing. One of the problems seems to be that most people stare at the chest to detect the rate of breathing. This becomes most troubling when you're trying to get rapport with a woman.
Staring at the woman's chest might not be seen as just an attempt to get rapport.
What I have done instead is to decide to lead the breathing. Notice if you walk up to somebody and take a deep breath they will follow you. Then you get to dictate the rate of breathing.

To there are three main aspects of vocal pacing. To use any of these requires that you do one very important thing... Listen
This requires matching and pacing the qualities of someone's voice. There are several qualities you will want to match in order to get rapport. Tone, intensity, tempo, and volume are just four of the main qualities that I look for when pacing someone s voice.
When pacing somebody's tone of voice, you just want to adjust your voice slightly towards his or her tone.

If you meet somebody with a high squeaky voice and you mimic their voice, they may think you are making fun of them. What you want to do is take your normal voice and raise it just a little higher towards theirs. It seems that everyone speaks with just a little bit different intensity. If you meet someone who has a very laidback flower child intensity and you attempt talk to them in a Jack Nicholson intensity you might just a bow them out of the water.
What can I say about tempo? The one thing that I have noticed Is that there are very few people from New York that are married to people from the South. I think a lot of this has to do the fact that the average person from the South can only understand about every third word someone from New York speaks. On the other hand someone from New York would either fall asleep or die of boredom while waiting for one sentence to come out of a softener’s mouth. Matching tempo is very important. It IS also one of the easiest things to adjust.’

While I don't think its a really good idea for two people who talk softly to live a conversation in a bar I still think that having one person yell would break rapport. So, it is best to match approximately the volume of the person your speaking with.

One of the things you will notice when talking to someone is that there are particular words or phrases that they will repeat. They will say the same words and phrases in many different contexts. If you’ll notice these words and phrases and use them in your conversation with them, you’ I be able to get deep rapport. It will seem as if you understand them.

Most people use one dominant modality to express themselves in conversation. The three basic modalities are visual, auditory and kinesthetic. The key here Is to speak to them in the modalities they offer you.
For instance:
Visual: Everything seems so clear to me.
Auditory: That idea has a nice ring to it
Kinesthetic: You seem like a warm caring person.
One of the things I like to do if I have the opportunity Is to ask about someone’s last vacation. Then I listen to the way that they describe it. What you'll notice 15 that they will describe their vacation in the modality that Is their primary modality.
These are just some of a ways you can consciously mirror and get rapport. Any one oft hese will be effective in allowing you to establish rapport. Any two of these will get you strong rapport. The real art of pacing, establishing and maintaining rapport 15 to be able to do all of these at the same time. This is something more easily done at the unconscious level. The more you practice the more you will be able to simultaneously be able to do all of these things.
If you know NLP, hypnosis or self-hypnosis they will be easier for you to move these conscious skills into an unconscious tool.
The one thing that I would caution you about Is mirroring any person who has any type of illness. To get rapport with someone, who has some type of illness, stick to verbal pacing.


Exercise: pond – widening peripheal field
Imagine your visual field as if it were a pond. Now focus your vision in the middle of your visual field. Now you realize that if we throw a stone into the middle of the pond that waves move out in perfect circles away from the where the stone landed. I want you to imagine your entire visual field is like the surface of calm pond. Toss a pebble into the centre of the pond and notice the waves expanding in all directions. As they move out from the centre allow your field of vision to expand with it. I want you follow it all the way to the edges of what you perceive. What you might notice Is that your field of vision expands. You'll begin to notice the things that are almost on the edges of your peripheral vision. You also notice that this doesn’t just work horizontality. This also works to widen your visual field vertically.

I realize this is simple little exercise but what's behind it is something more important. Behind this Is the ability to take in all of the information in any given situation. It is not only good for gaining rapport Is also a pretty good survival skill.

Exercise: Mirroring
With this one, find somebody to work with. Then I want to break this into three parts.
First I want you to watch the person your working with, using your whole visual field. f want you to say out loud what you notice. If you notice their eyes blink say so. If they twitch say so. When they shift their weight say so. Anything that you notice I want you to verbally say.
Second, I want you to exactly mirror them. Whenever they move any body part I want to move to match it. I want you to begin to notice all the minor movements that you're not normality aware of I also want you to begin to notice the whole body. From the top of the head to the bottom of the toes, and from one fingertip to the other. Begin to use your field of vision to detect things that you're not staring directly at.

Third, I want you to do the same thing only I want you to cut your mirroring in half Every movement they make, I want you to follow it with half of their movement. This Is what I call micro-mirroring. I have found it to be just as effective.

Exercise: Verbal mirroring
In this exercise find somebody to work with who speaks much differently than you do. I want person A to say one sentence. I want person B to notice the tempo, inflection, accent, and vocabulary of person A. I also want you to notice what primary modality they speak with. Then I want person A to say any other sentence but have it reflect accent, inflection, tempo, modality, and vocabulary of person B.
Practice that several times until you have it right. Then do it all again only cut the mirroring in half I want you to get to where you really listen to what other people are saying.


“Chapter 5 : Rapport”