Aural Strategies


listening, discussing, talking, questioning, recalling


This preference is for information that is spoken or heard. Making statements and using questions are important for those with this preference.

People with an Aural preference prefer:

  • to talk things over, even if you have not got things sorted out.
  • Holding the floor” – but remember your talk often goes in different directions and may lack structure.
  • to explain things by talking.
  • putting forward a case – for and against.
  • to learn from the ideas of others and from what they say about your ideas.
  • debates and arguments and “deep” discussions.
  • to listen to those who know a lot and who have authority.
  • inserting witty comments.
  • using different voices to emphasize things.
  • putting forward your own point of view.
To take in information:
  • Join or set up discussion groups. Discuss topics with others. Argue your case.
  • Comment on ideas as soon as you get an opportunity. Repeat information to others and use your voice to show your emphasis.
  • Explain new ideas to other people. Check out their ideas with yours.
  • Listen to your own self-talk, and have conversations with yourself.
  • Use voice recorders, and listen to podcasts.
  • Shift any pictures and graphs into talk and chat.
  • Pay attention when others are speaking. You sometimes pretend to listen while preparing your response.
To present information to others:
  • Listen and talk, but also learn the best times to do each of these.
  • Find others who like to listen and talk.
  • Join online chat and discussion groups and make your contributions; use email, blogs, and Twitter to chat with others.
  • Use your mobile phone for conversations.
  • Realize that others can sometimes improve on what you say.
  • Be aware that others may NOT have an Aural preference like you, so respect their differences. Find out the preferences of those you are presenting to, and learn to be multimodal and deliver something in their preferred modes.

In Education:

  • Convert your notes into a learnable package by reducing them into memorable ways for you to recall (three pages down to one page).
  • Your notes may be poor because you prefer to listen rather than take notes. You will need to expand your notes by talking with others and collecting notes from other sources. Leave spaces in your notes for later recall and ‘filling’.
  • Read your summarized notes aloud.
  • Explain your notes to another person with an Aural preference; ask others to “hear” your understanding of a topic.
  • Record your summarized notes and listen to them.
  • Attend classes, discussions, and tutorials.
  • Discuss topics with your teachers and other students. Explain new ideas to other people.
  • Remember interesting spoken examples, stories, jokes…

You may have to present information in a written format. For those occasions, practice:

  • Recalling what was said and what you heard.
  • Turning your recordings into written words.
  • Explaining your own ideas in written form.
  • Imagine talking with the examiner.
  • Listen to your “voices” and write them down.
  • Spend time in quiet places recalling the ideas.
  • Practice writing answers to old assessment questions.

In the Workplace:

  • Get your questions answered by consultants, facilitators, and leaders who have genuine authority.
  • Participate in discussion sessions, whether workshops, meetings, training, or information sharing. Turn up to coffee breaks and water-cooler conversations.
  • Seek online talk about your area of expertise – podcasts and other oral sessions.
  • Attend live training sessions where you can present any findings and report back orally.
  • Read any written notes out loud and allow for colleagues’ questions and re-statements.
  • Respect others’ views by allowing them to speak first. Sometimes silence is best – somebody else may say it better than what you were going to say.

Your Quote: “Those who speak well hold the key to leadership.”

Your Style: You prefer to have this page explained to you. The written words are not as valuable as those you hear. You will probably go and tell somebody about this.

Your Leadership: is based on meetings, discussions and emailed or phoned instructions. “Let’s exchange some ideas and work towards a shared understanding of the issues.”

Feedback: is based on discussions and a chance to collect oral feedback or make your case as well as to listen, question, and respond.