Listening with closed caption

Wouldn’t it would be great to have words streaming so if you missed something you could catch in on the closed caption? We all know that is impossible, but there is another listening skill that gives a similar result. There are visual  and audio clues that a person is often completely unaware of when speaking. You can become adept at reading these clues and listening will become easier.

Audio Clues


Listen to the pace of the speaker. There are may be bursts of faster speech. It may slow as the speaker becomes more reflective. Pace is very telling and gives clues to tone and intent.


A good way to practice learning to recognize intonation is to take random words and saying them different ways. For example, say the word “hamburger” with an excited voice, sing it, use a silly voice, an angry voice, a happy voice, a nervous voice and a sad voice. It is amazing how intonation changes the effect of a simple word.


Not everyone is the same. Some people speak louder when they are exaggerating, while others get softer when the facts are skewed. If you take the cues from body language and volume the picture becomes clear rather quickly.

The pause

Each speaker has a specific rhythm. Once you listen and have the rhythm down, you will recognize pauses in odd places. You will be able to identify if the person is using a pause for dramatic effect, if they are searching for a word, or if they are just reflecting.

In the beginning you may feel like there are more possibilities than answers. However, with practice listening becomes easier. Auditory cues are a big part of being an effective listener.

Stay tuned for more tips on sharpening your listening skills.


4 thoughts on “Listening with closed caption

  1. This was such a good article. You gave “listeners” permission to not hear everything while you sneakily told them to pay attention to the speakers. 🙂 love it! I also love how you explain the speaker’s pace and volume can signal emotion. Body language can play a part for signals, as well. Great information; thanks for sharing!

  2. Well, you knew the body language was coming in a future post. Thanks for the encouragement, I really appreciate that someone read it!

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