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Language Softeners To Soften Your Speech [Examples]

Language Softeners To Soften Your Speech [Examples]

Do you talk quite loudly or harshly? And are you afraid that you will come across too harsh? There is a handy technique that makes your voice appear extra soft: language softeners. This allows you to ask any questions you want with confidence. In this article you will learn everything about language softeners.

A loud voice is immediately softened when you use better words

Did you know that your choice of words has a huge influence on the harshness or softness of your voice? With the tips from this article you can immediately soften your voice by using softer words. You will notice that your voice volume will also automatically decrease.

Language softeners for questions: combat ‘interview mode’

You will have to regularly ask questions to obtain useful information and insights, for example when you use the Meta Model or when you ask other coaching questions. A conversation at that point can quickly lead to the ‘interrogation syndrome’.

The solution: language softeners. They are useful in interviews or in action-oriented coaching and they ensure that you will not lose the hypnotic rapport . You can use language softeners when asking questions or to make your ideas and leadership less harsh.

all techniques to make your voice appear softer with language softeners

Below you will find all language softener techniques:

  • Make a statement before asking a question. A good one would be: “That sounds like a difficult situation. How did it all happen? ”
  • You can also turn the question into a statement itself, to avoid a literal question: “That sounds like a difficult situation. Tell me how it all happened. ”
  • Even softer: “I wonder what that means.”
  • “I am curious, what has happened?”
  • “I wonder, what has happened?”
  • “What interests me is …”
  • “What I also like to know is …”
  • Instead of saying “why,” say, “What inspired you to … do?”
  • “Would you…”
    For example, “Could you (point your arm) look there for a moment? Thanks. ”“ It doesn’t look like a command, but it is.
  • The word ‘imagine’ (the what if frame) in combination with “Would you …”: Could you imagine that …
  • “You’d…”
  • “Perhaps…”
  • “If I understand correctly…”
  • “I invite you to …”
  • First, explain why you are going to ask the question: “Just to understand you better, …”
  • I wonder what kind of work you do.
  • If I may ask: what kind of work do you do?
  • I am curious about the relationship with your mother.
  • We need to find out how long this problem has been going on.
  • I’m not sure how you’re going to fix this.

In addition to the language softeners, you can also counter the interrogation syndrome in another way: with assertiveness! The fact is that when you ask your questions congruently, sincerely and calmly (like an authoritarian person), you create a nice rapport bubble. The interrogation syndrome only becomes painfully clear when the coach asks questions for the purpose of asking questions and “because it has to be for the exercise.”

Language softeners for giving instructions

technical interview

Language softeners for encouragement

Use language softeners for encouragement so that you can easily emphasize the encouragement part without making the client feel overwhelmed by that encouragement part.

I do not know if…

  • I don’t know if you will find this interesting.
  • I’m not sure you’re going to realize how important this is.
  • I’m not sure if… could.
  • I really don’t know how fast you …

It’s not important…

The client is not going to resist it because it is not important. How would you feel if you heard from someone, “We need to talk, there is something very important that we need to discuss.” Or, “We have to talk.” Then you probably get a heavy feeling and you look up to it. So say in advance that it is not important.

  • It is really not important whether you are going to get an 8, 9 or a 10 tomorrow. It really doesn’t matter which of the three it will be.
  • As you sit and look at me, becoming aware of the fact that there is something you really want to learn today, it is not important that you go in and discover it in a way that feels absolutely natural, powerful and good for you.

It doesn’t matter if

  • It really doesn’t matter whether you come to my theater performance tomorrow or the day after tomorrow.

I wonder

  • if you already realize how much more subtle your conversations are becoming!
  • And I wonder how soon you are going to start learning in these new ways that you now know.
  • And I wonder which of those new things you’ve learned you will experience first.
  • I wonder how easily you can do this.
  • I wonder which of these things are you going to choose first?

I am curious about how soon

  • I am curious about how quickly you will experience that your creativity is growing.

I don’t know but maybe

  • I don’t know but maybe you can start using this method.

I’m not suggesting this … {suggestion}

  • I’m not suggesting this at all … {Post the suggestion}. So I am not suggesting that. But you can certainly experience it …

More language softeners

  • Perhaps…
  • Possibly …
  • Maybe you want to relax now …
  • You may already feel that you can speak with impact, that you can start using these tips. And maybe you are now thinking of {future pace} and {other learned technique}.
  • ‘Follow and lead’ is also a form of softening: ‘If I understand correctly you say x, x and x. Could you also imagine that … ‘
  • Finally, the wonder question (‘what if’ technique) also serves as a very suitable language softener.

The modal operator of possibility as a language softener

In the Milton Model, consider the modal operator of possibility.

  • Possibly …
  • Would …
  • You could relax yourself …

Presuppositions as a language softener

Finally, you can also use the technique of ‘ presuppositions ‘ to appear less authoritarian, just as with language softeners. Consider, for example, the conversation postulate technique.

Those were all softeners. Good luck softening your voice!

About The Author


Hello! Thanks for reading these articles. My intention is to make happiness as simple and clear as posssible. By the way, excuse my English. I am not a native English speaker since I live in Amsterdam. Much appreciated if you use the comments to make suggestions on my grammar. See ya in another blogpost!