Learn how to Paraphrase
and you'll never be lost for words!

Paraphrasing - A key communication skill

  • What is it about learning how to paraphrase that can really make the difference to the outcome of a conversation?
  • Is paraphrasing the key to gaining clarity from EVERY conversation you have?
  • Will learning how to paraphrase really make the difference for YOU when it comes to knowing what to say when you communicate in your business with prospects, customers and business partners?

So let's explore this concept of paraphrasing a little further.

Have you ever wondered why it is that some people just seem to have "the gift of the gab"? We all know people like that right! They just seem to have this incredible flair for conversation and others are drawn to them like steel to a magnet.

Not only do they often seem to be the person that people are drawn to in a social and business settings, but they seem to have this uncanny knack of being able to open up the communication process in such a way that they have the most introverted people wanting to talk to them!

What exactly is it they are doing?

Have you ever analyzed their communication style and techniques? There might be some clues here………

Clearly people who "shine" when they are engaged in conversation with others are using a range of effective communication skills.  

Mostly I would say they have honed their communication skills to such a level that it all comes very naturally to them and has become an integral part of what they do almost instinctively when they are communicating.

Effective questioning 
 and listening skills  are very important communication skills that can make a huge difference to the outcome of any conversation.

Similarly, learning how to paraphrase is equally important and an extremely effective tool when it comes to really understanding what the person you are communicating with has to say.

So many conversations can go in completely the wrong direction or end in misunderstandings because the "Receiver" of the information has simply misunderstood what the "Giver" of the information was really saying. Learning how to paraphrase can be a life saver when it comes to GAINING CLARITY from EVERY CONVERSATION!

In your network marketing business, or any business for that matter, building relationships through effective communication is imperative.

Effective communication helps you to build trust and people do business with the people they trust.

'MUST HAVE' Communication Skills

It is critical that you learn how to be an effective communicator by developing a range of skills such as:

  • learning how to paraphrase

So let's look at how learning how to paraphrase fits in to this list of "MUST HAVE SKILLS" when it comes to communicating effectively in your network marketing business. 

Have you ever been lost for words when you are talking to a potential customer or business partner?

Have you ever wondered "What will I say now"?

Have you ever felt you lost your connection with your prospect simply because you didn't know how to fill those pregnant pauses?

Have you ever wondered how you can get your prospects eager to talk to you?

Well, have I got some good news for you!

Learning "How to Paraphrase" will stop those conversation "Dead Ends" and you'll never be lost for words again!

Learning how to paraphrase is an incredibly simple yet highly effective communication skill you MUST develop!

Once you learn how to paraphrase you'll wonder how you ever got along without it………and you'll find yourself doing it instinctively!

So let's get to the heart of the matter………

What is Paraphrasing? 


Paraphrasing is a question that is designed to clarify the listeners understanding.

It is a question that helps the listener

or in other words the Receiver of the information

to be very clear about what the Giver of the information is:


Thinking, or


In other words………

  • Paraphrasing is an opportunity in the conversation for you as the listener/receiver of the information to check your perception of what has been said to make sure there are no misunderstandings and that you have the facts, feelings and/or opinions that have been communicated, very clear.
  • By paraphrasing what has been said you are simply checking backwith the person you are talking to so you can evaluate your understanding of what they have said and therefore make sure you are both "on the same page".
  • Paraphrasing also allows you the opportunity to encourage further dialogue with your conversation partner. By checking your perception of the facts, feelings and/or opinions that have just been expressed you provide the giver of the information the opportunity to clarify and expand on what they have been telling you. So if you feel that your conversation has come to a dead end, try paraphrasing what has just been said and see what happens………you'll be very pleasantly surprised!

Why Paraphrase?

In your network marketing business it is crucial that you get to know your prospects, customers and business partners as well as you can in order to build long term trusting relationships. Learning how to paraphrase and integrate this skill into your communication will go a long way to assisting you to do this.

As a network marketing business owner it is extremely important that in all your communication you:

  • Have a clear and accurate understanding of all the facts so that you do not allow these facts to be affected by assumption and value judgment
  • Are not mislead by information that may be ambiguous or misconstrued in some way
  • Understand clearly any feelings or opinions being expressed so you can respond appropriately

So let's get down to business here……...

What does a Paraphrase look like?

I hear you asking:

  • How will I know a paraphrase if I fall over it?
  • How about you show me some examples of paraphrasing so I know exactly what I'm looking for?

Here are some examples of paraphrasing………examples that you might come across anywhere but also could be quite relevant in a conversation about network marketing.

Take a peak at these and see what you think………

  • So what you're saying is that you don't think it should have been approached like that?"
  • Are you saying you've tried a ton of training programs but none of them have met your needs?
  • So you seem a bit unsure that this particular solution would have the outcome you're looking for?
  • So you think that you would feel a lot more secure if you were shown how to do this?
  • So what you're saying is the directions must be followed closely to ensure mistakes are not made?
  • So you seem a bit worried about that?
  • So what you're saying is that this experience made you really happy?

Etc, etc, etc………

What's a Good Paraphrase?

So what makes these statements paraphrases in the first place and what in fact represents a good paraphrase?

Here are the criteria for a good paraphrase - learn, practice and apply these 3 KEY points and you will learn how to paraphrase in all your conversations.

  • Each paraphrase is phrased as a CLOSED question - in other words it can be answered with a "Yes" or "No" answer
  • Each paraphrase starts with a prefix - e.g. "So what your saying is", "Are you saying", "So you seem", "So you think that", "So what you're saying is", "So you feel that", "Ah, so it's…..", "It sounds like", "So………", etc, etc………
  • The prefix is followed by a re-statement of what has just been said by the speaker and should be no longer than one sentence

So that's it folks………if it doesn't have these 3 Key points, then it ain't a paraphrase I'm afraid!

Let's look at these 3 points in a little more detail.


Each paraphrase is phrased as a CLOSED question. 

Because a paraphrase is essentially an opportunity for the listener to check their perception of what has just been said then it should always be phrased as a closed question because you do actually want a response.

You need to be clear that your perception is in fact correct and the only way to know this is to learn how to paraphrase in such a way that you are asking a question that initially requires a YES or NO response.


Each paraphrase starts with a PREFIX - such as the examples I referred to above.

The prefix is important because this is what ensures you get a response from your question.

It is all about learning, practicing and applying this skill to your day to day conversations. Please don't feel you MUST use one of the prefix examples given here. Just use what sounds natural, genuine and appropriate for your situation and your personality and communication style.

The point is, learn how to paraphrase so you can improve the flow and outcome of your conversations and feel more confident about communicating with your prospects, customers and business partners.


Each paraphrase contains a RE-STATEMENT

The re-statement should be short, no longer than one sentence. You don't want to confuse people with a long re-statement - you'll never get clarification that way. And, you don't want your paraphrase to turn out to be a mini summary!

To be accurate your re-statement must relate back to what has previously been said. For example, "So what you're saying is that this experience made you really happy?"

The prefix is in bold and the RE-STATEMENT is underlined.

Point to NOTE

Paraphrasing can sometimes be referred to as "reflective listening skills" or "reflecting feelings". Once again it is all about building rapport and trust with the people you are communicating with and it doesn't matter if you call it paraphrasing or reflective listening skills, at the end of the day it is a communication skill that is very effective when you use it competently!

Learning how to paraphrase accurately!

Well it is one thing to learn how to paraphrase, but it is quite another to make sure your paraphrases are accurate. That is after all what makes paraphrasing an important communication skill - the fact that you can get clarity from the communication.

This is where good listening skills come into play also. If you are using effective listening skills teamed up with paraphrasing then you have a pretty powerful combination.

There is no point is paraphrasing to gain clarity from a conversation if you haven't listened properly in the first place and your paraphrase is therefore a load of "old rubbish".

You certainly won't have any credibility or earn much respect at all from the person you are communicating with if you just paraphrase for the sake of it and are not really reflecting back to them an accurate snapshot of what they have just told you.

So the KEY to gaining the most from learning how to paraphrase is learn how to do it accurately!

Examples of Paraphrasing

Let me give you an example of paraphrasing accurately and not so accurately:

Example ONE:

Other Person:

"I am really interested in learning more about your wellness products but every time I try to find out more about the products your company is selling I get a different story. I seem to get different information from everyone I speak too. No information is consistent. And then when it comes to the product prices, well I have to say, I'm totally confused - every price list I look at is different. Just to top things off, I don't know who I should be contacting to get accurate information and every time I speak to someone I seem to get conflicting advice………I'm just ready to give up on this completely!"

Possible accurate paraphrases:

  • "Are you saying that you have just not been able to access quality information about the products and the product prices?" (paraphrasing FACT)
  • "So it seems to me that you're incredibly frustrated?" (paraphrasing FEELINGS)
  • "So what you're saying is you think the customer service needs a lot of improvement?" (paraphrasing OPINION)

An inaccurate paraphrase would be:

  • "So you're reasonably happy with the information you have received on our products so far?"
  • "Are you saying you've got a complete breakdown of the products and prices?"

Does this make sense………?

You are certainly not going to get too far with this person if you use any version of inaccurate paraphrase such as the examples I have given here. They will really feel you are not listening to them and certainly don't care about how they feel.

However, on the other hand, if you use any of the accurate paraphrases provided or something similar, what do you think will happen with this conversation?

I think you will find that the person you are communicating with will realize you have really heard their concerns, be they fact, feeling or opinion and that will lead to further conversation and hopefully a favorable outcome for you both.

The big question is this………

If you didn't know how to paraphrase as suggested by these examples and you found yourself living this conversation, would you:

  • Be experiencing one of those dreadful PREGNANT PAUSES?

Learning how to paraphrase will help you manage the communication process with your prospect and have them EAGER to talk to YOU!

Let's look at another example………

Example TWO:

Other Person:

"Well I have spoken with people about network marketing before and quite frankly, I wasn't impressed. It really concerns me that you have to approach your family and friends in this way - what say they're not interested? The last time someone contacted me about getting involved with network marketing they almost knocked down my door! When I answered the door they spewed their spiel all over me and I couldn't get a word in. It didn't matter what I said they just wouldn't get the message - I spent 15 minutes just trying to get them off my doorstep. I could never use those tactics on people I know, or even people I don't know for that matter. It's just not for me and quite frankly I think network marketing should be outlawed!"

Possible accurate paraphrases:

  • "Are you saying that you would never use this kind of hard sell approach in business?" (paraphrasing FACT)
  • "So it seems to me that you're hugely annoyed and almost insulted by the approach used by one particular network marketer?" (paraphrasing FEELINGS)
  • "So what you're saying is you do not agree with the network marketing business model?" (paraphrasing OPINION)

If you use a paraphrase like the examples given or something similar, is your prospect going to want to keep on talking to you? I strongly suspect they will. They will feel heard and their opinions and feelings valued.

So if you learn how to paraphrase in this way you are NOT going to be LOST FOR WORDS and there won't be any PREGNANT PAUSES in your conversations. You will be encouraging further communication and a positive outcome.

An inaccurate paraphrase would be:

  • "So you were reasonably impressed with the approach used by this network marketer?"
  • "Are you saying you'd like to know more about network marketing?"

Hmmmmm………Not going to be the winning any prizes for these responses I suspect!

Key point to Note

You will know whether or not you have paraphrased effectively by the person's response.

If they say "YES" then well done………

You know you have hit the target and 9 times out of 10 this will encourage further discussion.

If they say "NO" then it is a good thing that you paraphrased!

You know that you have not quite understood them and that some further clarification is needed - this is a great opportunity for further discussion.

How to paraphrase and gain clarity from every conversation

In summary here are some general guidelines for how to paraphrase effortlessly so you can gain clarity from every conversation you have in your network marketing business, and personally for that matter.

  • Listen carefully to what is being said and demonstrate the 9 listening behaviors to show that you are really focused on what the person is saying to you
  • Pick out the key facts, underlying feelings or opinions being expressed and choose whichever you think is of most importance to the speaker (sometimes a combination of facts, feelings and opinions may be appropriate to paraphrase together, but remember your paraphrase should only be one sentence)
  • Paraphrase then wait for the response!

Remember, if you learn how to paraphrase you'll never be lost for words and your prospects, customers and business partners will be eager to talk to you!

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