12 - Learning Styles
You may have felt at some point in school that you didn’t understand something or you “didn’t get it” be cause it was not being presented in a way that “made sense” to you. You might say to yourself – “Why can’t they use a picture”? or “Just let me try it – If I can do it then it will make sense to me.”
Our learning style impacts our ability to comprehend and understand the messages and meaning we are being presented. There are many different learning styles and as a speaker it is important to remember that in order to succeed with your audience of listeners you may need to know how they learn.
Some of the different types of learners are:
Aural/Auditory/Hearing Learners tend to learn better by listening to material
Visual Learners tend to learn better by seeing the information and material, seeing pictures/images
Tactile Learners tend to learn better by doing – hands on.
“Whole” Learners tend to use all of the above to process and understand messages and meaning.
In addition to these types of learners our brain processes information differently.
Right brain processors tend to view the world globally, from the whole picture, visually.
Left brain processors tend to be linear thinkers, information in sequence, in order, list makers.
Whole brain processors use both sides of our brain when necessary to make decisions, process information.
As speech builders/makers we must be aware of these different styles of learning and processing in our listeners. Use a variety of methods to present your ideas to help each audience member comprehend and understand your message and meaning. For example, use your voice, use visual aids, have the audience interact and participate when appropriate to tap into the many different approaches of learning and you will be more successful in your speech.