As a speaker, you are a teacher. Each speaker has his or her particular style of delivery, but then so does most of us on the receiving end of their wisdom and messages. Problems often arise when there is a disconnect between the teaching styles of the speaker and the learning style of the audience. As speakers, we must learn to tap into the seven learning styles of an audience to achieve a better connection. When you can read your audience as you speak, and switch between the seven learning styles we all possess, you will make a better connection with your audience. The following are the seven common ways we all learn:
Visual (spatial): Those who prefer using pictures, images, and spatial understanding.
Aural (auditory-musical): Those who prefer using sound and music.
Verbal (linguistic): Those who prefer using words, both in speech and writing.
Physical (kinesthetic): Those who prefer using your body, hands, and sense of touch.
Logical (mathematical): Those who prefer using logic, reasoning, and systems.
Social (interpersonal): Those who prefer to learn in groups or with other people.
Solitary (intrapersonal): Those who prefer to work alone and use self-study.
It is essential to understand that we most likely do not possess one style exclusively in our learning experiences. A visual learner may also be very social and verbal. While speakers may often use their preferred learning style as their primary mode of preparation and delivery, it is crucial to understand the difference in learning styles to maximize their ability to reach and hold the attention of every audience member.
We all listen intently to subjects we are interested in and, often struggle with information in which we hold little or no interest. However, we all process the ability to assimilate information differently based on our personality, and how we interact socially. Our general like or dislike for subject matters that interest us grabs and holds our attention. As speakers, when we can capitalize on the learning style that works best for our audience, we will more often than not, make a better connection with our audience by reading them while we are speaking.
Yes, reading your audience as you speak is important. Your audience also remembers what you were doing when you said what you are saying. That is why your gestures, your vocal variety, and your silence is so important when you are on the platform. You will know when you are making a connection with individuals in your audience. That smile, that nods, that frown speaks volumes. Reinforce your message using multiple learning styles and remember to add reputation to your content. Reputation is the key to making your message stick.
When you prepare your next presentation, give some thought to the learning styles of your audience. In your copy, weave sentences and phrases with rhythmic or musical sounds. Add lines featuring the beauty of words and language. Use your body language to connect with those who are sensitive to touch. Add something for those who are inclined to be logical. And do not forget the groupies or the loners. Tap into all seven learning styles and over time, you will notice a significant improvement in your ability to make a better connect with your audiences.