Engage All Learning Styles When You Present
One of my great professional joys is communication coaching. I find it incredibly rewarding when I have a breakthrough with a client or student who gains empowering self confidence when they feel positively about how they deliver a presentation or succeed in an interview.
Public speaking can be terrifying for many. In addition to learning the particulars of good diction, effective posture, supported breathing, and owning your stage presence, a strong presentation depends on how well you connect with your audience. Whether you are leading a small meeting in the company board room or presenting to the masses in a large auditorium, your success hinges on how well your spectators absorb your message.
Individuals respond to different stimuli when viewing a presentation.
- Print learners are book lovers and appreciate and respond to words and text.
- Auditory learners are music lovers and are engaged by what they hear.
- Visual learners are art lovers and are stimulated by images, colors, and pictures.
- Kinesthetic learners like activity and need to physically interact with the material.
When you present, make sure that you honor all of these learning styles and engage your audience with unique and customized approaches that cover all the bases.
For the Print learners, in addition to your Power Point slides, provide take-away materials or hand-outs for post presentation reflection. For the Visual learners, mix it up a little and add images or video to your text slides. The Auditory learners will respond to your vocal inflections. Remember the power of the pause – silence can be just as effective as sound. Add music or sound effects to really energize this group.
With Kinesthetic learners you need to incorporate them into the action. Provide interactive opportunities to engage the group or mix Q&A into the presentation instead of waiting until the end. These learners like to feel, so if appropriate, pass around a sample of your product or a relevant prop. You can also encourage them to take notes and provide them with note pads or pens.
Next time you are listening to someone else present, be aware of how your absorb information. This will help you engage your audience and will make you more cognizant of engaging all four learning styles the next time you are up at bat.