Adopt Different Learning Styles for Different Audiences
“Charles V said that a man who knew four languages was worth four men; and Alexander the Great so valued learning that he used to say he was more indebted to Aristotle for giving him knowledge than his father Philip for giving him life.” ―Thomas Babington Macaulay
Educators, instructors, and trainers adopt various teaching strategies and styles to address various kinds of audiences while sharing their knowledge, skills, and abilities. Some of them learned during their training; some followed their gut instinct; some learned by trial and error; some learned from their feedback; and some learned from their research. All these methods help people become good educators, instructors, and trainers. What is really required is to do research regularly to find out new teaching and training strategies and styles to suit the interests of diversified learners.
Visual, Auditory, and Kinesthetic Learning Styles
“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” ―Benjamin Franklin
You typically find three kinds of learners in your audience―visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learners. Visual learners appreciate when the information is presented in graphs, charts, and diagrams. Hence, you must use visual aids effectively to connect with your audience members. It is rightly said that a picture is worth a thousand words. Additionally, visuals enhance retention of information for a longer time. When you want your presentation to be successful, you must blend teaching and training tools to connect with learners.
Auditory learners understand best when information is presented in ways they can hear. You can connect with them by using good vocabulary and sounds, especially alliteration and rhymes in your language.
Kinesthetic learners appreciate the hands-on approach of presentation. So provide activities that engage your audience members. Ask a few questions to encourage them to participate in the presentation.
Effective presenters and speakers use all the styles to connect with all kinds of learners. They blend and balance their speech to ensure effective messages reach all learners.
A Lesson from Crayons
Every blogger has certain goals and objectives. They post articles in their areas of interest. However, diversified readers visit the blog with their expectations. Those who are aligned with the vision of the blog or Website will visit regularly to acquire knowledge. However, the tricky thing here is to reach various visitors with similar areas of interest. It is a big challenge, indeed! As such, bloggers and Website hosts must have diversified tools and techniques to attract and retain diversified visitors in a similar area of interest without compromising their identities and brands. Similarly, every speaker has their goals and objectives. The tricky thing here is to reach all kinds of learners in the audience and make sure they come away with useful takeaways.
Someone rightly said, “We could learn a lot from crayons: Some are sharp, some are pretty, some are dull, while others bright and have weird names, but they have all learned to live in the same box.”
As a presenter and public speaker, you must understand that no single learning style solely works for your audience members. To succeed as a presenter and public speaker, you must understand all learning styles and apply them one after another with a passion to inspire your audience members. Lilly Walters rightly remarked, “The success of your presentation will be judged not by the knowledge you send but by what the listener receives.”
How to Prepare Slides for Your PowerPoint Presentation
“Well-designed visuals do more than provide information; they bring order to the conversation.” ―Dale Ludwig and Greg Owen-Boger
Visuals play a crucial role during your presentations. Visuals convey a powerful message about your ideas, insights, and brand to your audience. As such, you must take immense care to create stunning visuals that connect your audience with your message. Here are some tools to help prepare your PowerPoint presentation:
- Be consistent with your slides.
- Choose colors carefully to invite the audience’s attention.
- Consider cultural aspects before preparing your slides. Some cultures don’t appreciate particular colors. Customize your slides as per the culture. When you address a global audience, use images and slides that reflects diversity.
- Break complex data into simple messages.
- Explore one idea per slide.
- Avoid using more than eight words per line or eight lines per slide.
- Avoid using full sentences on your slides.
- Don’t overcrowd your slides with too much information.
- Use keywords to help the audience focus on your message.
- Include images and text.
- Don’t decorate slides with distracting background pictures. Keep them neat, elegant, and professional.
- Use video or audio appropriately to create curiosity and complement your message.
- Present your ideas in small chunks or segments and ensure that your slides are well-sequenced with a logical flow.
- Ask someone to check your slides for mistakes.
- As others for feedback and suggestions for improvement.
- Ensure that your presentation is compatible with the device you will be presenting it on.
Make sure your presentation is not lengthy and complex. Slice it into small portions to make it understandable to your audience. Remember, people might forget you, but they will never forget your powerful messages if you deliver them effectively. Your images on the slides are more important than your image to your audience. Your PowerPoint can be provocative or persuasive. It all depends on how you use it.
To summarize, prepare a draft of your content. Break it into small portions. Take the idea of each portion and outline it effectively. Support it with visuals. Check the font size on your slides for uniformity. Edit it again. Ask someone to proofread it. Take a break and read all the slides again to ensure uniformity. Repeat this exercise several times to achieve excellence.
“Your slides should be a billboard, not a document!” ―Lee Jackson, “PowerPoint Surgery: How to Create Presentation Slides That Make Your Message Stick”
Adapted excerpt from “Secrets of Successful Public Speaking: How to Become a Great Speaker” by M.S. Rao, Ph.D. For more information, visit: https://www.amazon.com/Secrets-Successful-Public-Speaking-Speaker/dp/1628656107
Professor M.S. Rao, Ph.D.is the father of “Soft Leadership” and founder of MSR Leadership Consultants, India. He is an international leadership guru with 38 years of experience and the author of more than 45 books, including “21 Success Sutras for CEOs” (http://www.amazon.com/21-Success-Sutras-Ceos-Rao/dp/162865290X). He is a C-suite advisor and global keynote speaker. He is passionate about serving and making a difference in the lives of others. His vision is to develop 1 million students as global leaders by 2030 (http://professormsraovision2030.blogspot.in/2014/12/professor-m-s-raos-vision-2030-one_31.html). He advocates gender equality globally (#HeForShe) and was honored as an upcoming International Leadership Guru by Global Gurus (http://globalgurus.org/upcoming-leadership-gurus). He developed teaching tool Meka’s Method; leadership training tool 11E Leadership Grid; and leadership learning tool Soft Leadership Grid. Most of his work is available free of charge on his four blogs, including http://professormsraovision2030.blogspot.com. He can be reached at: email@example.com.