Audience members have different learning preferences. As a presenter, make sure you can meet their varying needs to maximize engagement and comprehension.
There are many ways to categorize personal learning styles including the Jungian theory on personality types. Fleming’s VARK model is the simplest yet comprehensive approach that best suits understanding varying modal preferences.
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VARKing Up the Right Tree
Neil Fleming, a research enthusiast and teaching expert in secondary and teacher education at the Lincoln University, New Zealand, devised this model to tailor to individual’s learning needs. Before creating a pitch, know if you’re barking up the right tree.
Visual learners are the most recognizable group.
They prefer to learn by visualizing information in the context of images, graphs, and videos rather than written forms. Use your learner’s strengths by incorporating more imagery like visual words, illustrations, diagrams, motion pictures and other materials in your deck.
Aural learners learn best by hearing information instead of visualization.
They prefer listening to recordings, podcasts, and even your public speaking voice. Tap into this learning style by making sure you have a loud, clear voice that everyone can hear.
Reading and writing learners understand by looking through the information.
They’re more likely to focus on text than images. Make your presentation visually accessible to them by balancing your slide’s content with the right amount of text-based information or make use of printed handouts.
Kinesthetic learners have a hard time focusing during lectures because they express themselves better by physically moving.
Spice up your presentation.Create a dynamic and lively presentation flow to keep their attention. Engage your listeners with some motion activities or demonstration to reinforce audience participation.
What do I get from VARK?
This learning preference model makes you mindful of your audience’s behaviors and attitudes as you discuss.
You can’t please everybody, but you can make a well-balanced presentation technique to grasp your audience’s interest. Your presentation’s success relies on being flexible to handle all audience types.
Feed your learners with a fusion of visual information, oral support, text copies, and applied activities.
“Biography.” VARK-Learn. Accessed May 8, 2015.
“Creatively Explain Statistical Concepts in Presentations.” SlideGenius, Inc. June 29, 2015. Accessed May 8, 2015.
Cherry, Kendra. “Are You a Visual, Auditory, Reading/Writing, or Tactile Learner?” About.com Psychology. April 10, 2015. Accessed May 8, 2015.
Cherry, Kendra. “Learning Styles Based on Jung’s Theory of Personality.” About.com Psychology. Accessed May 8, 2015.
“Presentation Tips: 5 Quick Steps to Audience Engagement.” SlideGenius, Inc. December 16, 2014. Accessed February 17, 2015.