When writing speeches, I had never thought about the different types of learners in the audience. A speech was words and maybe a few visuals, and that was that.
What a fool I was.
Since then, I’ve seen the light, thanks to my favorite book, “Give Your Speech, Change the World,” by Nick Morgan. Morgan writes about smart ways to reach people who absorb information in three different ways—through sight, hearing and touch. In fancier words, they are primarily visual, auditory or kinesthetic learners.
My son, Joe, for example, spent his early years in a Montessori school, where children are given opportunities to learn in all three ways. Joe especially enjoyed learning by “touch”—the kinesthetic way—and the school often used “manipulables” to teach everything from math concepts with an abacus and bead chains to astronomy by having the children create papier-mâché planets.
Your speeches should be fashioned to appeal to all three kinds of learners, too.
First, visual learners. Morgan writes that while we might think PowerPoint slides help visual learners absorb information, in fact they are almost always filled with words instead of pictures.