Learning Styles


         You may have felt at some point in school that you didn’t understand something or you “didn’t get it” because it was not being presented in a way that “made sense” to you. You might say to yourself—“Why can’t they use a picture?” or “Just let me try it—if I can do it, then it will make sense to me.” .

          Learning styles impact your ability to comprehend and understand the messages and meanings that are being presented. There are many different learning styles, and as a speaker, it is important to remember that in order to succeed with your audience of listeners, you may need to know how they learn. Some of the different types of learners are:

  • Aural/Auditory/Hearing Learners – These learners tend to learn better by listening to material. 

  • Visual Learners – These learners tend to learn better by seeing the information and material; seeing pictures/images. 

  • Tactile Learners – These learners tend to learn better by doing and being hands-on. 

  • “Whole” Learners – These learners tend to use all of the above to process and understand messages and meaning. 

          As speech builders/givers, you must be aware that these different styles of learning and processing exist in your listeners. Use a variety of methods to present your ideas to help each audience member comprehend and understand your message and meaning.

Example: Use your voice, visual aids, stories, and examples. Have the audience interact and participate when appropriate to tap into the many different approaches of learning; by doing this, you will be more successful in your speech.

Review Questions

1) What type of learning style are you? Why do you think that?