Effectively Reach Your Audience Through the Four Primary Learning Styles
By Meghan Maynard
Do your responsibilities include educating employees or customers on how to use your software and equipment? Or, do you spend time training employees as part of your job? Whether your main job duties and responsibilities involve educating, or you assist in this role at times, understanding the different types of adult learning styles and how you can use each can help you to be a more effective trainer.
It’s no secret that we all learn differently due to our unique characteristics and preferences. But did you know that most people consider themselves visual learners? Even though many of us learn visually, it’s valuable to include a variety of training tactics where possible to account for the four primary learning styles: visual, auditory, read/write, and kinesthetic.
It’s crucial to show your audience what you’re teaching them, rather than just telling them. If instructing an audience for example, consider adding photos, videos, or other visual cues in your training.
Narrations are a great tool, as you can provide additional detail beyond what is offered in a guidebook or instruction manual. Short tutorial videos are helpful when training an audience how to complete a task or further explain a topic.
Also consider providing pre- and post-training resources. Before a presentation, distribute preparatory materials, such as an overview of items that will be discussed. Giving your audience background knowledge on a subject makes it easier to absorb additional details on the topic. Post-presentation, you can provide a summary of topics reviewed, helpful manuals or user guides, and even a post-training knowledge check to allow attendees to test themselves on what was discussed during the session.
If educating others on a task-based project, allow your audience to follow along with you during training, or provide an opportunity for them to complete the task at hand. If training others on new technology, consider using a test environment that users can log into to practice.
Keep these four learning styles in mind when developing and delivering training to make the most of these interactions.
Meghan Maynard is Implementation & Training Manager at Marlyn Group, LLC. She can be reached at email@example.com