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People learn in different ways, and any audience will include members that have different learning styles. A presenter should accommodate all of these styles. Experts typically recognize seven learning styles:

  1. Visual

  2. Auditory

  3. Verbal

  4. Kinesthetic

  5. Mathematical

  6. Social

  7. Solitary

Visual aids serve the visual learner best. Including time for group discussions and providing a recording of the presentation will help auditory learners. Verbal learners understand things not only by reading them but also by writing their own notes. Similarly, talking things through in a breakout session will help them retain information.

Kinesthetic learners do best with physical activity. They do well with props and appreciate the chance to role play. Anything that gets them on their feet and participating will help them learn from a presentation. Games and problem solving work well with mathematical learners. They also do well with lists, clear organization, and diagrams.

Along with these five learning types comes a preference for either social or solitary learning. Speakers need to give social learners time to work together with other members of the audience. Again, role playing and discussion sessions work well here. To accommodate the solitary learner in such situations, the host can ask people to prepare individually before moving into groups. The solitary learner will want to make a list of arguments or solutions to a problem on his or her own before sharing with others.

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