8 Types of Learning Styles to Know As a Presenter

Written by:
Chloe West

8 learning styles - header

According to Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences, everybody has different types of learning styles to help them comprehend new information. There are 8 learning styles in total, ranging from visual to auditory and more.

As a presenter, it’s important to have a good understanding of each of these types of learning styles so that you can help your audience take in your slideshow as easily as possible.

Creating different learning aids throughout your presentation to cater to each type of learning style is a great way to build rapport with your audience, and allow each viewer to fully comprehend your topic.

We’re going to dive into what the 8 learning styles are, as well as how you can help each learner retain the most information from your presentation.

And if you’re curious what your own learning style is, here’s a great 20-question quiz to help you find out.

 

8 Types of Learning Styles [Infographic]

Check out our interactive infographic created right here in Visme below. Follow each dotted line to see what each learning style needs to retain information, and hover over each icon to see a photo representation.

 

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1 Visual Learning

Visual or spatial learning is a learning style that requires visual aids, images, diagrams or graphs to help retain information and guide the learning process.

Including infographics and photos throughout your presentation slides is a great way to help your audience understand your information. And while you never want to clutter your presentations with blocks of text, this is even more true when catering to visual learners.

Visual learners tend to veer towards technology-driven careers, as well as industries related to art, photography, architecture and design. The ability to learn through imagery is essential.

Ways to Help Visual Learners Retain Information

  • Use charts, graphs, maps, diagrams, timelines and infographics
  • Replace words with colors and images
  • Stay away from blocks of text, focusing on one idea per slide
  • Highlight important points in color

 

2 Linguistic Learning

Linguistic or verbal learning is the need to learn information through reading, writing, listening and speaking.

It’s a great idea to create handouts of your content or slides for your audience as it is, especially if you’re presenting in front of a large audience who might not be able to hear everything, but it’s even better to help linguistic learners.

Verbal learners often have an excellent memory, and many become teachers and professors.

Ways to Help Linguistic Learners Retain Information

  • Create a handout summarizing your presentation to give to your audience
  • List out keywords on your slides
  • Use acronym mnemonics as teaching devices
  • Separate your audience into groups for discussion questions

 

3 Logical Learning

Logical or mathematical learning focuses on classifying or categorizing information and logical reasoning.

Many people with this learning style can easily recognize patterns and understand relationships between numbers. They prefer to categorize information into groups and look at it that way.

Providing logical learners in your audience with ways to put your information into groups is a great way to help them understand your content.

Logical learners tend to go on to be engineers, mathematicians and scientists, and are often very good at playing strategy games like chess and backgammon.

Ways to Help Logical Learners Retain Information

  • Share the key concepts behind lessons instead of fun facts
  • Play a game with the audience during your presentation
  • Provide specific goals for your audience to achieve with your information
  • Share how pieces of your information relate to each other
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4 Auditory Learning

Auditory or musical learning circles around sound, music and rhythm to help retain information.

For many people, listening to music while studying or working on a project can be a distraction. However auditory learners thrive on having background music, and often need to hum or drum their fingers to understand complex subjects.

These types of learners often become musicians as they have a deeper understanding of music.

Ways to Help Auditory Learners Retain Information

  • Hold discussions and debates
  • Speak clearly so your audience can hear you
  • Incorporate background music into your presentation
  • Create jingles or rhymes to help teach information

 

5 Interpersonal Learning

Interpersonal or social learning means this type of learner performs best when they’re able to relate to others and work in group situations.

These types of learners need to be able to bounce ideas off of others and interact with others. They’re much better at reading emotions and facial expressions, and are often extroverts.

Interpersonal learners might become psychologists or social workers, and enjoy positions where they’re working with people.

Ways to Help Interpersonal Learners Retain Information

  • Break your audience off into groups
  • Role play with the audience to demonstrate processes
  • Allow audience members to ask questions at the end
  • Offer the opportunity to schedule one-on-one time with you

 

6 Intrapersonal Learning

Intrapersonal or solitary learning includes people who learn and work best on their own.

This type of learner tends to be more introverted and prefers to learn processes and digest information on their own time, rather than with a group of people. They are very independent and prefer positions without direct leadership or supervision.

Intrapersonal learners are very likely to enter creative fields and even become entrepreneurs or small business owners.

Ways to Help Intrapersonal Learners Retain Information

  • Don’t make discussion groups mandatory
  • Provide notepads for audience members to take notes
  • Put together charts for mapping progress in your topic
  • Create study guides for audience members to work on later

 

7 Kinesthetic Learning

Kinesthetic or physical learning requires the learner to be hands on in order to understand the process and retain information.

This is a common learning style as many people prefer to learn while doing. Many might also just need to be active while learning, like pacing while reading or reciting information.

Kinesthetic learners love artsy, creative or athletic careers, and will often have hobbies in jewelry-making, gardening, woodworking and outlets like that.

Ways to Help Kinesthetic Learners Retain Information

  • Bring volunteers onstage to assist with demonstrations
  • Provide step-by-steps for audience members to do something on their own
  • Give out worksheets with fill in the blanks from your presentation
  • Incorporate learning games into your talk

 

8 Naturalistic Learning

Naturalistic learning focuses on the need to be outside in nature to guide the learning process.

These types of learners prefer to be out of doors, observing how things work in nature. Unsurprisingly, those with this learning style often end up becoming scientists or horticulturists.

Connect with naturalistic learners by offering one-on-one sessions outside or allow students to work outside regularly.

Ways to Help Naturalistic Learners Retain Information

  • Consider hosting various presentations or talks outside
  • Create guides for how to learn more about your topic out of doors
  • Explain how your audience can observe your topic in the real world
  • Work one-on-one with audience members outside

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Incorporate Learning Styles Into Your Presentation

Ready to cater to the various learning styles in your next presentation? You don’t have to do all of the options mentioned in this list, but understanding how different people learn can help you be a more aware presenter.

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About the Author

Chloe West is the content marketing manager at Visme. Her experience in digital marketing includes everything from social media, blogging, email marketing to graphic design, strategy creation and implementation, and more. During her spare time, she enjoys exploring her home city of Charleston with her son.

16 responses to “8 Types of Learning Styles to Know As a Presenter”

  1. […] These negatives may include the fact that not all students learn the same way, in total there are eight different learning styles that students  may or may not favour. On the positive note, there are definitely pros to the Tyler […]

  2. EM Nelson says:

    I tend to be a visual learner. I have always found it beneficial to re-read and re-write notes in retaining information. With all of the controversy surrounding the concept of learning styles recently, it is refreshing to see the idea presented as a method of retention beyond the initial classroom setting. I think that the concepts of ‘teaching method’ and ‘learning style’ are often interchanged and confused, and such confusion contributes to the controversy.

    • Hi Erin. Thanks so much for your input. More than a rigid model designed to restrict learners to a specific method of retention, I think these can serve as general and flexible descriptions of how we retain information differently. And, of course, each of us may have more than one learning style.

  3. LNWeaver says:

    That makes sense that the right-brained visual learner would get a lot out of charts and images. They would be very grounded in facts. I bet you could information to stick for someone like that by adding artistic and drawing elements to a presentation.

  4. Robert Zotti says:

    I’m all in favor of varying the activities in the classroom to help students learn and retain course concepts. You certainly don’t want to have a single type of interaction or learning activity (such as reading one textbook after another) crowd out all the others (including discussions, reflections, or even viewing videos). But when I see the infographs that talk about the effectiveness of learning styles in nice round numbers (“people remember 80% of what they see, but only 20% of what they read…”), it reminds me of the very controversial Learning Pyramid. Do you have specific references from peer-reviewed journals that talk about the retention of specific course content within the context of the different learning styles and/or learning preferences? I’m specifically interested in courses related to management, engineering, and computer science.

  5. Kendell Meistre says:

    it has been most interesting to discover that I am both a social and a kinesthetic learner, who thoroughly enjoys bouncing ideas off others and does walk backwards and forwards while reading notes for exams. This walking helps me to visualise the main points. This exercise certainly assits in making me more sensitive to the needs of the children I will support through brightsparkz.

  6. Leah says:

    I found this article helpful as well. I’m predominantly a visual learner so I love pictures, videos, color, maps, and highlighters too. As a child I loved going to the library downtown to pick out a picture book to read. I also excelled at art class and found geography easy. Art and geography were my favourite subjects. I’m definitely a good speller as well.
    I place emphasis on physical appearance and show a good sense of fashion. Additionally I carried a set of flash cards with me for lessons.
    I was always doodling on something or drawing. Certainly one of my favourite hobbies to do is gaze at scenery or daydream about something.

  7. Robin says:

    Wonderful article. I feel like I’m partly skillful to all better in a few, but master of none.

    There might be a typo in the 3rd sentence of the kinetic write up,

    ‘Space that enable “to” them to’…

    But maybe I’m wrong. I consider myself amongst the 65% of the crowd.

    Thanks

  8. Edmund says:

    Wow that’s interesting, I didn’t know that 65% of the population are visual learners. I don’t think it’s possible to fully identify oneself with just one learning style. For myself, I’m a visual learner but at the same time, I study better on my own. So in my opinion, it’s just how we qualify ourselves as a certain type of learner

  9. Shehu Daburau says:

    To learn and to learn, we are provided with tools. In a situation of duality of purpose, it is as well easier to know which side of the tool is one’s handle of it. Thanks

    Shehu Daburau, Kano

  10. HG says:

    I read this article for a class and found myself taking notes on the entire thing so that I can review them to work on an assignment based on these different learning styles. I actually could see myself a bit in all of the styles but perhaps strongest in the verbal category and strong in social as well as intrapersonal. Some styles made me think of one or another of my children as well as my husband who is definitely strong in the naturalistic category. Lots to think about especially when thinking about these styles from a teaching point of view.

  11. Oscar says:

    I really thought learning styles is only divided into 3. Thanks for these tips. Have to differentiate instructions for each one for best results.

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