As we all know different people learn in different ways. Some of us are thinkers; we take the information we are being fed, go away digest it, reflect upon it and happily store it once straight in our heads. Others are doers; best learning when we can carry out the task ourselves or immediately experiment with the information we are being provided. You have your information sponges; people who can absorb and store information easily and as quickly as it is being fed to them and then you have your visually stimulated learners; those of us who like and respond better to visual stimulation be it watching a video, being shown an example or seeing a drawing on a flip chart!
For visually stimulated learners the use of props and visual aids can really help the intake of information and for all other types of learner they can offer a welcome break from and humour to any presentation or tutorial.
Visual aids are used in all kinds of industries for all kinds of purposes whether it be for presentations, training courses or public speaking and not only do some learners respond better to visual aids, many people teach and present better with the use of them.
The pressure of public speaking can be immense especially when all eyes are you. Whether you are in a classroom of twenty or in a hall of 2000, the distraction of props away from yourself can often be a welcome one. As well as diverting attention, a visual aid also gives you another channel for your explanation & presentation. A simple example of this can be describing an apple! With nothing to hand you would probably be using phrases like “the bit at the top” and “the outer layer” and so on. However with a prop apple in our hand we would be more likely to present in a way where we would be saying “this part here” and “the green colour is the skin”. This example also explains why some people absorb the information better when taught in the visual way. By making a connection between the visual aid and the information being explained to us we combine the two and store the information easily.
Obtaining visual aids to assist in any presentation is easy. Sometimes it can be something simple we have at home, old clothes, boxes, packaging etc. Or for those visual aids that are more likely to be reused time and time again or be handled by members of the group you may want to consider replica items and props. The market today offers all kinds of replica items from fake food to fake diamonds all of which can be packed up and stored ensuring you are armed for any kind of future presentation.
As a public speaker you will want to reach all types of learners, you will also want to keep everyones attention and most of all hope that your group enjoy their time with you and take something away with them. By combining your presenting/ teaching methods using both information and visual stimulation you are more likely to keep your audiences attention and reach a broader spectrum of your targeted group.