Learning Styles

When we’re talking to a potential voter, we don’t know whether they learn, absorb, and process information best through sight, sound, or touch. We all use each of these modalities, but to differing degrees. When we can deliver a message using multiple (preferably all three) modalities, then the message will be better received and a have a more durable impact.

Maybe we’re staffing an information table at a town hall meeting on electoral reform. Our first inclination is to ask them what they may know about electoral reform. Listening to their answer can give us insights into how they interact with the world. Did they say “I heard some things about it the other day.” Or did they say “I saw some things about it the other day.” They are giving us clues as to how they process information from the world.

Whether we’re at a tabling or a town hall meeting, being able to reach people through all three modalities will strengthen the message that we’re giving. We can use sight, sound, and touch when delivering our message by combining different tools that we have.

When we’re talking with someone let’s listen more than we talk: we have two ears and one mouth, … let’s use them in that proportion. When we’re handing someone printed material, let’s give material that uses first or second person tense because that personalizes the message for the future voter.

And finally, let’s give them something interactive from which they can learn about what they’ll actually encounter in a provincial voting booth. The Ballot Box Tutorial combines sight, sound, and touch for the learner to truly experience what they may encounter in the next Provincial Election.

If someone walks out of a lecture (one that doesn’t have any slides) and talks about their experience in terms of having “seen” this lecture or having “seen” those five points mentioned by the speaker, then chances are that their dominant learning style is visual. The visual experience is real: they ‘saw’ the speaker at the front of the room.