Communicating with bodily kinesthetic learners

by | Jun 19, 2015 | Creating Products, Marketing & Selling


There are many ways that people communicate and learn. In this month’s series so far, I’ve shown you some ways to communicate with visual spatial learners and talked about ways to communicate with verbal linguistic learners. This week, I’m going to touch on how to communicate with bodily kinesthetic learners.

Bodily Kinesthetic learners represent about 15 percent of the population and favor interactive, physical activities such as modeling, sculpting, drawing, athletics, dance, and any hands-on activity. Heads up: bodily kinesthetic is my dominant learning style and I have always enjoyed creating work with my hands and generally need to moving most of the type.

The key to understanding the bodily kinesthetic learner is this: They learn best when they are able to use their tactile senses as part of the learning process. This means they need to have some sort of direct involvement with the material, using it in some active way.

Here are some ways you can appeal to the verbal linguistic learners in your target audience:

  • Include the tactile senses in some way. Create hands-on activities that engage your audience and have them interacting and using the information in some form of practical exercise. For example: Include exercises where your participants move their body or use object. Flash cards are good and can reach your visual and audio learners, as well.
  • Use “feeling” language. Describe how things feel, either physically or emotionally. Help your audience understand how something feels. For example: Good tactile words include touch, feel, sit, gut, drift, etc.
  • Use objects and materials that your audience can move and arrange. This style of learning loves to move, even if it is just one’s hand, so give them something to move. For example: If you are teaching a process, have them write each step on a separate index card or piece of paper and arrange them in the proper order.
  • Allow for frequent breaks. Long unbroken stretches of sitting can burn out a bodily kinesthetic learner. For example: Incorporate physical activity or actual breaks at least every hour during longer seminars and workshops.
  • Include examples for every fact. Bodily kinesthetic learners are more apt to make better associations with the examples than just the facts alone. For example: Include stories that illustrate the main points and facts in your material.
  • Include group activities. Interacting with others helps these learners engage with the information better. For example: Have your audience members pair up or form small groups to perform various exercises that illustrate your material.

What’s Up for Own Your Awesome Fridays this Month

June is Effective Communication Month, so for the four Friday’s in June, I will be sharing some tips on how to communicate with people of different learning styles. When you can include communication styles in your presentations, programs and products that speak to the various learning styles, you will be a more effective communicator and educator. I will start with the top three learning styles that most people are familiar with and end with the lesser known learning styles.

Eventually, PDF and audio versions of Own Your Awesome Friday content will be made available. If you’d like to know when this content becomes available, complete this form:

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