Do you prefer to talk or type?

We all have preferred ways of learning and processing information. Some of us are visual — we learn by seeing. Some are auditory — we learn by hearing. Others are kinesthetic — we learn by doing. And some of us are a mixture.

These processing styles seem to be pre-programmed into us, and they affect how we like to share information. Take my two sisters, for example.

Flo is a talker and Jo is a typer

Both of my sisters live in the UK. I’ll call them Flo and Jo. Big sister Flo doesn’t like technology — although she will use email reluctantly. Last week she rang me to discuss our elderly parents, but after half an hour she complained about the cost of the call. So I said goodbye, knowing that she probably doesn’t want me telling her how to get Skype.

Image, Lego character struggling with a Ctrl key.

Struggling with your keyboard? You’re not alone. Image by Ady Satria Herzegovina / CC0

Jo is younger than me, has worked in IT for British banks, and is pretty hip for her age. She has so many email addresses that I never know which to use, but since discovering she has WhatsApp, we’ve had several spontaneous chats, including photos of whatever we’re discussing (her new loft conversion this time). I enjoy our ‘keyboard chats’ and seeing her photos — at no extra cost.

Does the internet favour typers over talkers?

Since the onslaught of the internet, I’ve often wondered how it’s affected those people who would rather talk than type. I much prefer seeing words, and having a record in my email files of photos, discussions, or disputes — but where does that leave the ‘talkers’? The people who’d rather ‘just pick up the phone’ must feel at a disadvantage, as well as those with poor keyboard or language skills.

Traditional teaching favours some over others

Even traditional teaching puts some people at a disadvantage. Helping my dyslexic (auditory and kinesthetic) daughter through the school system showed me that the average classroom emphatically favours the visual and auditory learning styles. The kinesthetic ‘learn by doing’ students often struggle, and may leave school with poor reading, writing, or keyboard skills.

It’s never too late to learn the skills you need

Not everyone’s comfortable in a world dominated by keyboards and screens, but it’s never too late to learn the skills you need. We can help you read faster, write better emails, or tell stories with pictures — and possibly even persuade you to install Skype.

Our workshops are practical and fun, with a mixture of reading, writing, talking, and doing. No matter what sort of learner you are, you’ll take away concrete skills that you can apply straight away.

Book onto a workshop with us

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Infographics: Telling stories with pictures
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3 responses to “Do you prefer to talk or type?”

  1. PJ says:

    I like to see all the information written down and in diagrams. I studied geography at university and couldn’t have done it without diagrams to help me understand physical processes at work.
    My three daughters — are all different. One reader, one do-er, and one listener. Fortunately the reader is also a wonderful teacher…which has saved the others’ necks more than once!

  2. Corinna Lines says:

    Thanks Michael – it’s amazing how different we all are. I actually remember being thrown out of class age seven for fidgeting while the teacher read to us. I just wanted to see the words!

  3. MichaelEdits says:

    I told my students in China that I became a novelist because I’d rather type than talk. Naturally I was teaching them a Speaking class. I taught for four years, and my favorite class was (can you guess?) Advanced English Writing, where I perfected the five-minute lecture. They wrote in class. Later came some lecturing in Thailand, preceded by a little brush-up with the local Toastmasters chapter, then finally some business networking back home in North Carolina. It took me years to get comfortable doing my “elevator speech.” I’d still rather be writing.

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