Today more than ever, technology allows us to have direct communication with those whose opinion and behavior impact the bottom line. Smart phones and computers put information at our fingertips. The problem is that we are now in information overload.
I just read that the average the person, daily, receives enough data to fill 174 newspapers. That is a lot of information to input, comprehend and retain. Fortunately, there are ways to increase the chance that the information you provide is noticed, comprehended, and acted upon.
Engage your audience’s senses – When people listen or read, they use their mind’s eye to create colorful moving pictures of the information. By incorporating as many senses as possible, the information has more attachment points to the brain, allowing for better retention.
Tapping into emotions – While most people think it is true for everyone else but themselves, the fact is that most ideas, opinions and behaviors are dictated by emotions and not rational thought. Making sure you are tapping into emotions allows for a better chance for the consumer of your information to respond in the way you would like them to respond.
Sentence length makes a difference – There is a reason you feel different when reading The Old Man and the Sea versus Moby Dick. Both use the ocean as the main story element. Yet, reading them is like night and day. The reason has to do with sentence length. Ernest Hemingway averages about 7 words a sentence, while Herman Melville’s iconic book about a white whale averaged more than 21 words per sentence. Selecting the correct sentence length is a powerful way to control the feelings of your readers.
Using story elements – One of the constant challenges when communicating to change opinion is the powerful phenomenon of cognitive dissonance. Using story elements can help you break through this powerful barrier that keeps many from changing their mind, even in the face of facts. My first blog post goes into more detail about this subject.
If you or an organization you know is looking to advance, and believe that your website, collaterals and other written material could be more effective, please contact me at Steven@GotfriedGroup.com. I am more than happy to discuss your situation to see if The Gotfried Group is a good fit.