It’s hard to get people to pay attention any more. A lot of people believe that attention spans are shrinking. But regardless whether they are or not, here is an undeniable fact: there is exponentially more competition for mindshare and attention than ever before. So the net effect is the same — because there is so much more competition for your audience’s attention, we have to work harder than ever to get people to listen and stay tuned.
Here are a few thoughts to help with that in 2018:
1. Understand your readers/listeners. Know your audience. Figure out who they are and what they care about. You’ll be much more likely to get and keep their attention.
2. Communicate things of value. Don’t make it about you and what you want/think/need. Make sure you understand what the readers will care about, and write about things that will be interesting and helpful to them. That doesn’t mean that you can’t try to jar them with something outside of the box, and bring something they have never thought of before. Of course you can, and you should. Just make sure you are communicating value, all the time.
3. Make it quick. Occasionally people will consume longer form writing, but the vast majority of your audience (especially a business audience) can consume information quickly. And most of them have too little time and too much to do. So get to the point!
4. Make it a conversation. Great communication, written or spoken, is a two-way street. Think about dialogue. Don’t speak AT your audience. Speak WITH your audience.
5. Tackle big ideas. Sometimes the big idea is the simplest thing. But make sure your communication hits on new ways to think or do things, and (connecting back to point #2) give you audience something to think about that will be valuable to them.
Have a great day, and a terrific 2018, as well.