Grab attention, keep it longer, communicate better & more
My curmudgeonly neighbor likes to quote his favorite philosopher, Anonymous:
“If a man speaks in the forest, and no woman is there to hear him, is he still wrong?”
For communicators, the question is a little different. David Murray, executive director of the Professional Speechwriters Association, says:
“If nobody hears your strategic messaging, does it make a sound?”
The biggest risk in communications is not that we might offend someone with creativity or write something that’s eye-rollingly goofy. The biggest risk communicators run is that we never get heard at all.
How do we engage people and get them excited about our content? The key is to make our content more creative.
Whatever type of content you’re creating — from long-form blog posts to teeny tiny social media updates, from content marketing pieces to speeches, from web pages to white papers — you’ll create more successful content when you make it creative.
200 years of research
In the early 19th century, German philosopher Johann Friedrich Herbart said that interest leads to understanding, learning and memory — and even inspires readers to learn more.
For nearly 200 years, researchers, philosophers and communicators have seen the link between interest and learning.
One of those researchers is Suzanne Hidi, associate member at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education’s Centre for Applied Cognitive Science. In “Interest and Its Contribution as a Mental Resource for Learning,” she presents a research review on how interest helps people learn.
Interesting copy, according to Hidi’s review of the literature:
- Encourages reading and improves comprehension (Hidi and Baird, 1986)
- Increases understanding (Bernstein, 1955)
- Aids in learning (Hidi and Baird, 1986; Shirey and Reynolds, 1988)
- Helps people remember (Hidi and Baird, 1988)
- Helps readers to come up with fuller, better and more creative responses (Bernstein, 1955)
As midcentury adman David Ogilvy said:
“Nobody ever sold anybody anything by boring them to death.”
Want readers to buy your Whozit or Whatzit? Choose creative content writing.
How can you engage your readers?
It ain’t fluff. Storytelling helps people pay closer attention to your message, understand it faster, remember it longer and act on it more quickly.
Do you know how to grab attention, communicate more clearly, make your message more memorable and move readers to act with storytelling and other creative techniques?
At Master the Art of Storytelling — our business-storytelling workshop starting July 11 — you’ll learn how to engage readers with a great story, as well as other creative elements like concrete details, description, wordplay and metaphor.
Save up to $100 with our group discounts.