From the moment you start reading this I’ll have just eight seconds of your undivided attention to provide you with information!
Thanks to advancements in technology, an abundance of information is available right at our fingertips, and it can be a daunting task to focus in and fully read an article. Just like a good fad, gone are the days where readers would sit down and read word for word information presented on the screen. So, what does that mean for us communicators? It means we need to adapt and adopt styles that speak to our reader’s shortened attention spans.
Research shows humans have a shorter attention span then a goldfish! Thanks to the bombardment of instantaneous information such as: texts, tweets, Facebook messages, emails, and advertisements, it has become increasingly difficult to hold anyone’s attention for very long.
The following infographic makes it very clear just how short the attention span of human beings has become:
Write with the “skimmers” in mind! Break up content with clear, descriptive headings, and make it easy for readers to jump to the section they are looking for. Keep information interesting by avoiding rambling, and when possible, using graphics or videos to grab the viewers attention.
The storytellers and communicators of today need smart strategies to make the most of the eight second attention span most readers have. The use of clear, manageable content broken up in manageable pieces along side visual storytelling tactics have proven to be the way forward.
What strategies have you seen to capture an audience’s attention?
Has a unique tactic grabbed your attention and kept you engaged past the average eight second attention span?