Being boring is the kiss of death to engaging audiences.
This fact is truer today than ever in an age where we interact online and can easily ignore boring content by quickly moving on to something more compelling with a single click.
In an era of nonstop information, providing your audience with gripping content that breaks through is crucial to any business or communication strategy.
Whether your audience is external or internal, broad or narrow, you have a few seconds to grab their attention before they move on to something else.
How to Avoid the Boring Trap
There are three pivotal techniques that will help any story or communication initiative sidestep the trap of being boring: finding a human angle; avoiding complex data; and being relatable.
1, Find the Human Angle
One of the most crucial – and often overlooked – requirements to telling a compelling story involves highlighting the human angle.
A human angle taps into the emotions of the people you are trying to engage and can bring even the most dry content to life.
This is why stories involving animals and children are often universally embraced.
Human stories that involve humour, fear, anger, pain, happiness, and overcoming big obstacles, can light a fire under any information and pull your audience into your content.
This holds true whether you are posting a blog, running a broad-based social media campaign, participating in an interview or panel discussion, or delivering a crucial speech or presentation.
2, Avoid Complex Data
Facts matter, particularly in an age where false or questionable information can be created and pushed out across the digital world by anyone.
But in an age when we have access to so much data from a multitude of online and offline sources, it can be tempting to dominate communication with complicated numbers and technical information.
This is a sure way to fall into the boring trap.
Audiences want stories, not simply data, because stories make them feel something which can be inspiring and highly motivating.
And audiences usually don’t remember the numbers or technical jargon, they remember how you made them feel, how you shaped their moods.
Some numbers can be interesting and an important addition to any story, but complex data on its own generally doesn’t inspire and can easily transform any type of communicating into a boring affair.
3, Be Relatable in Basic Terms
We all relate to the world, and to communication in general, in terms of how it impacts us personally.
With this in mind, communication must be simple and relatable.
Information and stories that people can easily sink their teeth into – and see themselves in – is a way to ensure your content is not boring.
A narrative that appears to be divorced from your audience’s reality will seem like a waste of time for people to embrace and care about.
Excellent Communicating Literally Put a Man on the Moon
The triple crown of a human angle, avoiding complex data, and being highly relatable can bring any story to life.
An excellent and historical case in point involved the U.S. space program of the 1960s.
In the early 1960s, U.S. President John F. Kennedy decided he wanted to put a man on the moon.
This wildly ambitious goal was seen as outrageous to many.
Gaining Public Support
For the moon mission to succeed it required extremely broad public support and enormous funding from Congress.
To build this critical backing, the U.S. government and NASA did not fall into the trap of telling a boring story of the complex science and physics behind sending their first spaceship to the moon.
The Complex Data Dilemma
While the science behind the moon endeavour was undoubtedly extensive, it was a complex and unrelatable narrative.
Instead, the U.S. administration astutely zeroed in on telling the human story of the astronauts involved in the space program, their backgrounds, their families, and their personal narratives.
A Human Approach Never Fails to Engage
This human approach to communication transformed the astronauts into national heroes long before the spaceship left the ground.
This clever communication strategy made the space program a widely relatable endeavour and ultimately built wide public and congressional support for the groundbreaking initiative.
The Bottom Line
Your audience will remember how you made them feel.
After every communication initiative, speech, social media post, article, news story, movie, or play, audiences remember how their moods were triggered, not the data that was thrown their way.
Emotion Trumps Data
Audiences remember what intrigued and surprised them, what made them laugh or cry, and even what made them angry. They don’t remember the facts nearly as well.
Excellent communication can move mountains. It can drive business growth, transform critics into advocates, and elevate people into figures of great influence.
But for communication to be excellent, it needs to be human, simple and relatable.
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