Attention spans are getting shorter and shorter. No surprise there.
Unfortunately, as a content creator, this means that it’s getting harder and harder to get yourself heard.
So, what can you do about it? In order for people to value your content, they’ve got to be able to extract the value that’s there in the first place.
The problem is, no one’s going to wait around for you to explain at length. You’ve got to get the point across as quickly as possible.
Luckily, there’s a solution. All you have to do is say more with fewer words.
Easier said than done?
Well, not necessarily.
All you need to do is tap into the mental schema.
The mental schema is a concept firmly rooted in the brains of your target audience, and you can use these schemas to pack an entire story into just a few words. It’s a communication strategy based on popular association.
They say that back in the 90s when the Keanu Reeves movie ‘Speed’ was being pitched to producers, they described it as simply ‘Die Hard on a bus’. Since Die Hard was a well-known movie, they were able to leverage off this familiarity and pitch an entire premise in just 5 words.
Then there’s the story of YouTube way back at the beginning being described as ‘Flickr for video’. I get that you may have either never heard of, or totally forgotten about Flickr, but it was once a popular free photo sharing service. Again, an entire premise summed up in just a few words.
As these examples show, schema takes advantage of what your audience already knows to tell a complete story in fewer, and more powerful words.
You can use analogies, established worldviews, and popular culture to create instant understanding. It can be a really powerful tool that you can use to your advantage.
After all, why say in 500 words what you can say in just 5.
Just think about how you could use it.
It’s one of many strategies that is handy to have locked away in your bag of tricks, and then pulled out at the appropriate moment.
Give it a try next time you create some content or give a presentation and see how you go.
Like some help with your communication strategies? Please contact us and let’s get the conversation started.