Attention. It’s the first thing you have to earn if you’re going to communicate effectively.
If you’re not paying attention, right now, to this blog post…I’m not going to get my ideas across. And you won’t act on them.
(That makes me sad, just thinking about it – since clarity is so crucial to your professional success.)
So, in the Clarity Formula, attention is the first rule of communications clarity. Who says?
The human brain says. The brain wants what it wants the way it wants it.
>First, I need to gain your attention.
>Second, I can then (hopefully) activate your understanding
>Only then, can I hope to arrive at aligned agreement and action.
Those are the rules. That’s the sequence. Nothing is going to happen unless I first earn your attention.
Sounds easy…but it most definitely is not, because we are in an intense competition for the eyes and ears and minds of our audience.
How intense? Get this: the human brain is processing 11 million bits of information per second from our 5 senses, and it’s coming from a massive variety of sources.
To put this in perspective, a conversation with another person takes up about 60 bits, and the most we can consciously process and pay attention to is about 120 bits at a time. Out of 11 million.
See the challenge?
Whether it’s selling, teaching, marketing, emailing, or any other form of communication, we have one huge starting challenge for our audience (the human brain) – we have to rise above all the noise and earn attention.
Practically speaking, that is why the first discipline of practicing clarity is Getting To The Point. We don’t have minutes or hours to get to the point and earn attention. We only have seconds.
When I work with clients on communications clarity (the Clarity Formula is based on practical brain science), the starting point is this: How can we make our communication more compelling than the constant tsunami of noise? What does the brain want, and how does it filter information? What’s the best way to get to the point? That will be the subject of our next post, which is called Relevance Rules. Stay tuned!
Steve Woodruff conducts virtual and live workshops and offers on-line resources for learning how to apply the brain-friendly Clarity Formula to your professional life. Contact Steve here.