Don’t you wish you could be sure your audience would hear you? Maybe find a magic wand to gain their attention?
Here it is: WIIFM (What’s In It For Me). This acronym is the key to earning attention. You have to begin your communication with personal relevance.
Why? Well, it’s brain science, actually. Let me explain very briefly (and what’s in it for you is becoming an even more effective communicator!)
The human brain has a marvelous filtering system called the RAS (Reticular Activating System). Without you and I even being aware of it, the RAS is sorting through a continuous stream of millions of stimuli in order to find what is immediately relevant and interesting. And it does this in milliseconds.
What this means is that if your message doesn’t have a clear WIIFM that gains immediate attention, the human brain tunes you out. You’re considered irrelevant. Noise. Ouch.
WIIFM is the one radio station that every human brain is tuned to.
You may have a very important message, but unless it’s front-ended with some kind of clear, sharp point to get through the RAS, your message is classified as noise and is shunted aside for something more interesting.
Job #1 in any communication: earn the attention of your audience. Make the RAS work for you, not against you, by getting right to the relevant point.
Therefore: At the beginning of ANY form of communication (sales, marketing, strategy, business meeting, class – even email) make sure that the first two sentences are attention-getters that are interesting and relevant to the audience. Save the details for later.
Gaining Attention is the first step in the 4-Step Clarity Formula – and it’s the one that opens the door for the rest of your message.
Steve Woodruff offers personal career coaching, and conducts virtual and live corporate workshops to apply the Clarity Formula for professional communication success. He is the author of the book Clarity Wins. Contact Steve here.