I never cease to be amazed by the capacity and changing nature of the human brain. I was reading an article today which stated that if our brain was a computer it could store 2.5m gigabytes of data. It also stated that we have 70,000 thoughts a day. Apparently also of which 75% are wrongful convictions as a result of unreliable visual memory.
Our attention span is getting shorter. Currently it is around 20 minutes which has decreased by an estimated 12 minutes over the last decade. Whilst our short term memory can retain up to seven thoughts simultaneously in our head at any one time, that only lasts for around 20 seconds.
Overall though it is reported that over 80% of our memory is visual. So all in all what does this mean for those in the communications business?
I think it is quite clear. Historically, communications have been text and figure heavy. These elements of course still have their place, but I see them primarily as a licence to engage with an audience, not an end in itself.
Successful communications paints a vivid and compelling image in the mind of the audiences it seeks to address and persuade.
Successful communicators also bring a situation to life through story telling, taking the audience on a journey of discovery and enlightenment that provides them with a clear picture of what the speaker or writer wishes to convey.
It is also true in my mind, that any picture or image that remains in an audience’s mind has a strong emotional draw, which is highly personal and relatable to each individual.
To create this, the delivery of the communications has to speak with honesty and authenticity. In this world of so called Fake News and mis-speaking, this is now more powerful than ever.
Great leaders are rightly called visionaries. For me that means they can present a strong mental image of what lies ahead for those who wish to support that leader. This is not a precise science, but the powerful brain, with all that computing power can quickly assess and decide what they see and feel is genuine and heartfelt.
That for me is what I most admire in the greatest of leaders and what I work on with my clients on a daily basis to try and help them achieve.