Changing the way we think about communication
A fundamental shift in audiences has resulted from our increased access to information from devices such as smartphones and tablets. Because of more information and distractions, we now have shorter attention spans. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, the average adult attention span is now eight seconds. The average attention span of a gold fish is nine seconds.
These shorter attention spans drive us to take in only the information we want right now, and we have come to expect that we can get it when we want it.
Expectations have changed
Consider the basic means of communication and how they have changed. There has been an explosion and an evolution. Now we have more information than ever before. The scarce resources are not knowledge, but attention, relevance and meaning.
What today’s audiences demand
The requirements of being a successful leader and presenter have changed because of the audience shift to the “now.” How do we capture a short-attention-span, self-centered, “weird” audience? What tools can we use to help us become concise and relevant to this current audience? How can we grab attention, become relevant and provide meaning?
Leaders don’t just inform the audience; they transform them by connecting with them, sharing meaning and asking them to move toward a new belief or action.
If you continue to rely on the same old way of communicating while your audience evolves, you can no longer hope to be as successful. You will become extinct.