3 Key Ways to Communicate In A Distracted World

Cut through the clutter and get to the point

3 key ways to improve communication

We've all heard about the new study that declared we lost the attention span battle to a goldfish. They can focus for 9 seconds and we're down to only 8. Wow. On so many levels.

But, what does that mean for us marketing and communications people whose job it is to deliver information? We need you to pay attention -at least for a bit - in order to do our jobs.

Overstimulation and a digitized lifestyle are being blamed, but I don't see consumers giving up their mini-computers anytime soon. So, what then? How do you harness that digital lifestyle without losing your audience?

Here are three tips to remember when communicating with a focus-challenged population...


"Talk" to me in print like you would really talk. Develop your content as if we were sitting across a table from each other. Be honest, and make it fun. Wherever you can, make me laugh. The best way to gauge this is to read your content aloud a few times. How does it sound? If you're stumbling on a word or two, chances are you just lost me.  The people will thank you.


We all have a million other things to do "next". If there is any chance of keeping me to the end you need to get to the point as quickly as you can. Be your own editor, striking out anything that's not critical to communicating your message. 10-penny words only help in spelling bees.


Yes, I can read words. BUT ... if it looks like War and Peace, I'm out. Wherever possible, use color, imagery or arrows. Showing me a burger is a lot more effective than telling me about it. Can you make a point with a graphic that would have required 1,000 words? Is there an infographic you can leverage to help convey a complex concept? If so, please do.