What Makes People Listen

The digital revolution has made every information available in a click. However, the immediate availability of content and its abundant diversity have affected the way people interact with information.

The average attention span of adults has been declining dramatically, from 12 seconds in 2000 to 8 seconds now – which is less than the attention span of your typical goldfish.

People are becoming more and more fussy about the way they interact with content, and a significant number of online and offline users continue to value short content over more substantial pieces. Short articles and videos are preferred over long reports, for instance. However, it would be unfair to assume that your audience will listen to what you have to say as long as it doesn’t take too much time. In reality, while time is a selective factor in a busy environment, it’s not a priority. So what makes people listen to you?

Being there when they need you

Time is not a prominent factor of attention, but it will determine whether your content is suitable to a broad audience. Indeed, if your content requires from your audience to schedule their day in order to interact with it – as it is the case for a TV show, for instance – you might experience drops in audience, as people may not be available when your content is. However, if you opt for solutions that encourage constant availability, such as business applications and an effective website, you are more likely to capture the attention of users when they are in the best possible mood to listen. Lifestyles differ all around the world, and consequently, you want to give 24/7 answers to time your content with a limited window in users’ attention span.

Having a clue of what you’re doing will help

People are naturally drawn to knowledgeable content sharer. When you choose to listen to someone, you want to gain knowledge through the process. In other words, a manager who struggles to get staff to pay attention might want to review their leader’s skills first. Indeed, a weak leader is often someone who doesn’t know how to lead – someone lacking a BS organizational leadership. Consequently, when your behavior doesn’t convey assurance and stability, you might find it tricky to keep the attention of your audience.  

You’ve got something to say or sell

Last, but not least, is the question of curiosity. The main reason why people listen is that they are curious about what you have to say, which implies that they trust you to deliver exciting content. Your killer business idea might fall flat if it doesn’t address a common area of your audience life. Indeed, when you fail to tailor your content to your target market, people choose to ignore. Talking to the wrong audience is just as bad as having nothing to say; as, from the audience’s perspective, you can’t deliver relatable content.

In conclusion, it’s the combination of availability, confidence, and targeting that helps your business to tap into the short attention span of your audience. Maybe, the truth is not that people are becoming more distracted, but, on the contrary, they are more focused than ever. If you fail to meet their expectations, they are not willing to waste time with your content.