January 6, 2005

brain stuff


Interesting stuff from Kathy at Headrush. Her day job includes writing books on brain behavior:

When you lecture or write using conversational language, your user's brain thinks it's in a REAL conversation!

In other words, if you use conversational language, the listener/reader's brain still thinks it has to hold up its end, so it pays more attention. It really is that simple, and that powerful (at least if you really want to help users pay attention and remember your message).

If you're using formal language in a lecture, learning book (or marketing message, for that matter), you're worrying about how people perceive YOU. If you're thinking only about the USERS, on the other hand, you're probably using more conversational language.
Which is why most marketingspeak is so utterly dreadful. Technically, it's trying to sell you something. Non-technically, it's telling you to go fuck yourself.

Posted by hugh macleod at January 6, 2005 1:54 AM | TrackBack

Thanks for pointing to this. I don't think that most people even hear marketingspeak now as it's classified as noise and we seek out the human and personal and direct. I want to talk with someone and not be talked at. With marketingspeak we've been burned so many times we're wondering how they're trying to rip us off again and not how they're trying to help us.

Posted by: Chris Campbell at January 6, 2005 3:12 AM

No reason to restrict this to marketing. This idea applies to every business. Even if you're using technical language, nothing beats a conversational style and a bit of empathy for the reader/listener

Posted by: dshupp at January 6, 2005 5:05 AM