Countless times, I hear people who belong to generations before Gen Y’s/Millennials say they can’t believe how short the attention spans are of the new generation of teenagers and adults. The old phrase “In one ear and out the other” is an idiom that characterizes Gen Y way too frequently.
It really is an epidemic when you read the statistics. According to the US National Library of Medicine, the average attention span of a person is 8 seconds, lower than it was in 2000 when it was 12 seconds. What is even scarier than that, is that 8 seconds is less than the attention span of a goldfish (whose attention span is 9 seconds long!) Meaning, humans now have an attention span WORSE than goldfish!
What can we do to help? Besides the obvious of putting phones down and not consuming technology at the rate at which we do, it brings to light the importance of being able to speak effectively and in a catchy enough way that gets the attention of people who only have an attention span of 8 seconds.
If you want to get your co-workers, friends, or customers attention when speaking to them face-to-face and make the most of those *sacred* 8 second-long attention spans, here are 5 tips to communicate to goldfish-like attention spans:
5 Tips to Communicate to Goldfish Attention Spans:
- Speak slower (than normal) and speak louder than feels comfortable
- Say things in 3’s– it will be easier for people to remember
- Recite simple concepts, share ideas and say what you need to say in a simple language. Speak on average at a grade 3-4 reading level, depending on your audience of course
- Be a great listener (because this skill is becoming even more rare than good public speakers!) by looking the person in the eye
- Have patience in communicating with people from different generations because we do have extremely different communication styles!