How connection multiplies communication
We are constantly drowning in information: on our phones, on our computers, in our offices and in our homes. There’s a firehose of information gushing straight into our faces all. the. time. And because of this deluge, we’re constantly trying to block out the “noise” and focus on what’s important to us.
When faced by the sheer volume of communication out there, your brain starts to act a little like an email spam filter, helping you to take a sip from the firehose. It flags some information as junk and ignores it, while prioritising and paying attention to what it feels is valuable. But we’ve all had a really important email being flagged as spam by mistake, right? The problem is that sometimes your brain can skip over important information in the same way. It tunes out anything that it doesn’t see as immediately valuable to you. For anyone trying to get a message across in the media, it’s vital to remember that your audience’s brains will do exactly the same if you don’t immediately grab their interest.
So how do we do this? In a recent corporate media training session we did with a research and development company, this exact issue came up: How do we get ourselves heard above the “noise” when we’re trying to communicate about our research? Our answer is always the same, no matter the client or the industry: we need to forge a sense of connection with our audience. If you make your audience feel something, they’re going to feel connected. It’s a skill journalists use all the time. Even if we’re dealing with facts and figures, we’re also aiming for the heart. Think of connection as an emotional link that instantly overrides the spam filter.
That’s why, in communication, connection is everything. If your audience feels disconnected, you’ve already lost them. No matter how powerful or clever your message is, it’s simply not going to be heard. But if your audience feels like you understand them and their problems, if you’re talking to them about something specifically valuable to them, they’re going to lean into the conversation. If your audience feels connected, if you give them a good story, they’re going to remember your message.
Remember: connection multiplies communication.
And it’s also important for us as communicators to remember that connection isn’t about you or your brand; it’s not about the information you’re wanting to get across or the story you want to tell. It’s always about the person on the other end of the conversation you’re trying to have. To aim for the heart, to really connect, we need to know who we’re speaking to.
By Camilla Bath
Connection is one of Nala Academy’s must-have three Cs of communication. If you’d like to explore how to forge connection with your audience through better storytelling, drop us an email. We’d love to hear from you.