Adressing the reader’s senses: How to make technical content more interesting

//Adressing the reader’s senses: How to make technical content more interesting

Brain and learning research has found that the content of a message is better understood and more convincing when it evokes positive emotions. When explaining the functions of a product to someone, addressing emotions in learning contexts is relevant.

Robot-skaliertDuring application training sessions, participants are often send to sleep by boring or highly complicated learning content. The written and verbal explanations including presentation slides with densely packed text seem to go over the head of most participants.Sales and marketing managers have to sway their target, i.e., potential clients towards accepting an offer. Materials such as product sheets, information flyers or PDF files are used for this purpose.

One rule applies to all these materials: A presentation that tires, bores or even angers the recipient due to its high complexity is damaging. This sort of information material will land in the bin. What options are available for making technical content more absorbing and to help win over the reader?

The target group for the content – whether experts or laymen – plays an important role here. The differences in preparing information for the different target groups are compiled in the following Table:

COMMUNICATION WITH LAYMEN AND EXPERTS
Experts Laymen
Instructions Influence Instructions Influence
Technical language Technical language in combination with graphical/ emotional formulations, e.g. journalistic headlines and photo captions “Translation” of technical terminology, rule-based writing following the KISS principle – Keep it short and simple Simple language (KISS) together with graphic- emotional formulations, use of synonyms – words with the same or similar meaning
Tables, info graphics, images of machine parts In addition to images of the objects there are photos of people on the machine or entertaining drawings Images and drawings that make the processes clear and simplify understanding In addition to “making it comprehensible” there are eye-catching visuals that are more entertaining than informative

But does the “typical” recipient even exist? The reaction of a person to information can be predicted only with a certain probability. Competition is only one of the factors that bear an influence: Against which comparable offers must an advertised product prove its mettle? The transfer medium, existing buying preferences and brand loyalties as well as the environment of the target person also influence the decision – the same holds true for personal characteristics.

There have been a number of scientific trials to categorize and differentiate between humans using different criteria. With respect to information processing, some psychologists differentiate between visual, auditory and kinesthetic types along the lines of the human senses. Experts recommend preparing information adapted to the respective sensory channels – as visual or auditory. This is purported to increase the attention of recipients and enable a “brain conforming” processing of the content.

It is possible to stimulate the regions of the brain associated with the five senses through the spoken and written word and draw a physical reaction. The following small experiment should demonstrate this: “Imagine you are biting into a fresh juicy slice of lemon!”

Read the whole essay with further informations about …

  • Basic principle of convincing
  • Surprise through irritaition
  • Bad entry – certain exit
  • Evoke sustained interest
  • Building bridges through language

http://www.tcworld.info/e-magazine/technical-communication/article/content-that-feels-good-addressing-the-readers-senses/