At a conference recently, I attended a session called “The Power of Your Voice” that was presented from one of the awesome instructors at Speakeasy. If you ever have the chance to attend something by them, do not pass it up. It was phenomenal. A lot of it you have heard before, but I think that kind of content, you can’t hear often enough. There were tricks on breathing right, using the “Pause” correctly, opening your mouth, body language (leaning in vs. out, etc), and remembering that less is more.
The biggest takeaway from me is to remember that when people talk to you, 80% of their takeaway comes from their FEELING ABOUT the conversation, not the CONTENT of the conversation. This is one more great way to say that the experience matters more than the content. Watch this video to see what I mean:
Are you inspired right now? Why in the world are you inspired? Because “they will not take, our indepdence day?” Because of the muppets saying “shaaaaamme.” No way! It was all about the experience created. From a “content” perspective, this video is a joke. But I bet you aren’t thinking about it like that right now, are you? The words added to the experience, sure… but not more than the music did… or the camera angles… or the familiarity of some of the scenes and memories they triggered… or the inflection, fire, and passion in the voices of the actors… all of these things added up to create an experience that gave you feelings of inspiration.
Think about the user experience you are providing…
- on your corporate web site… images? or text? where are you spending your time and efforts?
- in your office, building, store, or church… are you spending your time planning the content of the signage, the words and ignoring the experience and the feelings being created?
- in your home when you entertain… are you thinking about the food you are serving for dinner or the way the house smells and sounds when people first arrive?
- in your conferences… are you putting all your eggs in a big keynote basket, but allowing the check-in process to be a logistics nightmare? how well are you communicating about the where’s and when’s to your users? A great keynote is no good if attendees had to ask 3 people which room it’s in and what time it starts.
- in your web apps and SaaSy platforms… is there a product personality? what feeling does it create to use the product?
- in your employee culture… does the experience and feeling of being a employee match the written “core values,” vision, and mission? Or is there a disconnect between content and experience?
I hope you find this perspective a little bit freeing, as I do. It’s actually much easier to focus on the experience and feelings of the user… because I am a user of things. I know how I like to feel, and it’s not terribly difficult to point to the causes and triggers of those feelings. Content can be a lot more work to create!