Are You More Like Twitter or Instagram?


A picture is worth a thousand words…

A picture is worth a thousand words, so they say, but the updated version of that phrase sounds more like… put together the pictures with the words and you’ll experience unprecedented engagement and communications. Undeniably we still live in a text based society, but visuals have elevated the game. Both Twitter and Instagram are storytelling techniques helping businesses succeed in content distribution, sales, and branding.

In a sea of social media apps, Instagram is trending (how ironic) and here’s why… Twitter started with 140 characters of text and evolved into allowing users to add pictures and/or follow links out to the web, white papers, videos, and more. Many times, the final landing spot is far removed from the original post, creating space and time in the “connection”. Industry analysts have called this part of the twitter-net “noisy,” with many external moving parts.

Instagram, on the other hand, has played it cool. The app aims to keep you within their community and asks you to observe one post at a time. The evolution here is that Instagram now strikes a perfect and equal balance between words and pictures with prolific captions, commenting abilities, and an array of picture editing possibilities. They cornered the market for influential storytelling including text, pictures and now interactive responses. Data shows that users agree. Instagram has 400 million users monthly as compared to Twitter’s 316 million. And when engagement is measured, Instagram wins hands-down boasting billions of “shares” within their app world.

We already know why storytelling works, and pictures elevate this tool. In the past, the more bullet points and  information stuffed into your PowerPoint was thought to heighten the effectiveness and professionalism. Not true. It turns out, “Cognitive scientists say it’s impossible for us to multitask as well as we think we can. The brain cannot do two things at once and do them equally well. When it comes to presentation design, we can’t read text on the screen and listen to the speaker while retaining all of the information.” (Gallo)

So how do we combat that, and make ourselves the most impactful presenters?

“University of Washington biologist John Medina has done extensive research into how the brain processes information. According to his book, Brain Rules, “We are incredible at remembering pictures. Hear a piece of information, and three days later you’ll remember 10 percent of it.  Add a picture and you’ll remember 65 percent.”” (Gallo) Not only will the audience remember it, but the transfer of information happens much faster too. In their research on the subject, the company 3M reveals that visual aids “have been found to improve learning by up to 400 percent….and we can process visuals 60,000 times faster than text.” Powerful data like that motivates changes in what and how we consume and present information.

Like Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai and his new minimalist presentations, let’s begin to consider revamping your typical designs. Who are you more like when presenting? Twitter or Instagram? Comb through and identify which bullet points can be replaced with pictures that tell a story or create an emotional connection. Don’t assume the audience will know exactly what you mean when choosing a picture so do include a concise, relevant explanation. Engagement and understanding will soar. Visuals emerge through language too, so think of how you can set the stage or scenario of a situation in the stories you tell as well. It starts with “Imagine this…”

Nudge: Think in pictures. Look for ways to incorporate more visuals whether it’s verbally or by adding graphics and photography in your presentation.

https://www.fastcompany.com/3035856/why-were-more-likely-to-remember-content-with-images-and-video-infogr

https://www.forbes.com/sites/onmarketing/2013/07/02/the-shift-from-words-to-pictures-and-implications-for-digital-marketers/#36b397f9405a

http://roundpeg.biz/2014/08/pictures-speak-louder-words/

https://www.inc.com/carmine-gallo/how-googles-ceo-creates-brain-friendly-presentations.html

Millennials…Start ‘Em Early


Millennials...Start 'Em Early

Millennials…Start ‘Em Early

Remember back in the day when “1999” by Prince thumped on every boom box? The ominously funky jam was the perfect song to celebrate the new millennium. Yet as the reality of “Y2K” sunk in, people responded with panic, triggered by great fears of the unknown. So many questions, worries and tragedies were predicted. With some minor glitches and adjustments, we all survived. So why does a momentous generational shift already in motion alarm your company?

Millennials are the generation born then between 1982 and 2004, now 13 to 35 years old and quickly maturing into the work force. They’re most known for filling positions formerly held by baby boomers but “This group’s values, needs, wants and ways of working are different and will cause the same kind of disruptions and opportunities that the baby boomers who preceded them did” (The Art of the Nudge pg 17).

The Bersin by Deloitte report highlights, “…more than 3.6 million company chiefs are set to retire as younger professionals ascend to managerial slots. Companies are busy planning for this transition anticipating the massive loss of boomers” (Altman). Once again, the impact of the “millennium” creates its own sort of chaos as this unique workforce comes in requiring a cultural shift as well.  Communication-wise, Millennials appear to be the most connected digitally, but disconnected interpersonally.  This generational shift requires training and development programs to allow new employees, managers and leaders to adapt. Are you investing time to train Millennial employees to adapt? You should be.

Leadership expert and author of Liquid Leadership, Brad Szollose says, “You can’t put someone in a leadership role assuming they have the skills to lead, only to train them 10 years later. If you want Millennials to succeed, invest in their leadership development today.” Leadership qualities and soft skills are invaluable and critical to prioritize in training Millennials.

With 200-300 social/digital media posts coming at Millennials every day, the number of disruptive ideas accentuate the pace of change. It’s no surprise Millennials’ priorities shift rapidly; they are distracted and racing to keep up!

New leaders need to be able to communicate in a way that:

  1. Engages people by listening and respecting them;
  2. Creates a compelling vision that they want to and are able to “opt into”;
  3. Gains alignment so they take action with passion and persistence;
  4. Creates high performing execution;

Employers view these characteristics as critical a skill set for high performance as competent, technical skills. Gathering stories from others fosters unprecedented understanding of them so we walk away from conversations knowing how we can help one another in a mutually beneficial way. A human leader speeds up your real business performance. We find Millennials to be thirsty for learning to elevate their skills and inspired by the idea of slowing down to truly understand people, their needs, wants and desires through empathic conversations.

Nudge: Think about what are you doing to create these new Millennial Leaders.  How will you help unleash, embrace and empower their enormous potential?

https://www.forbes.com/sites/ianaltman/2016/12/06/top-10-business-trends-that-will-drive-success-in-2017/2/#5fae4b92349b

https://www.forbes.com/sites/williamvanderbloemen/2017/02/22/how-to-spot-leadership-potential-in-millennials/#7aee4b8b16fa

https://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2014/03/here-is-when-each-generation-begins-and-ends-according-to-facts/359589/

https://www.geteverwise.com/human-resources/hr-in-2017-new-bersin-by-deloitte-report-predicts-most-disruptive-year-ever/

Is Trust Still Important and Does Upholding Commitments Matter in this Fast-Paced Digital World?


The world of digital disruption, ubiquitous communication, and generational shifts in the workforce is changing everything. People are moving faster; they are always “on” and bombarded by inputs from social/digital media. Our customers tell us that the negative effects of these great communication technologies are constant feelings of pressure and stress with shifting priorities. They often do not have enough time in the day to accomplish high priority items. The result: work longer hours to catch up or leave feeling crushed by the pressures of work. They have too much to do and feel frustrated. If you are not among this group, congratulations.

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