People Don’t Want To Hear People Talk

10703514_10205209093485246_374519295804694692_nI was sitting in a meeting the other day and the discussion centered around animation. Many companies are using animation and video more and more, but I’m worried that in some cases, it’s becoming the new PowerPoint slide. Let me explain.

Without disclosing business details, the back-and-forth revealed insight on why those who managed animation chose to use the tool as an opportunity to share every little detail about how a product works versus high level overviews.

The reason? I quote, “People don’t want to hear people talk”.

As Jerry the minion would say, “WHAAAT?”

Where did that “argument” come from? Allow me to share an ad from 2007. Do you remember the UPS commercials where they guy stood in front of a whiteboard? He drew a few images but he did most of the talking and explaining about how UPS services worked. I’ve linked to an example.

When I watch that ad, I see a guy who has a few images that he uses to help with his explanation. He’s the one talking, though! And I understood the service when he was done. And it took 30 seconds! I didn’t need to see the plane being loaded with packages, taking off, landing, customs, the packages being put on the truck, the truck driving down the road, the guy getting out of the truck, delivering the package, etc. I saw that UPS could get packages to three different countries by the customer’s requested time frames. Did I mention the guy talking is how I understood this?

Why do people go to conferences and pay to hear people speak? Why do people watch news or television shows or movies?  I can tell you why I listen to people speak. I want to hear the dialogue, the story, the opinion, and I want to debate or discuss what I’ve heard. I want to ask questions, especially if it’s a new idea or I don’t quite understand something.

In trying to cram all of a product’s information or how it works into one animation, you can lose the audience’s attention and/or dilute your message. This is similar to cramming all of your bullet points onto one PPT slide.

Don’t get me wrong. I adore visual storytelling. However, I do believe that dialogue ensures your audience walks away with the message you wanted to deliver.

Let me know. Do you want to hear people talk? Why or why not?

Photo courtesy of Gini Dietrich. Used with permission.

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Susan Cellura is a marketing communications professional with over 20 years of experience. She is a dynamic communications professional and enthusiastic team-builder, with a progressive history of success in designing and implementing communications programs for global organizations. A strategic thinker with the ability to understand the needs of multiple audiences and deliver solutions, Susan is a results-oriented problem-solver with exceptional interpersonal and negotiation abilities. Having worked in a variety of global industries, she has grown business communications in her current position via a strong mixture of strategic resources, including social media.

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