We all know that our minds are the most advanced piece of software that we will ever possess and probably never fully understand. I mean, think about it, you probably have more of an understanding of how your phone works then the organic technological powerhouse in your head.
The process of understanding our own operating software is a continual journey and what helps us delve deeper into the mysteries of the mind, is the work showcased through the world of neuroscience.
I recently attended a learning conference where a number of the key topics were focused on neuroscience, neurology and how we engage with content. Now this might not sound like a sexy topic to you, but it’s actually pretty fundamental in understanding how we are wired and the way in which we engage with each other and the world around us.
Neuroscience = sexy?
Let me share some insights with you from what I learnt and look at how we can apply this to engaging an audience to our amazing content.
The brain is wired for survival and not knowledge – seriously the brain gives no shits about your first world problems of no one liking your photo on instagram. All it cares about is pro-creating and staying away from sabre tooth tigers – fact.
We remember things when we feel them – remember that time when your girlfriend told you, it’s not me, it’s you and you felt that inner black hole of hurt inside you. Yeah, bad news on that one, you’re going to remember that one for awhile as your feelings got all up on that and imprinted on you.
We actively seek out these core emotions:
Joy – Fear – Sadness – Anger – Disgust
It’s true, try and think of a time you’ve not searched for something, where one of these emotions hasn’t been a key driver – it’s tough right. It’s like when I go running off to find a jar of cashew butter, I’m driven by the joy of that caramel tasting goodness in my mouth.
We are mostly driven by these 2 questions in any activity:
How will this make me look?
What are other people doing?
Again go through today and see if these don’t come up in some form even once, I know that these swirl around in my head regularly and form the basis of if I will complete an action or engage with content.
So, how does this all relate to engaging an audience you may ask? It’s simple, the insights above contain a number of key drivers to understand and utilise in getting an audience to engage with your message, content, conversation or whatever. The mind is super powerful and we just need to understand a little more around how it works and the toolkit we can use to grab it’s attention.
An easy way to sum this up would be, if you want to engage an audience, tell them real stories about real people and they just might want to listen. Make people feel stuff, tug on those emotions laid out above and don’t forget our inner caveman – our mind just wants us to survive, will your content or message help with that?
Next time you send out that communication, launch that campaign or have that challenging conversation – take a leaf from the book of neuroscience and you might just get somewhere.
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