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How to Get Through to Your Audience

Use their own inner voices to make an impact and inspire behavior change

By: Ben Moorsom

Ours is a world that is perpetually increasing in clutter and noise. In such an environment, how do we capture our audience’s attention and leave a lasting impression?  

 

Taking it a step further, how do we capture the attention of everyone as a whole, but also each individual on an intimate level?

 

Maybe shouting LOUDER could help! Many have tried this, but with little success. As a matter of fact, I believe we need to speak quieter, or even…be silent. 


What if we could reach our audiences through their own inner voice?

The Inner Voice Experience™ 

My company Debut has a proprietary communication sequence that we call the Inner Voice Experience™. This methodology has been carefully designed to deliver one key primary function: it introduces audiences to their own inner voice and communicates important messaging in a deeply personal way that inspires behavior change. 

Imagine you are trying to deliver a message about climate change to drive environmental action in your audience. The Inner Voice Experience™ achieves this using a four-part communication sequence:

1. Introduce the inner voice  

2. Empathize with audience’s concerns

3. Instill hope

4. Restore purpose and inspire behavioral action

The science behind the Inner Voice Experience™  

What makes the Inner Voice Experience™ so effective?

 

To help you understand, I’d like to introduce you to Sasha, a typical member of your audience.

If you want Sasha to remember and act on your key message, he must first pay attention! Unfortunately, that sounds a lot simpler than it really is. Human attention is a limited resource that acts as a gatekeeper to memory. There’s only so much capacity each of us has to pay attention, and if we don’t pay attention, it’s impossible to remember because we didn’t hear it in the first place.

 

The Inner Voice Experience™ uses insights from research on human cognition to boost Sasha’s attention and memory. In turn, this increases the chances of behavior change.  

 

Here’s how.

• Make it personal

Rogers, T. B., Kuiper, N. A., & Kirker, W. S. (1977). Self-reference and the encoding of personal information. Journal of personality and social psychology, 35(9), 677.

Sasha will pay more attention to information that is personally relevant. Sending a message through Sasha’s Inner Voice rather than from an outside source heightens its personal relevance.

• Make it emotional

Hourihan, K. L., Fraundorf, S. H., & Benjamin, A. S. (2017). The influences of valence and arousal on judgments of learning and on recall. Memory & cognition, 45(1), 121-136. 

When information evokes emotion, it captures Sasha’s attention and leads to better memory. The Inner Voice Experience™ taps into emotion by identifying audience concerns and delivering hope. 

• Make it immersive

Braddock, K., & Dillard, J. P. (2016). Meta-analytic evidence for the persuasive effect of narratives on beliefs, attitudes, intentions, and behaviors. Communication Monographs, 83(4), 446-467.  

Studies show that delivering key messages embedded in a story-like context leads to better outcomes. Sasha’s beliefs, attitudes, intentions and behaviors are shaped more by the narrative style of the Inner Voice Experience™ than typical forms of corporate communication.   

• Make it fresh

Takeuchi, T., Duszkiewicz, A. J., Sonneborn, A., Spooner, P. A., Yamasaki, M., Watanabe, M., ... & Morris, R. G. (2016). Locus coeruleus and dopaminergic consolidation of everyday memory. Nature, 537(7620), 357-362. 

Sasha can easily tune out the mundane corporate types of communications we often receive. But research shows that novel and unexpected experiences grab our attention and leave a mark. The Inner Voice Experience™ is a system that enables your communications to stand out in a fresh and compelling way.

The results say it all 

The Inner Voice Experience™ really works!

 

People have been incredibly receptive to the Inner Voice Experience™ when they were part of both live and virtual audiences. We also scientifically tested its outcome on cognition in a randomized control trial (RCT), comparing its effectiveness to traditional communications like corporate memos and talking head videos (sound familiar?) 

 

In our RCT, 218 adults living in the U.S. and Canada were randomly assigned to view a message about environmental sustainability from a fictional company, Oceans Agricorp. The message was viewed in one of three formats: 

  1. Text-based corporate memo

  2. Video from the CEO

  3. Via the Inner Voice Experience™

The Inner Voice Experience™ outperformed the traditional communications for every outcome-of-interest, boosting measures of attention, mood and value internalization by up to 16%.

At Debut, we refer to this trifecta of positive effects as “cognitive resonance” and it’s one of the key components of audience engagement.

Beyond its impressive effects on cognition, people who received messages through their inner voice also reported greater concern about climate change in the environment. This change in attitude is a critical step toward a change in behavior! 

 

 

What would it mean for you to have 16% more of your audience who buys into your messaging? What would it mean for the happiness of your employees? For the effectiveness of your teams? For your bottom line?  

If you want your message to break through the noise, stop shouting from the rooftops. Engage your audience on a more intimate psychological level with the proven effectiveness of the Inner Voice Experience™.

Ready to design your next event or campaign? 
Let’s build an experience for your audience that will cognitively resonate and drive meaningful behavior change.
 
Get in touch with Debut today.
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How can companies use this discovery?  

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