There is a wealth of scientific and cultural support the merit of brevity: “less is more,” “brevity is the soul of wit,” “200 characters of less.” A shocking statistic was shared with me at this year’s QRCA market research conference. Studies show that your audience remembers only 10% of what you present to them or in other words they forget 90% of what you share with them. 90%! I know, shocking. 

Contrary to popular belief, our attention spans aren’t reaching goldfish levels quite yet. The real culprit is steeper competition for attention, not less attention overall. 

Twisting The Familiar

Despite these alarming stats, there are solutions to buck this retention crisis. One method to capture your audience is twisting the familiar. The brain responds positively to the familiar, however there’s a fine line between communicating a message too familiar or too surprising. Leading with the “too familiar” results in boredom and communicating the “too surprising” can be too weird and hard for the brain to follow. Towing the line between this spectrum will keep your audience wanting more.


Anticipation & Reward

Another mental model to maintain focus is through anticipation and reward.

Regardless of the payoff in the end, creating anticipation with a teaser will spike the brain’s dopamine levels.

At Talk Shoppe, we’re challenging ourselves to boil down our 10% and decipher the best expression of our 10% in our proposals, deliverables and communications.

We now ask you, what’s your 10%?