Reading is one of my favorite pastimes. You’ll never find me in front of the TV because I’d rather have my nose stuck in a book – the bigger and more complex the better. So why is it when it comes to reading a document I’d rather stub my toe on a piece of furniture? I recently downloaded a survey that I thought would be really interesting to read. After the second page I had completely lost interest, couldn’t absorb the statistics, and practically lost my mind! That led me to ask the question ‘how do we get intended audiences to read beyond the second page?’
One way to attract the attention of readers is to make use of graphics. Carefully considered graphics or diagrams can really help you get your point across much quicker than if you tried to articulate the same concept in many words. Take the simple example of a square. Here is the picture:
And here is the definition:
‘A square is a polygon with 4 sides and 4 interior angles which add to 360 degrees.’
Now, if you are a math geek you probably would appreciate the definition but not me! Point made, pictures say way more than words. And not just any picture, of course, it needs to be relevant, attractive, and convey a point. In my mind endless pie charts should be reserved for board meetings and left out of other content.
Call Out Blocks
I too am very guilty of glossing over content. Because so much content is coming at us, we’ve resorted to skimming it without really absorbing it properly. I guess it’s a way of vetting whether something is intended for you or someone else. Utilizing blocks of text within a larger document allows readers to skim the content and grasp the essence of it without having to dive deeply into the document. Consider putting your most important points in ‘call out boxes’ alongside lengthier text when you’re trying to make a point. This forces the reader to stop, read, and think about whether they want to read the accompanying paragraph. It also performs the function of having the reader stop and consider with whom they can share the document. Your document may even make it into the hands of its intended audience!
Marketing people just love to blather on and on – hopefully meaningful stuff vs just blather, of course. I have downloaded several pieces of content and because I’m still somewhat old fashioned in my reading habits there are pieces I prefer to print out because I like to write on them. I have learned though to really look at the length of those documents now before I print them. Unless it’s a training manual, I can guarantee you that if it’s longer than 3-5 pages I just don’t even bother with it.
Want to ensure you get your document read? Give us a try: https://thepartnermarketinggroup.com/content/