Ive got a question for you, Are you being fluent?
What do I mean by fluent? Let me tell you a quick story,
I got my first proper job when I was 19, it was an internship with an engineering firm .
In internships, you get paired with mentor and their job is to help you get to grips with what’s happening.
My mentor was genuinely an amazing person, we’re still great friends. The thing was I found them super difficult to understand, they used big words, terminology that I wasnt familiar with and what it meant for me was, I actively avoided engaging with them because I didn’t want to feel dumb or ask the wrong questions.
For all I knew, they could’ve been speaking a different language altogether, a language that I certainly wasn’t fluent in yet.
Where am I going with this? Well, In content production, there’s a thing called cognitive fluency, this basically means, how easy can we make it for people to understand and engage with our content without any major barriers.
Why is this important? We live in a world with a lot of diversity. That includes neuerodiverse people, that’s in the way we process and store information right through to culturally diverse people, the way we see the world based on our own experiences.
But there’s one thing that everyone can relate to and that is keeping things simple and easy to understand.
Cognitive fluency basically means that we prefer, not choose, we prefer things that are familiar, simple and easy to understand. Our brain prefers to think about things that are easy to think about.
A really good example is my name. If you saw Kaushik spelt out, you probably wouldn’t have a clue on how to tackle that without some hesitation. But breaking it down to Core and Schick, breaks down that barrier and makes it far easier to have a go.. Shout out to Michael for the breakdown by the way.
For us content producers, this means that If we’re creating content that is easily understandable, then people are more likely to engage. We’re more likely to be remembered and more likely to have conversations. We’re buying up mental real estate because we made the effort to make things understandable.
If we make it harder for people to understand, we create subconscious barriers for people to engage because they don’t want to ask the wrong questions or feel dumb.
How do we actually do this? Look at your surroundings, look at your audiences and looks at what they engage with and how. Keep with simple, keep it relatively familiar and of course, don’t forget to make it your own.
And everyone one of us, has preconceived notions in the way we understand things, so making things complex may mean we’re making a small minority feel great that they understood but the majority feeling alienated because they didn’t.