For me, the best form of communication is always face-to-face, where we allow our body language to express and emphasise points. We can look the person in the eye, we build trust, form a bond.

But face-to-face is not always possible. The reality is that most of us receive our information, not as a two-way dialogue, but as a grab-and-go. We pick what we want, when we want.

So how do we make this content more engaging?

We’re seeing a rise in the number of audio references, where a customer provides a straight overview of a project. These can come across as reasonably unsophisticated but, as with many simple things, there is a lot of thought involved in boiling down the message and the delivery. I’ve recently been involved in my first podcast recording, and have enjoyed the editorial discussions as to where best to pause, what phrases to emphasize, and how slowly to speak. We can read a great deal into a person’s tone of voice.

It has led me to question whether there is better way. I’m currently looking at ways to use Brainshark, adding simple visuals to the audio. For those of you unfamiliar with this online tool, there is a useful how-to guide, and a gallery of great work. It’s so simple even primary school kids can use it.

I came across this bin presentation and particularly liked the quirky illustrations. It delivered the gist of the case study in only two minutes.

Of course, this throws up more questions. What images to use, how much sound to add? How long should this presentation be?

Clear and engaging

As professional reference specialists we understand the importance of getting the customer’s experience across in a manner that is both clear and engaging, making full use of those all-important spare five minutes. I’m currently wading through a large library of existing Brainshark material. I’d welcome your thoughts on marrying audio and visual, and pointers to any great examples you have come across.