Instructional Design

Is Multimedia the Most Underrated Tool for Internal Communication?

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It’s a scenario that can make any L&D pro cringe: You have an overarching vision for a new way to improve training and development, but no one else seems to be all that interested. It might be easy to blame the actual initiative when the real problem was in the way you shared your idea. The average person only has an eight-second attention span, which means that even the most revolutionary ideas must compete with things like social media and funny cat videos. Time for multimedia.

Why not fight fire with fire? Utilizing multimedia to communicate your next big L&D idea means that instead of being background noise, your vision competes head-to-head with all the distractions that usually move your communications to the “Other” folder.

Gone in 60 Seconds

The average person spends less than 60 seconds on a text-only web page and chances are that you understand why. Text may convey information clearly, but it’s hardly engaging. And too often, when you want to express yourself and inspire change, you opt for the exact same medium that you’d find boring yourself.

Instead, think about mixing up the formats and allowing each individual to choose the method he or she most connects with. While it’s true that some might prefer a wall of text, others might respond much better to an audio recording, a live stream, or a video. Text can’t always convey your excitement about a new initiative or inspire the change that only a leader can through the spoken word. Offering different types of multimedia means each learner chooses the medium she best connects with, bettering your chance to ignite real change.

Think about multimedia methods such as:

  • Videos
  • Live Q&A sessions
  • Podcasts
  • Live streams
  • Video journals or vlogs
  • Interactive slideshows
  • Instant messages with embedded links, videos, and photos
  • Online photo albums

Being creative with the way that you share your message might mean the difference between real change and just another workplace memo.

Video on Demand 

One of the best ways to utilize multimedia is through video. Psychology Today found that users are 39 percent more likely to share video content and 36 percent more likely to engage with that content via likes and comments. With the average person streaming 206 videos each month, it’s a huge play for learners’ attention. Additionally, it is a form of byte-sized microlearning which allows for quick bursts of learning.

We know that images are processed 60,000 times faster than text by the brain and that brains are ultimately lazy organs. They’re constantly looking for the fastest ways through information and any method that reduces cognitive work on their parts. Therefore, swapping your usual communication methods for video-based ones give your users’ brains a much-needed rest while still relaying important information.

Pictures; sounds; motion: they all capture attention in ways that an email never can. Videos create a connection between the user and the information, which is vital if you’re hoping to incite a big change or share big vision at work. By creating quick, immersive, and engaging experiences via multimedia, you have a better chance and helping your ideas take flight.