Psychologists find that updates on Facebook are 1.4 times more memorable than sentences in books. 86.4 percent of Stanford students in a survey admitted to using more complicated language in order to sound smart. Companies who have easily pronounceable names do better on the stock market. Memos typed in an easy-to-read font are more convincing.
Hmmm, Interesting. What does this mean for you?
In order to get your point across, simplify your communication. People, apparently, feel more comfortable with the natural and spontaneous writings found in social media.
I interpret this as finding your ‘voice’ as you write. When people can see the personality of you, the author, shining through, they can more easily identify with the writing. As a reader, being able to place an idea in the context of your life is simplified when it sounds like it comes from a real person, and thus is more memorable. We have not evolved to interpret carefully-edited and manicured text, but rather stories told by other people.
Unfortunately for someone like me, ingrained with academic writing as I am, this tends to take more time. I continually find myself writing an email in five minutes only to spend another ten simplifying and un-woo-wooing the message. But those extra minutes save me loads of time when I don’t have to go back and forth clarifying things with the recipient.
So, next time you are writing an email, making a presentation, or editing a textbook, try using a more natural, conversational form of speech to get your point across.