POPin Blog

30 Seconds Is Never (No…Always) Enough

We’ve all heard the story…people’s attention spans are getting shorter and shorter. People are multi-tasking so much that you need to grab their attention and deliver your message quickly before they move on to something else. Advertisers have known this for years…reducing the length of commercials from 1 minute in the 1950s and 1960s to 30 seconds and sometimes even 10 seconds today. It’s no different in the business world. Our research at POPin shows that people in general stop watching those business videos – as fun as you might try to make them – around the 27-second mark. 27 seconds. They don’t even make it to half a minute! The speaker in those business videos is often times just warming up at that point. And in most cases, the producer of the video isn’t in a position to challenge the leader on the length or content of the video. 30 seconds (or less!) forces you to be concise. You have to be very deliberate about what you are trying to communicate or what you are asking for. Challenge yourself. Try this short exercise:
  • Find the last email you sent to your staff asking for their ideas, help or feedback
  • Read the email out loud, timing how long it takes you to read it
  Did it take you 1 minute? 90 seconds? 2 minutes? Longer?
  • If it took you longer than 30 seconds, rewrite the email to condense it down. What are the key messages and how would you articulate them clearly and concisely to fall within a 30-second window?
  • Read your revised version out loud again with a timer. Are you within 30 seconds yet?
  • Repeat these steps until you can deliver your message in 30 seconds or less!
  How many times did you have to keep revising the message and timing the length of it? It’s not as easy as it seems to draft and record a video that is only 30 seconds long. But that’s how long your staff is going to pay attention before they mentally start moving on to the next thing. The reality is…if you want their attention, if you want them to engage in idea generation or problem solving, you’ve got to focus them quickly and concisely then sit back and let the dialogue roll…