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Navigating Neurodiversity: engaging your audience.

Thinking different,

for different thinking.

Let's talk about neurodiversity. With awareness increasing, brands are trying their best to be more inclusive. Yet, they lack the proper strategies and understanding. It's crucial to strike a chord with audiences and ditch the mumbo-jumbo jargon. Now is the time to opt for a more engaging and playful style that invites curiosity.

The truth is that neurodivergences are only recently being properly recognised by society. Even the medical community are scratching the surface (and their heads?!🤔) of how the human brain works. We're all still figuring things out.

While neurodivergences come with advantages and disadvantages, it does not refer to a mental health condition. You might have heard that neurodiversity is a broad spectrum, which we all appear on at some point. Some of us are more neurotypical than others, but ultimately, we all have unique ways of processing the world around us. With this in mind, take a step back to look at the neurodiversity of your entire audience. From the neurotypical to the neurodivergent, a tailored approach can bring more effective results for all.

This means that we must stop painting audiences with the same broad brush if we want to create truly meaningful experiences.

Divergent or typical, attention spans aren't what they once were. Brands must find a more engaging way to connect with their audiences. A (not-so-short) shortcut to this is through more personal comms. The question is, how do you resonate with so many individual eyes and ears?

🚨 Spoiler alert: use some nifty AI 🚨

There are a lot of ways to make your messaging more engaging. Those of a poetic disposition like their content flowery and emotive…, and others like it witty and playful. And, some (who have likely lost interest in this sentence already) like it more straightforward and practical. One person's chalk is another's cheese.

It can feel like an impossible task trying to please everyone. But, we believe in a world with this much technological potential - where individuality matters more than ever - that we must strive to speak to each audience member in the exact way that works best for them.

After all, there's a lot of noise out there, so most of us tune out without realising. When we're presented with familiar content that grabs us by the collar and shouts, "Hey you. Yes YOU. Pay attention!" we really listen. Blame those highly addictive algorithms that know us better than we know ourselves. Those pesky algos serve content that aligns with our interests, creating cosy echo chambers to make us feel at home. We don't even really need to search for things anymore. It's all about the scroll.

The key to standing out and connecting with an audience suffering from chronic sensory is a little something called hyper-personalisation. Stick with us here because we're about to get into the neuro-nitty-gritty.

Take this scenario, for instance: You're trying to communicate a change strategy to a broad internal audience. As we all know, people don't like change, so you better get your messaging spot on. What works for Baby Boomers and Gen X won't work for millennials and Gen Z. Creative minds also think differently from analytical ones. It's time to get personal.

We believe in gaining a deeper understanding of audiences before communicating with them. It's not just about pushing out generic messages and hoping for the best. No, we take the time to get to know them. We want to hit the back of the net with our messaging, so we start by understanding the diverse minds within our audience. Sure, it takes some extra effort, but it's absolutely worth it.

"But we can't tailor individual messages for every individual event attendee and audience member?" you sigh.

But, Oh, yes, you can!

Remember, we live in a brave new world. Which means there's a lot of technical wizardry at our disposal.

Imagine attending an event that feels made just for you. Thanks to the power of AI, personalised event campaigns are now within reach. Vast amounts of data are available for strategists to analyse. For example, using attendees' preferences and interests or past engagement patterns can help to create highly targeted and relevant experiences.

AI can even adapt and tailor live content to match the preferences and interests of individual viewers. Whether it's a live webinar, a virtual event, or a streaming platform, AI can gather data on viewers' viewing habits and their demographic information to suggest recommendations, provide better accessibility, dynamically adjust content, and even enable interactive features that allow viewers to engage and participate in real-time.

AI can transform a personalised journey, from customised schedules and session recommendations to personalised content and networking suggestions. But even without such advanced tech, you can offer a more bespoke experience. Through "build your agenda" approaches or providing content in many formats, you can engage the diverse minds of your audience. 

By considering the neurodiversity of your audience and harnessing available tools and techniques, you have the power to deliver exceptional, one-of-a-kind experiences that leave a lasting impact.

And as the great Steve Jobs once said, "Think Different".

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Written by: Christian Apthorpe
Featured image: Adobe stock image created by AI artist Schizarty 
Footer image source: Wikipedia