StoryTELLing in written form is actually a contradiction!
Especially when it comes to storytelling, audio communication is simply the better choice. After all, listening to a story is something completely different than reading it. Therefore, telling a story is also something completely different than writing it.
It’s about telling “stories” that trigger positive feelings, create customer loyalty and stay in peoples memory.
Because it is only by experiencing history and stories about products, places and people, that the new and strange becomes familiar:
“Any” old building only becomes interesting, when you learn what happened inside it a long time ago. Stories like this, increase appreciation.
Every story should have the classic structure with beginning – middle part – end. And of course be exciting! Aristotle already said, that every good story needs a main character, a setting and a plot.
When using storytelling in marketing, it is also important that the stories can be consumed on the spot and easily. And that the narrative is simple and easy to understand.
Listening to information and stories is just super convenient. Much more convenient than picking up paper or a mobile device, searching for the content, and then having to read it.
Listening you can also do on the side, because your hands and eyes remain free. That’s why there are audio announcements for passengers at train stations and airports.
And this is why listening to the radio while driving is still so popular.
Or audio guides during sightseeing: because you can admire the sights, while listening to the information.
For a long time, this convenience was limited to exactly such applications. Because audio recordings had to be made in recording studios with voice actors. This was and is too expensive and inflexible for most applications.
Today, speech assistants, so-called text-to-speech engines (TTS) for audio communication can be used instead.
This allows products, buildings or mountains to “speak” and tell their story.
Speech assistants such as Alexa, Siri & Co, already tell how the weather is going to be or what is going on in the world. Or the joke and cooking tip of the day.
It is logical to orient texts of such a story towards listening rather than reading. This is why audio communication design is quite different from texts that are offered in written form.
Radio features are therefore designed by professionals in audio communication. There is even a separate course of study for audio communication. Because language stimulates the imagination like no other medium. As a result, listeners can much better process, understand and remember the content.
Actually a dream for marketing messages! But in most marketing teams there are no professionals for audio communication.
Therefore our 5 tips for good audio communication:
Remember: you are not writing sophisticated texts for the website or image brochure. Instead you “tell” a story!
With miserably long, nested sentences, you forget the beginning even before the sentence finishes. When reading, you can read something again or more slowly.
But when listening, everything must be understood immediately. That is why short, simple sentences are so important.
Also long enumerations (i.e. the “bullet points” so popular for writing) are not well suited for audio communication.
It is better to always address 2-3 items that fit together in a separate sentence.
Listening to the radio is a great training for audio communication.
When listening to radio news or reports, pay attention to the sentence length, word order and choice of words by professionals.
What doesn’t go down so well becomes apparent in interviews with people without the appropriate training. Who express themselves in a particularly chosen and complicated way. And who say too little with too many words.
This makes the listeners feel tired and bores them quickly.
The language itself should also be simple and easy to understand. So if possible, do not use foreign words and avoid very long, compound nouns. Instead of abstract wordsbetter use figurative language,, so that listeners can understand what it is all about, without great concentration. Even if they only listen to the story “on the side”.
There are very helpful websites for designing audio communication texts:
e.g. synonyme.woxikon, a website that lists synonyms, i.e. words that have the same meaning but are simpler.
Also practical is a check of the Flesch readability index. This determines how easy or difficult a text is to understand. For good audio communication this value should be at least 60 points.
You can check your text for this on the free website copywritely.com/readability-checker/
Placing the verb at the beginning of the sentence, makes it easier for the listeners to follow the sentence. In this way they know immediately what “action” this sentence is about.
So not: “After long negotiations, which lasted into the night, the parties signed the peace treaty.”
Better is: “The parties signed the peace treaty after long negotiations, which lasted until late at night.”
For written material we use headings and paragraphs to indicate a new sentence or a change of topic.
In audio communication, we use connective words at the beginning of sentences instead. This helps listeners to prepare themselves for the next sentence. And at the same time keep the narrative fluid.
Classic introductory words are for example:
and, but, because, therefore, therefore, therefore, for this reason, furthermore, afterwards, additionally, during, in this sense, on the other hand, etc.
You can even use whole sentences, e.g: “What happened next? Who would have thought it? And then it happened!
Especially in cultural education, exact time and date information on historical events is important and common.
But in audio communication they are difficult to remember. They also make it difficult to understand the sentence itself.
The usual written statement: “Max II, Count of Sampleburg, (14.05.1721 – 28.06.1763)” is not suitable for audio communication. Listeners will forget such dates before they are even read out.
Better is: “Max II, Count of Sampleburg was born on 14 May 1721, almost 300 years ago. He died on 28 June 1763, so he was only 42 years old”.
Generally, use years and dates quite sparingly. The same applies to percentages and quantities. Firstly, hardly anyone can remember them, secondly, such numbers are not very exciting and thirdly, they do not create emotions.