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Thursday, March 18, 2010


If you haven't heard of TED yet (you must not read my blog very often) you need to. TED is all about ideas worth sharing and they come from all walks of life. In the talk below Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (you try and pronounce it) shares from his research about what it takes to make us happy.

The whole talk is good (just under 20 minutes), but one thing stood out to me that I wanted to share with you. His research shows that humans can only absorb about 110 bits of information at one time (a stream of data like body language, words being spoken, smells, feelings of hunger, etc.). Paying attention to a person speaking requires about 60 bits of information, so we can't pay attention to two speakers at once (not fully, at least). 

But if we are only speaking, then we are leaving 50 bits of information unused. Those bits are going to go to something - like a feeling of hunger or noticing the cute girl down the row. For every bit we leave un-engaged, we are losing impact for our message. 

Keep people visually engaged through media and keep them mentally engaged through inductive preaching. I dare you.

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