Video_icon1The key to thought leadership is having something for everyone.

Thought leadership is all the rage today. Delivering value to our customers means educating and informing them—which means we must remember what school teachers have always known: Everyone learns differently.

Can You Put That in Writing?

Charts and graphs give me hives. Your infographic makes my head spin. I don’t know where to start. Yes, I can watch your video, but I have to make time outside of my regular sales day, and it takes way too long. Patience is not my strong suit.

It’s the same with podcasts. Do I really have to make time to listen? I probably won’t.

I recognize that pundits tap multimedia as a key way to engage readers. However, it takes me way less time to read what you have to say than to listen to you. I get your personality and your passion in your written words.

Wait, I Can’t Read That

Of course, for some people, a picture’s worth a thousand words. With the right image, you convey your message in seconds. I use pictures on every slide in every presentation. People get my perspective without reading the three bullets next to the picture.

Visuals are particularly valuable in our global economy, where people speak more than 6,500 different languages. English isn’t everyone’s first language. We must make it easy for a global population to understand us and learn from us.

Why Not Mix It Up?

The moral of the story: Sharing your expertise is a key way to engage customers and increase sales effectiveness—but what resonates with one person might not resonate with another. So an effective communication strategy must acknowledge different learning styles. I include many videos and podcasts on my website, but I also have many more blog posts, eBooks, and books.

Multimedia is cool, flashy, and engaging for many people. Just be careful to strike a balance so that you don’t exclude those who want to know your point of view but don’t have patience with your approach.

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How do you prefer to consume information, and why?