The 3 commandments of interactive communication

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Natalia De la Peña Frade

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5 minutes

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June 20, 2023

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What do we mean when we say interactive communication? Perhaps what comes to mind is that communication lesson that was repeated at the beginning of every year: the sender, the receiver, the message … Who remembers that classic yogurt pot phone experiment?

Don’t worry. I’m not going to dredge all that stuff back up again. What I want to talk about is the interactive communication that takes place in the online environment and that can help you achieve your objectives. Did you know that 91% of people prefer interactive content to the usual static content? 

It doesn’t matter whether you work in education, corporate training, marketing, design, or digital journalism: interactive communication is for you. In this post we’ll explain how to put it into practice. And we’ll also reveal the 3 commandments of interactive communication that will help you see everything more clearly.  

What is interactive communication?

Communication is interactive when it is bidirectional, that is, when those participating take an active part in the process, both transmitting and receiving information. In fact, an ordinary conversation between two people is an example of interactive communication. 

New technologies have given rise to new models of interactive communication, something that you (yes, you!) can take advantage of. Since the dawn of the internet, we’ve been receiving communications through our devices, and reacting to them. This way of interacting is also considered interactive communication, and there are many examples: interactive marketing, social media posts, and also the comments on this post (don’t forget to leave one!). 

If you think about it, interaction is essential for good communication, right? Because if not, what’s the point? Why bother to communicate if no one reacts or answers you? 

There’s an elementary trick to getting people to interact with your content, even in this age of information overload. How do we do it? Easy! By offering more interaction options. This is the first commandment of interactive communication:

The more interaction options there are, the more response. 

It’s all about creating messages that invite your audience or your students to explore and discover the rest of the story. If you manage to capture their attention and make them want to consume your content, you overcome the challenge of information overload.

How does interactivity work in communication?

Interactivity gives you the opportunity to turn communication into an experience, something that can be explored. And of course, there is no comparison. Being part of an experience is miles better than being faced with a wall of text, right?

It allows you to break down the information into small doses and organize it into layers (like ogres and onions). Visual elements are displayed in the foreground and arouse interest and curiosity. People can explore information at their own pace and avoid the aversion that can be generated by a data table or a large block of text.

Take a look at this example: although it may not seem like it, on the right side there is much more information than on the left. Which side of the image do you like better? 

Interactive visual communication is the way to go!

If in addition to interactivity you use visual elements to convey information, you can maximize the effectiveness of your communications. 

For starters, people are visual beings. We capture visual information almost without realizing it, like breathing. 

That’s why it’s always a great idea to reinforce your messages with visual elements. Images, icons, shapes, and colors convey a lot of information without your audience having to make an effort to unravel it. Which is much better for everyone! Because this way you reach more people with your message.

This brings us to the second commandment of interactive communication.

The easier you make it, the better your message will be understood.

When you add visual and interactive elements to your communication, you are making interactive visual communication, the foolproof way of communicating successfully. When you get the hang of it, you’ll have a real superpower. 

What applications does interactive communication have?

In the corporate world

Countless books and articles have been written about the importance of communication in companies, and this goes for any organization. Every company needs internal and external communication to flow, to improve the work environment and motivation, enhance coordination between different departments, and facilitate the achievement of common objectives. All for one and one for all!

Applying interactivity to communication is the best way to turn dull and static content into engaging experiences for teams to enjoy. 

Here are some of the areas in which an interactive communication model can contribute to communicative success:

  • Corporate training: With interactive communication, explaining any concept will take much less time. Less text is needed on the screen, which makes it possible to create much more attractive content. Want to see a good example? Look no further than Gamification.

Interactivity is very effective in getting teams involved. The person receiving the training takes an active role when interacting, and retains content better by putting what they learn into practice. 

And, involvement translates into greater course completion rates. When you use interactive content, the dropout rate plummets as if by magic. Ta-da!

  • Reporting: What if instead of overwhelming people with graphs and tables, we gave them the opportunity to discover the information for themselves? Displaying reports in an interactive format is the best way to capture and retain people’s attention. Interactive graphics are much more attractive and easier to understand.

  • Internal communication: Want to get teams to devour your intranet content? Is it possible to improve the results of internal communication? But of course! Interactive communication is a great tool for generating corporate culture. 

In practice, when interactive content is used instead of dull PDFs, engagement improves, the time teams spend consuming corporate information increases, and bounce rate is reduced.

  • Marketing: Marketing is communication, and as such, can really stand to benefit big-time from interactive communication. Interactivity is used in interactive marketing to get attention and engagement and to improve people’s experiences. 

Materials such as catalogs, manuals, and business proposals work a whole lot better if they’re interactive. Why? Because the message doesn’t overwhelm. There are no huge blocks of text but rather opportunities for interaction, and people decide at the click of a button what part of the content they want to visit, and what information interests them. This also works for other corporate materials such as company presentations or press kits.

Yes, the Genially press kit is a genially. Do you like it?

In education

When you think about it, education is based on communication. Learning is based on the exchange of information between teachers and students. 

Notice that we are talking about information exchange. For there to be an exchange, there has to be interaction, that is, interactive communication. And do you know what else? Interactivity motivates and engages your students. Here comes the third commandment:

The more interaction involved, the more motivated and effective the learning process becomes.

Why does interactive communication work in education? 

Teachers who limit themselves to transmitting information in a unidirectional way risk their students switching off. And all the more so nowadays, as students’ attention spans shorten by the day. 

Participation is what is needed. In addition to contributing to the development of each student and getting them to speak in public, it will help them learn to listen to others; participation means involvement, a fundamental part of learning. As a teacher, I’m sure you know: we remember what we do

Therefore, simulations and games are super effective for learning. This means that, for once, what your students want and what’s best for their progress actually matches. Isn’t that great?

Fill your educational content with engagement opportunities; it’s easy with Genially! The best way to implement your interactive communication strategy is to use interactive teaching materials. Here are plenty of resources to help you get started:

In addition, in Genially you can monitor every interaction of your students or your audience if you want to. Interactive questions and metrics help you analyze how your content is working. And if you use an LMS, you can also download your creations in SCORM format.

Do you agree with the three commandments of interactive communication?   This post wants to be interactive too; why not help out by leaving a comment?

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Natalia De la Peña Frade
Content creator: I try to write things you like to read

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