So what exactly IS an “Open Loop” and why are they so important?
In a nutshell, an Open Loop is an “engagement technique” which simply engages your audience’s mind with an internal, unresolved question.
They are like little mysteries… that stimulates the brain to ask things like: “So what happened?” or “How do you do that?‘ or “Where can I get that?“
When you use an open loop, you’ve given SOME information – but not enough to draw a conclusion or to allow the brain to feel a resolution.
And really, the brain is constantly trying to resolve things for you – we’re hard-wired for closure. That’s how it feels safe – there’s a feeling of safety to being “in the know.”
That’s why a good Open Loop compels your audience to stay focused on your message, until the reveal (or the closure)… because they feel intrigued and NEED to know the answer or find out what happened!
Well, in today’s session, that’s what we’re talking about. Specifically, in this case, how to “Keep People Watching Your Videos with Open Loops!“
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TAKING IT ALL IN…
Even trying to simplify this concept, it’s still very broad (because Open Loops are used all the time, in so many situations) – but if you want the “cliff notes” version of what we covered, here’s a quick recap:
#1 – Why are Open Loops so important?
Ultimately, we think you should care about Open Loops because you care about people!
You want to help them learn something, get the most out of your training, find a solution to their challenges… and to do that, you have to hook and keep their attention. And then keep doing that over and over.
That’s challenging in real life (ask any teacher) but online it’s even worse! Online there are constant diminishing attention levels – and from studies our attention spans are reducing more and more.
Someone has to be ENGAGED to have a big enough desire to want to keep paying attention to you – rather than switching over to watch another cute cat video. You can work really hard to get people to show up for your training, workshop, show or whatever – but unless you can keep their attention, you’ll lose them.
So by using effective, mysterious, curiosity-building Open Loops, you help people from tuning out, and they get to enjoy your content.
#2 – Open Loops help with learning and retention
When you engage someone’s mind, you are inviting them to be part of the ‘discovery’ of the solution for themselves.
That’s where fables or koans come from. That’s an example of how people taught effectively in the past.
Remember the Tortoise and the Hare? It was a whole story, filled with drama and “what’s going to happen?” They could have just said The Lesson: Never Give Up. But it wouldn’t have the impact.
The listener wouldn’t have been part of the ‘discovery’ of the solution. By not knowing what would happen, the listener gets to go on that race with them, wondering who will win and then getting to be part of that victory. They get to discover the lesson themselves. So they remember it!
#3 – Open Loops are used EVERYWHERE
If you pay attention, Open Loops are used all around you.
In news programs: “Coming up… new studies show a popular detergent may be linked, but first…” (the open brain loop: “Wait, what? Do I use that detergent?“)
In movies or TV shows, if the intro is not exciting, they’ll show the hero in a life-threatening situation, on the edge or something horrible happening, and then they’ll show “3 Hours Earlier” (the open brain loop: “Wait! How did they get in that situation and how are they going to get out of it?” )
All good TV show or talk show hosts employ this technique. “You guys came on a good night, we’ve got these guests who are going to talk about all the inside scoop. So be sure to stay tuned for that…“(the open brain loop: “What are they going to say?“)
Actually, you might already use this yourself. If you’re wanting to capture someone’s attention before telling them a story, “Oh, did I tell you what happened yesterday? I was SO embarrassed.” (the open brain loop: “Oh this is going to be good!”)
It’s all about opening a line of intrigue and holding their attention. Everyone uses it because it’s VERY, VERY effective.
When you become aware of what Open Loops are, you’ll start seeing them all around you. And each time you see one now, you’ll be learning how to use it yourself. You’ll think about how YOU can engage people in that way.
And over time you’ll find what type of loops work best for how you communicate with your audience and soon you’ll be doing it without even thinking about it. We highly encourage you to start using this engagement strategy because it makes it fun for your audience AND for you! And THAT’s how you Keep People Watching Your Videos with Open Loops!
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