No surprise here, but the best keynote ended up being Kathy Sierra, Creating Passionate Users. She knows how to keep an audience engaged, which you would expect since part of creating passion actually comes from learning and knowing how to help the brain notice things. Most technical writing focuses on the mind, the rational part, and expects you to learn just because you want to. However the brain doesn’t work that way. It has a crap filter, otherwise you would go insane. Kathy then talked about a lot of techniques to force the brain to take notice, things like misattribution of arousal. This is when the brain remembers something because something else, good, was happening at the same time. It’s also important to mention at the beginning why your audience should care about what you’re trying to say.
Head over to her blog right now and start reading. You won’t be disappointed. And remember, it’s all about helping our users kick ass.
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