Those of you that know me have come to understand that I prefer to cut to the chase, and I can’t stand meetings. I like to get to the root of an issue as quickly as possible.
While I appreciate and sometimes put into practice wonderful word pictures, or subscribe to the academics who can wax eloquent while always using the best form of prose, I prefer my communication to be quick and dirty.
Here’s the short way of saying it? Make every word count.
Screens dominate our time. Some of us sleep with our phones – like under a pillow. We check e-mail like it’s a cocaine dispenser. We’re addicted. Our web browser has four tabs open, or more. Notifications and distractions ding us all day long.
We are facing an all-out war on our attention.
We have hundreds of TV channels, DVRs backed up with our favorite episode, a subscription to Netflix and a multiplex theater nearby. Every minute another 24 hours of content is uploaded to YouTube.
How do you compete with that?
Well in a word: BREVITY.
Here are some ways. They all involve the use of brevity.
Keep your sentences compact. People don’t have time to dissect your flowery prose, especially in business.
Short, punchy sentences which help people stay on target with you.
Make your stuff easy to share. Keep your content to two lines. Add a short, clever caption or text overlay to your pictures. Keep your videos to 45 seconds (on some occasions anyway).
E-mail messages need to fit into a smaller package.
Two hundred words should be the max.
If you need more, then it’s a document, not an e-mail–or it’s a phone call or even a face-to-face visit. Oh, and put the actionable part at the top once, and at the bottom a second time. We’re all scanning.
Make your videos two minutes or less, on average. If it’s something you want people to consume, stay under two minutes.
Keep the call brief.
Start with an agenda, even if you don’t state it out loud.
Write it down beforehand so you don’t ramble.
Be polite, but don’t waste five minutes on small talk.
And if you get voice mail? Leave your full name, phone number and the subject of the call, then say your number once more before hanging up.
We get so wrapped up in telling people too many things all at once that our audience gets sidetracked. I think if we want people to follow us for a long time, we need to keep them waiting and wanting for what’s comes next. In order to that, keep it short.
Need writing help, or guidance for how to write your emails, blog posts, Facebook updates or even how to develop a script to keep you on track for your Youtube videos?
We got it all covered inside of our Daily Marketing Coach program.