(Note from Randy: I presented my synopsis of Smart Brevity: The Power of Saying More with Less by Jim VandeHei, Mike Allen, and Roy Schwartz at the March First Friday Book Synopsis. I will write my “normal-length” blog post about this book later this week. But, here’s my short version. According to the authors, this version is plenty long enough……)
Smart Brevity: The Power of Saying More with Less – (less than two minute read)
- The point: Your messages are too long. In order to get people to really read them, shorten them. Make them a lot shorter!
- The formula (in my words)
- Short; no, shorter than that
- shorter sentences; shorter paragraphs;
- shorter words — Short words are strong words. A general rule: A one-syllable word is stronger than a two-syllable word is stronger than a three-syllable word.
- the big idea/the MAIN point – the actual point!
- then, why it matters
- then, go deeper (for those who choose to; the very few who choose to)
- Giving your reader the power to “Go deeper” is an exit line from a Smart Brevity item that makes the reader feel fulfilled and allows you to point to context without a glob of words that’s going to lose the audience. …Here’s a secret: Most won’t. …Ending your item with “Go deeper” is efficient and elegant—and shows your reader that Smart Brevity doesn’t come at the expense of nuance or context.
- My six Lessons and Takeaways:
#1 – Remember – you are in the communication business. Yes, you!
#2 – Remember that no one wants to actually read your communications; or listen to them. They want to have read and listened; but they don’t want to read and listen. They are too busy watching cat videos to be bothered by you
#3 – You have to think about, and constantly refine and improve, your communication with others. All kinds of communication with others.
#4 – Do a serious examination of your communications: your e-mails, your memos, your reports, your speeches and presentations. How can you make them better? – Note: you can make them better!
#5 – Pay attention to the structure of all of your communications.
#6 – Read books on effective communication, like this one. Purchase my synopses on books on communication. Just focusing on this, thinking about it, will make you better at it.