As you’re reading this, I’m in Carpinteria, CA at LinkedIn headquarters filming my LinkedIn Learning course scheduled to be released later this year. Part of the preparation for the course is writing the scripts to be used for the videos. Last week, I met with the producers virtually to read a few of them. The consensus? While they were good, they were too long. I needed to reduce the number of words for each from about 650 to 500. That’s a 25% reduction.
The process of cutting that much out while keeping the value in is a challenge. It requires a very precise analysis of what is really important in the text. The goal of being pithy is searching to use fewer words to say the same thing even better. The legendary comedian Jerry Seinfeld said in an interview, “I will spend an hour taking an eight word sentence and editing it down to five.” Trimming the fat leads to better communication.
Trimming the fat in your communications isn’t relegated to scripts and speeches. Consider your emails; Facebook posts; text messages; and business meetings. How much time is spent because the communications were bloated with excess, fatty words? Not only does it waste your valuable time, its more often less clear, which leads to miscommunications, misunderstandings, and unwanted drama.
If you want less drama, learn from a comedian. If Jerry Seinfeld values less words, then we should, too. I was forced to take on this task and in the end, my scripts and the course will be better for it.
This week try trimming the fat in your communications and correspondence. You’ll find the results leaner and meaner!
Quote of the Week:
”To err is human; to err repeatedly is research.”
~ Unknown. Sent in from a reader that saw it on Twitter and shared!
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