Say More by Saying Less

In one sentence, tell me, who are you?

In one sentence, tell me, what do you do?

In one sentence, tell me, why does it matter?

Mandatory brevity makes you really have to think about your answer, doesn’t it?

I repeatedly encounter people who have a good handle on what they do and who they do it for but they have a hard time communicating it succinctly. And even more, they struggle to articulate why it matters.

I’ve talked before about how much noise there is out there and how important it is to stand out and be a clear signal in that fog. I think a big key to that is saying less.

Not necessarily short content — rather, get to the point and stick to it

Don’t boil the ocean

Don’t try to cover everything under the sun. What is the content about? What key points do you need to make? Why do these matter? Why should we trust you? What should we do next? Stick to these essential elements and avoid trying to cover too much at once.

Clarity over brevity

Brevity is being concise and exact with your words.
Clarity means your words are coherent and intelligible.

In a showdown, clarity wins every time.

In a world where people are short on time and long on options, she who communicates clearly, wins.

Edit ruthlessly

Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.

— Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Respect your readers’ time and attention. Edit your content ruthlessly. First drafts are called drafts for a reason. They are rough. Don’t try to edit yourself while you write it, just get it all out. Then give it a good edit and remove everything that is not essential. Then go back and edit again and see what else you can remove.

Your readers/listeners/viewers will thank you.


Is a “Smartist.” Celebrating 28 years as Orange Star Design, Inc. — the intersection of creativity, experience and technology.

She helps bring people’s visions to life with strategic branding, websites and marketing solutions. Jodi is also a fine artist and the founder of Live Love Dogs®.

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