If you haven’t already guessed, GoBrevi is a big fan for a number of reasons (and NOT because it’s easy). Keeping your content simple and brief is challenging, but it usually results in more clarity and absorption. If we keep our story clear and crisp it is more likely to be echoed with accuracy and less likely to be misinterpreted. You want this.
“Be sincere; be brief; be seated.”
Those are some choice words of wisdom Franklin D. Roosevelt gave his son about public speaking. They resonate strongly today with attention spans measured in nanoseconds. We need to use our time wisely, whether on paper, online, or onstage.
Sure, if you were writing a paper in high school and your teacher asked you to “keep it brief,” you probably would have been relieved. But, back here in real life, retaining the important information in your organization’s content, streamlining facts, and keeping content fresh is a skill that takes practice.
Here are some quick tips when trying to streamline your content:
Ask yourself what you want to be your key audience takeaway. Don’t bury this. This thing/idea/call-to-action needs to be front and center.
Think as if you don’t know the organization when choosing what details to include. If details require too much explanation and don’t apply to the key takeaway, considering omitting them.
In written pieces, remove unnecessary quotes. Only use quotes when they add a human angle or sentiment to your content, otherwise quotes aren’t adding anything special.
When giving a presentation or speech, in the first minute, make sure to get your main point across. Don’t go overboard in welcoming the group or thanking people.
On social platforms, make sure you arrive at your main point ON SCREEN, rather than expecting people to click the link to “read more.”
All that said, make sure you make your call to action obvious and easily achievable. Brief is important, but not at the expense of action on behalf of your audience. Keep the phone number, the clear steps, or whatever it may be.
Leave out the BS, leave in the vitals.