April 8, 2014

Leave your audience wanting more, not less



While scrolling through channels looking for movies to record one weekend, I found the following one-line movie descriptions:

1. French policeman hounds bread thief for life

2. Victorian orphan drifts, finds good people

3. An enslaved British doctor turns Caribbean pirate

4. An officer and shipmates overthrow a cruel captain

Can you guess what these movies are? (Answers are at the bottom.) More importantly, can you write a description this concise?

Here are some examples of when speakers might need to think concisely in both speaking and writing:

* When writing your bio
* When creating the title of your presentation
* When creating the description of your presentation for a printed or online conference program
* When writing a press release
* When communicating with busy event planners by e-mail
* When tweeting!
* When writing and delivering your presentation
* When creating and delivering your personal introduction (aka elevator speech)
* When giving a report at a meeting

Well, I think we can all agree that the list goes on and on, and in the interest of a concise post, I'll stop there.

Really test yourself and push yourself to be as concise as possible while also remaining clear and compelling. Nobody likes waiting for you to beat around the bush, hemming and hawing and saying the same thing five different ways. And nobody wants to read through all of your personal achievements just to get to the "good stuff."

Get to the point... and leave them wanting more, not less.

Did you guess the movies? The answers are below.

1. Les Miserables
2. David Copperfield
3. Captain Blood
4. Mutiny on the Bounty

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