I’ll keep this short and sweet.
Social media experts will tell you to “keep it short and sweet” because we are all looking for content that fits our lifestyle. We take information in sound bytes, between meetings or before bedtime or while we wait for a friend at a coffee shop.
This means, if you’re rapid-fire tweeting several times in a row because you can’t get your thoughts to fit in 140 characters, you’re doing it wrong!
Nobody likes it when people tweet like that.
Learning to shorten our messages to 140 characters on Twitter and to 500 word blog posts is good for us, because it reminds us to focus on the most important part of what we’re trying to say, not to flood our audience with a bunch of useless details.
Trying to condense some piece of wisdom into 140 characters makes you work for every character. As annoying as this can be, it also can be a great exercise in precision communication.
The same is true in life.
We tend to think that if a little is good, more is better. We try to be as productive as possible, to do as much as possible, produce as much as possible, say as much as possible, etc.
But less is more.
As a communicator, I’ve always felt that leaving the audience wanting more was better than leaving them wishing you were done 10 minutes ago.
Leave something to the imagination.
Don’t feel the need to answer every question, all the time, or to jump in on every topic.
Get people thinking and asking the right questions.
How does this make you more likeable?
- It keeps you from pretending to have answers when you don’t.
- It keeps you from dominating conversations.
- It keeps your message simple and sticky.
There is a remarkable difference between saying something and having something to say. In today’s world, there are millions of people who are saying something (8 million blogs), but not every one of those people has something to say.
Here are questions I ask myself before speaking:
1. Is it relevant to the conversation?
2. Is it kind?
3. Is it helpful?
If not, I tend to keep my mouth shut. I like to keep things short and sweet.