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You’ve Only Got Five Words: Communication! – Douglas E. Castle

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The Douglas E Castle Consultancy

The purpose of this bullhorn is to capture your attention in the simplest way possible. - Douglas E. Castle

The purpose of this bullhorn is to capture your attention in the simplest way possible. – Douglas E. Castle

Based upon the average consumer’s (either B2B or B2C) limited attention span, the following rules apply to virtually all of your writing. I might have titled this piece “Written Communication 101 for 2014″:

1. Your title or slogan cannot be more than 5 words in length;

2. Your message should be 140 characters or less in length (including spaces), with a hyperlink to any additional content;

3. Your content should not consist of more than a title, three to five paragraphs and your signature, unless you are just writing a list or outline;

4. Your paragraphs should be bulleted or numbered, and no single paragraph should exceed three sentences or three lines (whichever you choose);

5. Your writing (in terms of vocabulary and complexity of expression) should not be more sophisticated than that of an average American high-school student, and pictures or other multicolored illustrations are becoming increasingly helpful.

Of course, I don’t necessarily follow all of my own rules. And I make no judgment regarding these rules, even if I call them mine. They aren’t truly mine – they belong to everyone (sadly).

But if your objective is simply to communicate effectively, you should seriously consider applying the general rules set forth above.

Douglas E. Castle

The Douglas E. Castle Consultancy offers a complete suite of business consulting and advisory services for organizations ranging from seedling, "bootstrapped" startups, through established small- to medium-sized enterprises conducting commerce both domestically and internationally.



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