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.
- Key Words + Search Terms = Dumbing Us Down. (braintenance.blogspot.com)
- Google Thinks We’re All Stupid. So? (douglasecastle.com)
- Good advice about paragraphing (lawprofessors.typepad.com)
- Communications: Your Words Can Change The Future. (sendingsignals.blogspot.com)
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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