We’ve all heard the advice. Whether you’re blogging, tweeting, or writing a letter, shorter is better. Right?
But it is possible to be too brief.
The fish monger looked up proudly at his new hand-painted sign. “Fresh fish sold here,” it proclaimed.
A friend tapped him on the shoulder. “Nice sign, but it shouldn’t say ‘fresh’”, he advised. “That makes people think about the possibility that it…might not be.”
The fish monger took his paintbrush and painted over the “fresh.”
Another friend asked, “Why does it say ‘here’? Where else would you be selling it?”
The fish monger painted out the word “here.”
“Sold?” asked a third friend. “Does anybody think you give your fish for free?”
One more swipe of the brush removed the “sold”.
A fourth friend scoffed, “Why say ‘fish’? You can smell them a mile away!”
With a sigh, the fish monger raised his brush and painted out the last word.
Don’t take well-meaning advice that doesn’t fit what you’re trying to say. Go on as long as it takes to put your message across. No more…but no less.
About Dennis: Dennis Fischman is a Cause & Effective Associate who focuses on helping organisations win friends and get the support they need to do their excellent work. He is the author of the Communicate! Blog, and you can also follow him on Twitter. Contact Dennis here to discuss how your not for profit can more effectively communicate.