In the process of writing my second book at the moment and am fascinated with language. I think thesaurus.com has had a couple of thousands views from me just this week..!
Unlike my University days, it’s not attempting to make words sound more complex that I’m working on at the moment, it’s the opposite.
The question I’m asking: How do I make things simple, clear and precise?
Picked up a ton of lessons from former CEO and Chariman of Saatchi and Saatchi, Kevin Roberts in our recent podcast (fast forward to 30 mins to hear) that I’ve implemented almost immediately.
Even with my first book, I very deliberately attempted to make things sound simple for the reader (even if at the expense of my perceived IQ). Now, I’m even more so. There is such power in brevity.
Take today for example. I had a meeting with KR where I prepared a simple one page memo. I was re-read before meeting where one paragraph said: ‘Maintain a balance of the fundamentals of leadership.’
I deleted it and changed it to: ‘Maintain a balance of the stuff that works.’
The memo was already about leadership and ‘stuff’ works better that ‘fundamentals’ in an informal memo between two friends. (Hell, it works best between nearly anyone).
The more concise, clear and coherent you speak with make your words, the easier it is for the recipient to hear them.
If in doubt, take a look at what famed copywriter David Ogilvy had to say on the matter:
I rest my case.