Writing with clarity and brevity


There’s a reason we have mission statements and elevator pitches; they force us to make a point (often an important one) in just one sentence. But no matter what we’re writing, be it blog posts, social content or scripts for a video spot, we should always use that same brevity in a sentence, in addition to clarity, to tell our audience what we want to tell them. Not only will you have a greater chance of getting your message heard by your audience before they move on to the next thing, but you’ll also have a greater chance of that message sticking. Here’s how to write like a pro:


Unless you’re a pirate, then don’t do that. But you should write simply and directly without using big words and industry jargon unless necessary. Because one of the best ways to ensure your message comes across is to ensure your message is simple and straightforward. Imagine your customer is sitting in front of you. What kind of words would you really say to tell them about how your product or service will make their life amazing. Remember, when you engage in conversational writing, whether it’s for video, social or your website, you’re more likely to be successful at engaging your audience.


When making your content conversational it’s easy to let unnecessary words creep in. Read and re-read your content to ensure you’re not repeating the same idea in a different way (unless to reitereate) or using words that add no value. That is, eliminate the fillers. Some examples include that, just, very and about. For instance, instead of “Nicole wrote the article about social media” you could say “Nicole wrote the social media article.”

Want more examples? Grammarly has 23 more words and phrases you can cut out

In addition, watch out for something called nominalizations. This is a fancy way of saying you’re using a phrase when maybe a simple verb could work. For example, you could say “our team will perform the installation of the window.” Or you could say “our team will install the window”  See the difference? It’s not only shorter and more direct, it’s active, which leads us to our next point. 


Making sentences active versus passive is a more direct way of saying what you want to say and it helps the flow of your content. Active simply means the subject is performing the action rather than receiving the action. An example is “Nicole wrote the social media article” versus “The social media article was written by Nicole.” The former is more direct and shorter! 

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