Connecting with the people reading your message means communicating clearly so they can easily and quickly understand who you are and what you do.

You should never use a long, difficult word when the simple version will do. For example: 

  • Fugacious means fleeting, hard to capture
  • Precipitation means showers, drizzle, rain, rainfall
  • Somnambulism means sleepwalking
  • Ameliorate means improve
  • Ambulatory means moveable
  • Clandestine means secret.

You have all heard the saying, why use three words when one will do, and in certain circumstances I thoroughly agree with that statement. But it is not good to reduce a phrase to just one or two words if they cannot be understood correctly.

Some phrases can be left out completely or the sentence can be rewritten. For example:

In terms of the marketing strategy, we intend to use a good cross section of exposure…. The alternatives are… We intend to use a good cross section of exposure in our marketing strategy. Or… Our marketing strategy will give us a good cross section of exposure.

Don’t make your sentences too long. Studies have shown that the average is between 15 and 20 words: 25 maximum.

Write sentences of between 10 and 16 words for advertising and marketing material, and cap the length at 20 words for formal writing, procedures manuals and other instruction material. Tailor the sentence length to the message.

If you’ve written sentences with 30, 35 or 40 words, rewrite the sentence. Usually, you can take out, and, the, that and but, add a full stop/period and start a new sentence.

The longer the sentence, the more concentration is needed to understand the message.


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