The Benefits of Brevity

“I didn’t have time to write you a short letter, so I wrote you a long one.”

– Mark Twain

Actually, this is going to be a short post. I am going to share six of my favorite quotations on the topic of “brevity” with you. I will make the briefest of comments after each.

Tell me what you think – in a few words, please!

1) The opening quote by Mark Twain.

  • When writing an article or a speech, spend more time deciding what to take out than what to put in.
  • Edit – mercilessly!
  • Make you point, stick to it, support it and drive it home to your audience.
  • Easier said than done!

2) “The most valuable of all talents is that of never using two words when one will do.” – Thomas Jefferson

  • Edit – mercilessly!
  • Use a two syllable word rather than one with three.
  • History’s most memorable speeches use very few words:

3) “A speech should be as long as a piece of string – long enough to wrap up the package.” – Anonymous

  • Enough said!

4) “Anybody can have ideas – the difficulty is to express them without squandering a quire of paper on an idea that ought to be reduced to one glittering paragraph.” – Mark Twain

  • That is why I love and collect quotations.
  • Edit – mercilessly!

5) “If you can’t state your position in eight words or less, you don’t have a position.”– Seth Godin

  • And your audience won’t remember what you said.
  • And your audience won’t know what to do as a result.

6) “Be sincere. Be brief. Be seated.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt

  • re: “Be seated.” Don’t talk yourself out of the sale!

OK – some tasty morsels to chew on.

Please share your favorite quotations with our readers. Just keep it short and to the point!

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