Power in Your Presentation: Cut Your Word Count

Copywriters know there is power in brevity.  For example, Coke–it’s the real thing!  These are  five memorable words that have carried the brand a long way.  Verizon’s, it’s the network, is even less.

As a speech coach, one my biggest challenges is to encourage people to cut words, especially when telling a story.  When preparing a story for one of my own speeches, I write the entire story out.  Then I begin to cut away chunks of information the listener doesn’t absolutely need.  Then I go back and look at the words I’ve chosen.  I try to make every word alive and descriptive.  In the end, a three-minute story often turns out to be more powerful as a six-minute story.  A professional communicator, I’m in the business of cutting works to gain power.

Even so, I was caught short by the power of an exercise on the Smith Magazine website.  See  www.smithmag.net/sixwords.  The idea is to write your life story in six words.  Here’s one person’s example:  Cursed by cancer; blessed by friends.  How powerful is that?!  Make a visit to this website.  You can submit your own six-word story and check out the collection from famous and not so famous people.  This is an exercise in eloquence worth pursuing.  Send me your examples!

 PS:  I first learned about the six word stories at: http://www.exec-comms.com/blog/business-communication/telling-your-life-story-in-six-words/

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