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/.