All professional communicators have those times when writers block appears. They sit looking at a screen and trying to find the words they need for the situation. At the same time we all know that every word has to count. If the word or phrase doesn’t add something to the situation then we should weed it out.
Why is all this important to me? Well, I have spent a large amount of the day trying to weed out those meaningless words. The work has been about making sure only those words that add value get through and are allowed to blossom. We can’t have time for small talk or unnecessary scene-setting, and should be getting to the point.
As a journalist it is what they teach you to do, keep to the key points so a story can be cut from the bottom. Every word should add something to the story. The same skills are required for the communicator. More than this there is also the issue of avoiding the cliches or the well used phrase that has become meaningless.
How often do we check what we are writing? I am doing this as I put these words together and am finding I want to cut even more. But in the challenging times when the speed of communication has increased this is often something we neglect. More and more information is put out but we don’t always quality assure it.
So, this is a bit of plea to everyone working in communications – make sure you remember to keep things simple. Say what you mean, get to the point and don’t add unnecessary words.