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This Chart Will Make Sure You Never Write a Boring Document

Thomas Sargent

335 words.

In today’s high-speed culture, that’s all we need to be effective.

Let me explain. The “335 words” refers to a 2007 college graduation speech by Nobel economist Thomas Sargent.

Yes, the entire speech is 335 words. It’s a compact list of 12 economic principles. Read it here.

Sargent understands to be memorable, you must value a person’s time and attention. Unless you’re prepared to spill your guts and bring people to tears — like Kevin Durant as he recently accepted the NBA’s MVP award — brevity is your best friend and closest ally.

Cover letter, presentation, speech, formal work document — you should cut down EVERYTHING you write. If you’re too wordy, you’re boring. Before you consider a document “finalized,” be tough on yourself and chop it down.

No one will ever say, “This person’s document is way too short. Now what am I supposed to do with all my free time?”

Thus, I created a chart to help us tighten our writing. Are the rules hard and fast? No. They are a reminder to give people exactly what they need and not a word more.

Be Shorter

(This content was originally posted at News to Live By.)

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Shelly Palmer

Shelly Palmer is the host of Fox Television’s "Shelly Palmer Digital Living" television show about living and working in a digital world. He is Fox 5′s (WNYW-TV New York) Tech Expert and the host of United Stations Radio Network’s, MediaBytes, a daily syndicated radio report that features insightful commentary and a unique insiders take on the biggest stories in technology, media, and entertainment.

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