Whether you’re writing content for a website, brochure, article or newsletter there is a four letter word to remember before putting pen to paper.
No, not that four-letter word, I’m talking about kiss, as in keep it simple sweetie. What that means is use words that are simple and easy to read. And no it doesn’t mean dumbing down by any means. Just use an everyday common word instead of a long complex word to get your point across.
For example: She was in proximity of the fax machine sounds clunky but replacing the wordproximity for close the sentence now reads: She was close to the fax machine much clearer and simpler don’t you agree?
How about this tortuous example:
We would like to communicate our appreciation of your considerable productivity this year and as a consequence we shall remunerate you substantially.
Try this instead:
We would like to tell you thanks for your great output this year and as a result we shall pay you generously.
There is nothing more time consuming and annoying for your readers to have work too hard reading through difficult chunks of sentences, with complicated or technical jargon. More likely they will just get frustrated and tune out, click off and move on to something else.
No one will think you’re clever or be impressed by using complex language, which requires constant reference to a dictionary. People want their information clear, to the point and now.
So when writing, keep those pruning scissors handy and cut out excess words.
- Keep sentences short.
- Use bullet points.
- Vary paragraph lengths.
- Use simple, common everyday words.
- Make sure you use the active voice.
Remember make it easy for your readers to understand the message or point you’re trying to make. Say what you mean. Don’t confuse or keep them guessing.
And of course, kiss it better and everything will be just fine. On that note I leave you with a longKISSSS ~ Keep It Short, Simple, Small and Self-contained, my personal favourite. 😉
Until next time,