There’s a saying that after the age of 40, a man must decide which path to take:
1) Smoked Meats
2) World War II
And while I do love BBQ and grilling, my fancy turned to discovering all I could about the great conflict that shaped the 20th century (and clearly the 21st as well).
On that note, I’ve been reading a wonderful book about 1940 and the battle of Britain when the skies thundered crimson, entitled “The Splendid and The Vile.”
It tells the inside story from within the inner sanctums of Churchill and Hitler during that perilous time.
Revealed are insights on Winston Churchill that made clear – even though I knew he had an amazing ability to inspire even when times were darkest – he was HARD-CORE when it came to effective, efficient communication.
Because, with the world burning around him, there was simply no time to waste reading unnecessary drivel.
Thus, in a memo to his staff entitled “Brevity” he laid down the law on the need for everyone to slash pompous language and get quickly to the point. He singled out phrases like:
- “It is also of importance to bear in mind the following considerations…”
- “Considerations should be given to the possibility of carrying into effect…”
Churchill hated this kind of bureaucratic fluff: “Most of these wooly phrases are mere padding, which can be left out altogether, or replaced by a single word. Let us not shrink from using the short, expressive phrase, even if it is conversational.”
By following this guideline, he said the resulting prose “may at first seem rough as compared with the flat surface of officialese jargon. But the saving of time will be great; while the discipline of setting out the real points concisely will prove an aid to clear thinking.”
I do so love this. It’s part and parcel of writing faster.
Speak directly. Plainly. Get to the point.
You can’t make a sales pitch more compelling by adding more tossed word salad. The sale gets made by striking hard to the heart of the matter, and the pain and soul within.
This kind of writing happens best when it happens fast.
You don’t have time or energy to attempt to write to impress.
Instead, you have a message that you MUST share.
Get it written. Get it done. Get it out there where it can change the world.
Write Faster. Write Better. Right Now.
– Jack Turk
“World’s Fastest Copywriter”