Less is More

By Cyndy Bolton

Here I go communicating again. It's in the genes. No one would believe me ten years ago when I said that the computer world needed a way to communicate in more human-like terms. Well, here we are. In the world of web 2.0 where it actually matters what we all think, and our input is not only valued, but requested.

Have you ever been told to shut up? Yes, me too. More times than I can remember. There's no denying it, I love to talk. I used to drive my parents "around the bend" with my chatter. It's the sociality of it all. We are driven to share stories. As time passed, and I grew a bit older, I eventually made the conscious and valiant attempt to do a bit more listening and minimize the jaw wagging. It has proven a valuable transition.

The problem is, we all have a story to tell. In fact, some experts agree that we learn more through the use of story than by other traditional means of teaching. It is basic, fundamental and aids in keeping our mind's eye sharp. So how do we share our story? With such little time on earth, how can each of us economize our legacy of life lessons, or in simple words, get our message out?

There is value in what you have to say. There is value in what others have to say too. We can all benefit from chatting a bit less; or, in other terms, think before we speak. Write it down, type it out and read it back before you post it online. Ask yourself if it's necessary to add your comment. I can certainly identify with those of you who have stuck the proverbial foot in the mouth, and lived through the embarrassing situation. Back tracking is a less than noble exercise and futile once the communication has been received.

As part of my profession, I teach people how to use social media to deliver messages to their market. Be it a Soccer Mom or a CEO, people have messages to deliver, and truly and audience who wants to share. The great thing about Twitter as one of these tools, is that you have a maximum of 140 characters to get your point across. Think about it, the count is based on characters, not words. This equates to approximately 2 short succinct sentences. you almost have to put emotion aside in order to make the message clear and direct.

Now let's apply this concept to reality. You have an announcement. You would like to tell people about it. Lots of people. You cover the five "Ws" regarding the event. Completed in 140 characters or less. Did you state it clearly? Probably, yes. Did you use your spell check? Hopefully, yes! You could even put a link in your text to the event's web site, this covers the part where we would normally go on about the finer details (jaw wag).

In a world where we stretch all time boundaries and botch honest attempts to multi-task, less is better, and quite frankly, fresh. Not only does stripping out most of the emotion of your announcement prove to be practical, it reserves more time for your reader. Remember, they are under the same time constraints as you with sporting events, office meetings and family issues to attend to. Leave the more emotional content of your announcement for more personal media such as Radio or television. These types of message vehicles include emotional nuances which are delivered with the text such as tome and visuals.

Changes in technology are driven by our lifestyle needs. Efficiency helps drive the economy. Communication is important in our uber-technological world, and if any you know me, it's what makes me tick. I look forward to sharing more insights into communication.