Tuesday, September 19, 2006

16 Words or Less

A good friend of mine once told me that any good presentation should have no more than 16 words on each slide. The goal, he says, is to very succinctly summarize your core points with words on a page (or on a screen), and use the spoken word to paint a more compelling picture of your primary points.

His additional premise is that almost anything can be communicated in FAR fewer words than most people typically use. This isn't always an easy rule to follow, but I've found that he's right. Not only are presentations easier to present and understand using ths rule, but the audience is almost always more receptive and attentive.

Why? The content isn't intimidating. It doesn't seem hard to follow. Reading 16 words at a time is easy. And the words I use to augment those words in a live presentation are not only more powerful (because they are presented live), but also augment and create more meaning for the 16 (or less) words on the page.

What's the lesson for Agent CEOs? My point is that all of us can present our content more succinctly. On our Web sites, in our printed marketing materials, in our listing presentations, etc. The fewer words we use, the more powerful those words become. What's more, if you can write more efficiently, your audience is far more likely to 1) read what you're written, and 2) internalize it and BELIEVE it.

Make your marketing and your presentations stand out by writing LESS, not more. It'll be more powerful as a result.