Deconstruct the sentence and reconstruct the meaning
Words. They’re everywhere we look, and what’s even more alarming is the amount of jargon-style prose, all in the name of grabbing attention.
As European Institutions, companies and PR gurus would have you believe, at least from their media releases, the more text the better. Surely the key to reaching the man on the ground, or the more arduous task of striking a chord within the average citizen is to drown them in information. Every last bite, or rather every last word. In short this is not the way forward, and in fact it is not the way at all.
Unless your passion is academia and you have a penchant for scrutinising the meaning in every last word, the rest of us just want to hear it and get on with it. Extensive texts require a great deal more attention and brain engagement than most consumers are willing to offer.
So cut out the unnecessary, cut out the far–reaching phrases, which you’d like to think appeal to a better place. The fact is meaningless words do more to bore or disinterest the reader than to catch their attention. Realise this – your readers are busy, checking their phones, buying some lunch, or even staring at a goldfish. The way to engage with them is not to pile more on to their already overloaded brains.
Take for example the following ‘stock phrases’:
- It will always remain of critical importance
- Time after time we’ve demonstrated
- It is our intention to maintain…
You may think of these as essential packaging and of course we don’t advocate being crude. However, we do advocate appreciating the minimal time and attention span in which you have to make an impact. So use it wisely. Use it effectively.
Essentially, keep it simple and keep it relevant, this way, you might actually have a shot at getting that elusive return on investment or invoking a sense of curiosity on that new launch that’s “for want of a better word,” – clearly, bound to take the world by storm.