Reducing jargon and sentence/word complexity are key to enhancing engagement with your stakeholders. Polish-born British novelist, Joseph Conrad said, “He who wants to persuade should put his trust not in the right argument, but in the right word.”
Words are power. They stir emotions. They cause people to make choices. That’s exactly what you want to do—get your target audiences to act.
Mainstream media writes between the 6th and 8th grade levels. Why so simple? To ensure EVERYONE understands the message and content, as quickly as possible.
Here are some suggestions to increase your messaging impact and reduce complexity:
- Reduce jargon and acronyms
- Use shorter words
- Keep your sentences short. Keep them to a maximum of 15 words
- Use the free Readability Tools included with Microsoft Word® (Setup and more information here, Did You Know? Most Mainstream Media Writes between the 6th and 8th Grade). Target 50 and above for the Flesch Reading Ease and target 10th grade or lower for the Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level
- Ask the opinions of people outside your organization and industry. Do they REALLY understand your messages? And appreciate them? Read The Wilted Spinach Test – Do Your Content and Messages Relate and Resonate?
- Rewrite, rewrite, rewrite. Edit ruthlessly
Experiences are enduring. Experiences are shared by people in writing, in social media, in person, in email, etc. How do your audiences respond and share your messages?
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