Rachel Ziv

Plain English. Communicate clearly.

What Are You Really Trying to Say?

How to communicate clearly

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What Are You Really Trying to Say?

People often ask me if I can listen to something they have written.

So I sit down, coffee in hand and ears open, ready to receive their message.

And many times, they read their writing, pause and then say, “So, what I’m really trying to say is…”

And the words that follow are, without a doubt, 10x easier to understand and enjoy than what they have just read to me.

Whatever you are “trying to say” when you write…just say it!

As Winston Churchill said:

If you have an important point to make, don’t try to be subtle or clever. Use a pile driver. Hit the point once. Then come back and hit it again. Then hit it a third time— a tremendous whack.”

The way to write, to get your audience to really pay attention, is to use the clearest and simplest method to get your message across. Just say it.

School teaches us to try and be clever. As students we learned to use big words, complicated metaphors and excessive word counts to make a point. But you can never make a point if no one gets the point. Just say it.

The next time you need to write something – an article, a piece of copy for your website, an email, a proposal, anything, don’t beat around the bush. Don’t write something that requires an explanation when you read it out loud. Make your writing your explanation – as simple and meaningful as possible.

Inspiring Simplicity…

Rachel Ziv

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