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We all know what brevity is the soul of. Which is part of the appeal of the 140-character limit of Twitter. Today’s youth is theoretically too busy or distracted to read anything that might impede their need to be first in line for whatever the next big thing is.
And with so much noise/information being heaved at us from so many directions, with such increasing frequency, who can blame the creators of content from wanting to use shock and sound bites to try to get us to pay attention.
Content is king today, we are told. But beware if your communication is longer than a buzz cut. In every networking event you attend, you are asked to introduce yourself in thirty or forty seconds, because that seems to be the limit of how long people will pay attention.
Of course, that ignores the truth that if you have twenty people each speaking for thirty seconds, one right after the other, it soon becomes a blur of blah blah blah, no matter how concise each individual speech is.
What is most important is what you are saying, not the amount of time it takes you to communicate it. If brevity is all people are seeking, there would a lot more sales of short stories. Length didn’t seem to hurt the Harry Potter series, where some of the books were over 850 pages. Or "The Game of Thrones," or "The Hunger Games."
One networking example. Recently about six people talked in their 30 second speech about how much attention they pay to their clients. They each proudly claimed to give clients their cell phone numbers, and were available to be reached anytime, day and night. Then someone else stood up and said that though he had been in business for over twelve years, he was proud to say he only had one client.
After that sentence got our attention —and it did— he went on to explain that that is how he tried to make each client feel; that they were his only client. What a great story, what a unique way to talk about giving undivided attention to a client without resorting to the cliché claims of giving out your cell phone number.
Make it interesting. Make it different. Then throw away your speech timer or your word count app.
Got the idea?