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Voice from the Trenches: It’s Not a Word Count Contest!

July 23, 2014


Voice from the Trenches is a monthly series written by Valerie Conyngham, CPSM. Valerie is Marketing Manager at The Cecil Group, an urban design and planning firm in Boston.

If your goal is to put your readers to sleep, keep on doing what you’re doing! If you’d like to hold their attention, then making one quick change to your writing style may be the answer.

We’re bombarded with messages all day long, from emails to RSS feeds to tweets to Facebook posts. The only way to consume it all is by cutting down how much of each post, article, etc. you read. You’re not alone. This is how your prospects are reading your proposals.

Here’s a scary stat from Wired: the average time spent on the initial review of a proposal is 18 seconds. That’s right, seconds, not minutes, not hours.

Now, think of how many pages your last proposal was. Mine was 150…

Pages upon pages filled with dense text are hard to read and even harder to scan. At the same time, that text serves an important purpose. It shows you understand the project and have a solid methodology and work plan. So what to do?

Start here. We all tend to write very wordy sentences. What if you went back to your last proposal and cut out all of  the unnecessary words? It’s likely that Your proposal would be shorter, easier to read and most importantly easier to comprehend. It’s a very simple exercise. All you need to do is Start editing with cutting in mind.

Keep your writing sparse and your point gets delivered faster and with less text on the page. It’s that simple.

Continue the conversation with Valerie! She can be reached through LinkedIn or on Twitter @valconyngham.

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