Never let it be said that we can’t admit when we were wrong.
We may have dismissed Twitter for its navel gazing. But for people in our industry to ignore the big beneficial effect of tweeting would be like a train driver climbing aboard the Japanese Bullet and belligerently asking why there was nowhere to put the coal.
Now, along with several previously sceptical comedians who hone their pithy wit using Twitter, we’re converted.
That’s because when you tweet, you have no choice but to keep it short and simple. With only 140 characters to play with (including spaces and punctuation), every tweet gives you practice in the art of brevity.
This is a great antidote to many of the habits we pick up at school – where essays are defined by word counts, quantity is quality, and using long words supposedly makes us seem more intelligent. In the business world, short and simple equals concise and clear; brevity is a courtesy to busy readers; and punchy succinctness can leave the biggest impression.
An excellent method of making sure your document will be focused is to work out your key messages before you start writing. We always suggest summing up each main message (no more than three) using a maximum of 30 words for each.
You might then imagine you are about to be interviewed on TV for three minutes, and in that time you have to convince the audience that your document is important or relevant enough to read.
But to truly move with the times, now you could imagine you have to convince someone of the same in one tweet.
So whether you’re perfecting your conciseness, tweeting to improve your writing at work or working hard on your key messages to master Twitter, the only way is up.
You can now follow us on Twitter here.