Mark Twain

Sharp Nails in our Memories

The words you choose make a difference, so pick them wisely to connect, convince and compel your audience.Words matter, and well-chosen words are remembered.

Or, as French philosopher Denis Diderot put it, "Pithy sentences are like sharp nails that force truth upon our memories."

Despite irrefutable evidence that chiseled phrases stick in people's brains, many communicators are casual or careless with the words they choose. They write as if the words on their pages will have little effect, which becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Word selection demands attention to detail. Here are some of the details that require your attention:

Big Ideas in Small Packages

Placing your big idea in a small package is a great way to reach a wider audience.The best way to get your big idea into the mind of your target audience is to deliver it in a small package. The human brain only can absorb information in small doses, so packaging your content is critical to being seen, read and rewarded.

Social media blogger Jay Baer asked in a recent post whether it is more likely for someone to view a 90-second video or a 32-page e-book. In the 140-character world beget by Twitter, Baer said bet on the video to attract more viewers. The same can be said for presenting your big idea in a stuffy white paper instead of a neatly organized package of information that catches your viewers' attention and allows them to discover your idea in the level of detail they want.

It is really a numbers game. More people are likely to read a tidbit than a tome. The more eyeballs that read your content, the more likely you are to generate a response, be found in an online search or have your big idea shared with an even wider audience. However, it also is about quality. You may get noticed then dismissed unless you offer real value.

Complex subjects demand richer explanation. Luckily, digital media offers many options to accommodate that need.