Say More with Less



It’s not more words — it’s more insight, more value, more depth.

Here are a few ways to say more with less:

Know your purpose, know your point, drive from clarity.
Surface the insight — “What surprised you?” or “what did you learn that you didn’t’ expect.”
Bound it — make your point in 10 seconds, 10 words, 1 big idea, 3 take aways, etc..
Pictures are worth a 1,000 words.
Use metaphors to paint the picture.
Show an example.
Name a pattern (a well-named pattern is worth 100 words.)
Say your hypothesis (elaborate from there.)
Start with the simple (point to the complete.)
Know what’s valued (Count what counts, not word count.)
Make useful assumptions.
Use relevancy as a lens to shave the waste.
Ask yourself, “What’s your point.” Say that.
Say what you mean (mean what you say.)
Use precision to filter out everything that’s not necessary.
Use a choice word.
Cut the fluff.
Find a one-liner reminder … Such as, “Say more with less.”

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  1. I love this idea of being economical with words. It can make so much more of a punch! Thanks. And many good wishes to you this holiday season.

  2. Great list of ideas!!
    Often times I suffer from being too wordy to the point where people say it to me.
    This post should help me to cure this disease.

  3. @ Sandra — Well put — precision packs punch (that’s sticky, too.)

    Emerson was among the masters (I almost included, “Study Emerson as a tip.”)

    Happy holidays back at you!

  4. Point out what’s working.
    Similar to “name a pattern”, name the theme.

    Really helpful post, JD – thanks.

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