Learning the Language of Short Form…on Twitter

This morning I came across the blog post “From Telegraph to Twitter: The Language of Short Form” by Roy Peter Clark, the author of the book “Writing Tools” and producer of the hit podcast by the same name.

Learning the Language of Short Form

In his post, Clark writes about the impact Twitter has on language. As a late adopter, Clark just recently joined Twitter and in his article, he thoughtfully discusses the value Twitter offers to language, despite (or perhaps because of) its 140 character limit.

Clark’s main message is that

The brevity of an e-mail message, a blog post, a text message,
even a tweet, is no obstacle to powerful information,
a persuasive argument, a literary moment, a zinger, a joke.

This made me think of presentations and product demonstrations…and how they could benefit from this long known, but too often overlooked, understanding: less is often more.

Less slides, less words, less introduction… many presentations would see major improvements in their effectiveness. So how can you hone your Short Form Skills? One way is to join Roy Peter Clark on Twitter and become active on it. By regularly communicating in 140 characters or less, you’ll train your mind to constantly look for ways to be get your point across in a short and concise manner.

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