Great Advice

by Roger Pynn

Carmine Gallo’s advice in this Bloomberg Businessweek post makes all the sense in the world. He calls it the 10-40 rule (for no more than 40 words in first 10 slides of a presentation). You could also call it the Keep It Simple Stupid (KISS) rule.

Either way, it has been around a long time, but it always helps to get a reminder that running off at the keyboard doesn’t mean you’re communicating.  Few of today’s journalism students would know the rule, but in the days when we called it “hard news” instead of that God awful term “breaking news,” a good editor would toss a lead back to you if it exceeded 30 words.

Try it. See if you can get the message in your first paragraph and try to make it one sentence of no more than 30 words. It can be a challenge but it can also improve your communication.

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