Cut Wordiness – Part 2

Do you feel that your training Modlettes should contain all the information you have available?

Are you scared that if you leave something out the learning will be incomplete?

Are your sentences so long they have grown into paragraphs?

We continue this series on editing your writing for learning.

Wordiness slows readers down.

They have to stagger through more words to get the meaning of each sentence.  The more excess words, the more exhausting reading becomes.

So if you want your learners to glide through your text so they can grasp the learning more quickly, make your writing more concise.

To practice concise writing, you can use the flip-flop technique.  Instead of getting rid of weak words, you focus your attention on meaningful words.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Read sentence slowly (preferably aloud)
  2. Highlight the most meaningful words
  3. Rewrite your sentence by using the meaningful words.

Here’s an example of a wordy sentence: When I started my own business, it has given me a whole new perspective to see the bigger picture when it comes to finding a work/life balance.

And here’s the concise version: Starting my own business has given me a new perspective on work/life balance.

Cutting wordiness is like sculpting your own sentences.  You remove any excess so your words can shine more brightly.

This editing step takes some practice and initially may feel time consuming so focus on sharpening the most important parts of your writing; your headline, your opening, and your final paragraph.

Skip the big words:

You should not be writing to impress so use the everyday words your readers would use.

Take this for example: His writing is more likely to obfuscate rather than enlighten learners.

However, this is better: His writing is more likely to confuse rather than enlighten learners.

If your learers are professionals or experts who use jargon, then its okay to use the same jargon, too.  But if you’re using difficult words your readers don’t understand, its better to switch to simpler words.  Or if no simpler word exists, explain the difficult word to your readers.

Good teachers don’t try to sound smart; they make their learners feel smarter.

The simplicity of Modlettes produces awesome training