When people don’t read your memos, it’s not because they don’t like you, it’s because your writing is dreadful.
While reading this article, I realized many of these 14 writing tips also apply to a broader range of communications and learning design.
Three things in particular that I’d like to call out that can have an instant impact on the effectiveness of your documents, emails, courses, etc are:
- Be concise and forcefully expressive. Adopted from Allison Rossett, I think ‘pithy’ a founding principle of learning designers and everyone else for that matter! Eliminate every unnecessary word, sentence, or paragraph.
- Diagrams and pictures are heavenly and can dramatically reduce word count. Remember, if they aren’t relevant and add value to your message they are potentially harmful decorations.
- Formatting is astonishingly important. If you pack everything together as tightly as possible, people won’t engage. White space is your friend…and he’s ‘brain-friendly’.