The Power of 26 – A to Z Connects You and Me

Never ceases to amaze me.

The infinite power you hold in your fingertips.

Wielding a firm grasp of the alphabet and the talent which
sends the reader to the skies with unparalleled joy and vision
of the landscape you have painted.
Artistry goes beyond the brush my friends. I have tremendous
admiration and a touch of envy for those gifted individuals who can
paint a portrait, landscape, emotion with the right colours and textures.
Equally it is hard to not be impressed by someone who draws well.

Regrettably talents which have eluded me to date.

For better or worse, my artistic passion was and remains the alphabet.
Or perhaps more correctly how we use those letters to form the words
which guide our heads and hearts.

Last night I stepped somewhat out of my comfort zone in presenting
a new speech format.

I was a ‘guest’ in a simulated TV interview and my ‘host’ asked
me 1/2 dozen or so questions. I learned, in reviewing my tape,
how important brevity is. My answers, while solid, were too long.

It was a departure from form which to my surprise, unnerved me
more than I imagined it might.

Change is always scary. And so is staying in the same place.
What last night’s experience taught me was the importance
to relax, have a conversation not one-upmanship with my host.

Several individuals commented how well they thought I did.
I ‘reached them’, engaged the audience and all those things that make
you warm and memorable to your listeners.

No doubt about it dear readers, If It Ain’t On The Page, It Ain’t On The Stage.

It became evident to me the importance of knowing the words of my
answers ahead of time…but the most startling moment was my spontaneity
when asked an unplanned question. And my tongue did not desert me.
The words were right where I needed them and I was
the master of the moment just as I needed to be.

Our ability to convey a thought or emotion on paper is, I believe, a great talent
in and of itself. Many people know how to write. Fewer are writers. Those who
are, are revealed quickly, as their words explode from the pages, and resonate
with the reader long after the passage was written.

As I continue to discover in my professional capacity, the carriers of these thoughts
and words are endlessly evolving.  Newspapers and magazines – The Print Media- are
being hastened to the sidelines it seems, by the masses who can’t wait to usher in a world
of exclusively digital communication.
This may or may not be a good thing. Every change means leaving something behind.
Sometimes the items brought forward are less valuable than they seemed.

The mere act of me connecting my A to Z’s with you through this electronic post
is proof enough that change is always constant. In another age, I would be hard
pressed to reach you as openly or as inexpensively as this media allows.

As you march your letters forward into your daily challenges, battles, praise,
I implore you to always remember the magnificent power you have at your fingertips.
The Power of 26.

Dennis Kelly
dennis@firstimpressionsmedia.ca
http://www.firstimpressionsmedia.ca

 

The Power of 26 – Brevity

We live in an accelerated world.

A breakneck pace each day.

Deadlines galore.

Pressure builds.

Be better. Stronger. Faster. – NOW. We are racing to outperform the Six Million Dollar
Man,
portrayed by actor Lee Majors, in the 1980’s.

To accomplish such astounding feats, we find ourselves shortening everything. 

Long flowing eloquent correspondence, replete with smart descriptive informative
sales copy gives way to ROTFLMAO, or other equally muted descriptions which
pass for communication.

Brevity communicates volumes without writing them. We live in an age of unmatched
speed for delivering our thoughts. Our trade for this speed is the necessity to trim
everything to initials.
Text messaging it seems lives and dies by a race to shorten words to letters or symbols. 
The speed demand is insatiable.

Genuinely I applaud and respect those few who master brevity and clarity in one blow.

In a recent blog, I commented on the power of immortal words such as those conveyed by
Mr. Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. A mere 272 words, he moved a nation for generations.

I think even his extraordinary writing talents would be hard pressed to fit that into
a 140 Character tweet.

Certainly I recognize not all of us are imbued with writing talents.  By his own admission,
prolific writer Edgar Allan Poe confessed that ‘writing is slavery’, in his ongoing quest that
every syllable be exact. Every nuance of his writing be noted. 

Few of us now have the time or inclination to devote ourselves to such noble endeavours as
improving our communication.

Equally I acknowledge that not all short messages are good. Or correct. Or engaging.

On the flip side, a story well told will engage the reader regardless of length.

Many of the most prolific authors would disdain a word limit if it compromised the
character development. 

I exhort you please, to take full advantage of the 26 letters and use them well.
If you can be crisp, engaging, brilliant, relevant, specific in 10 words, you won’t need 100.

Be certain your reader understands fully your intent or your brevity has just compromised
the time you saved.

We have the most incredible tool and force at our fingertips each day. The Power of Words.

And we diminish them for the sake of speed. Such a travesty.

The words we live by are our culture, our lifestyle and for some, our livelihood in multiple formats.
To see them reduced to initials and phonetics does such an injustice to the force they hold and
the dynamism they spread.

Readers, please understand, from the outset, I applaud those who can tighten the alphabet
to turn novels into paragraphs. Corporate mission statements into memorable taglines.

Convey the essence of a product or service to a few words.
Those are the gems. The ones that remain with us.

My career to date has seen me the composer of several ads, but more often the custodian
of their placement. Computer products in newspaper and radio ads. Financial and travel
service ads on TV for 30 or even 15 seconds. Outdoor posters with few words and a seven
second viewing span.  The placement of all these has enhanced my appreciation for the
talent which transforms a seven page creative brief into 3 or 4 words.

That brevity is brilliance. The distillation of a hundred pages of attributes.

Reams of pages about the technology embedded in a product.

All that, condensed to a memorable message, is the power of Brevity.

The Power of 26.

Dennis Kelly
dennis@firstimpressionsmedia.ca
http://www.firstimpressionsmedia.ca