Friday, June 10, 2016

When Less is More

It’s the last day of my time at mdBriefCase and I’m still learning!  I have really come to appreciate the different styles of writing – it all depends on your audience.  Preparing a newsletter for pharmacists was vastly different from preparing a document for patients.

However, there is one thing on which all audiences can agree: they like it brief.  Over the course of my education, I’ve heard time and time again “Be more concise! Only share the MOST important points!”  This is an incredibly difficult skill to master.  More often than not, everything feels important.

While I’m no expert (yet!), I’d like to offer some tips I’ve learned about being concise. 
  1. When you begin writing, consider first “What do I want my audience to learn?”  This will help keep your focus on the purpose of the document, as well as your target audience.
  2. Then organize your points in a logical order – these will become what we know as “the learning objectives”. From there, make sure each piece of writing contributes to a learning objective. 
  3. Then write your heart out!  It is far quicker and easier to cut content than to add new content.  This is especially true when others are editing your document. As Antoine de Saint-Exupéry once said: Perfection is not when there is no more to add, but no more to take away”.
Good luck!