Short is smarter

“I’m sorry I wrote you such a long blog post; I didn’t have time to write a short one.”

To badly paraphrase the French Mathematician Blaise Pascal, sometimes less is more effort. However, using simple shorter simpler words can make you seem more intelligent (see Daniel M. Oppenheimer, Professor of Psychology at UCLA work on how the use of language can make one appear more/less intelligent)

From well crafted quips at one end to troll-tastic abuse at the other, Twitter has been both a brilliant and terrible advertisement for the power of character limits. However, just as Twitter announces trials of 280 character tweets in the search for new users , I believe there is a real case for format constraints to be a real force for better thinking.

Our brains have a tendency to seek the path of least resistance, which means adding extra slides or another paragraph often seems easier than simplifying the message. Yet, in a world of bite-size attention spans, we need to work harder than ever to keep our audience's attention.  Next time you're setting out to write an email or presentation…ask yourself if you had to tweet this, what would you say?