How to Avoid TLDR

How to avoid TLDR

We’ve all seen it, and – unfortunately – we’ve all contributed to it. TLDR, short for “Too long; didn’t read.”

Think about it: Time is at a premium, our attention spans are shrinking, and we’re consuming information on some very small screens. People may not be spending a lot of time with your emails, client reports, or blog, despite your best efforts to be thorough.

But we all need to be heard, so how can we avoid TLDR and get noticed in such a noisy world? —

Distill, distill, distill – Let your first draft flow, if needed. Then cut like crazy.

Put yourself in the reader’s place – For every word, sentence, and paragraph, ask yourself, “Is this really necessary?”

Break it up – Our brains can only absorb so much at a time, so break up the text with white space, bullets, and sections.

Add charts, graphs, and diagrams to summarize key points – A picture is worth 1,000 words. #nuffsaid

Put it in a table – Rather than a long explanation, pull out what’s important to the reader, and put it in an at-a-glance format.

Use the installment plan – You don’t need to tell them everything at once. Decide what’s important now, and save the rest for an update.

What would you add to the list?


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