Our secret sauce for better communication
Our new book, "Smart Brevity," lays out what the data, science — and our own experience — show about how to be heard on what matters most to you.
Why it matters: We see, up close, how many people and organizations are blowing the chance to retool their communications for this era of distraction.
- Smart Brevity is the art of speaking and writing more efficiently and effectively.
- It's how I write Finish Line, our nightly newsletter on wellness and leadership tips and tricks, lead our people, and run our company. It works — and can be taught. Our book teaches it, piece by piece, in a quick, 100-minute read.
We didn't write this for journalists (outside of Axios). In fact, most of them will probably hate it — it argues they should stop being long-winded and meandering.
- Instead, it's for students, teachers, workers and leaders — anyone struggling to be heard in these noisy times.
If you think I'm nuts, let these stats soak in:
- The University of Maryland did extensive studies of how people read on social media, in school and in business — and found we spend 26 seconds, on average, on things we choose to read!
- We check our phones an average of 260+ times each day, according to a Review.org study. If you're shaking your head, I dare you to count your own glances.
- Most of what you share on social media, you didn't even read, according to our internal data at Axios. Think about that: We see a photo or headline — and get such a dopamine jolt that we just hit "share" like mindless lemmings.
- Gallup found that 70% of employees want shorter communications at work.
Despite all that, most people in schools, companies and other organizations communicate like it's 1990 — when people had more time and fewer choices.
Reality check: Most people don't — and won't — read most of what you write (if any of it). It's true for you, for me, for everyone.
- But you can vastly increase your chances of being read or heard if you adapt — fast.
📦 If you enjoy getting Axios for free, please order "Smart Brevity" here.
- All the proceeds go to the Axios Fellowship Program, which funds yearlong, paid positions in our newsroom for early-career journalists from underrepresented backgrounds.