“Long Story Short…”

by | Feb 29, 2012 | Ramblings/Off-Topic | 4 comments

When’s the last time someone used that phrase on you….and it EVER ended up being a short story?

Why is it that when I hear “…long story short…” in a conversation, I always brace myself for a LOOONG story?  I’m beginning to think it’s some sort of subconscious sadistic and cynical way people have of preparing you for a “long story….. long”.

There’s never been a time in the history of humankind when the economy of words is more in demand.

Maybe it’s Twitter’s arrival on the scene that has led the way.  (140 characters)

But it’s more than that, really.  It’s also a courtesy, I believe.

People naturally want to talk about what’s important to them, and expect you to listen.  So when you keep YOUR schpiel short…you’re actually thinking of them…being considerate of their time. Talking just to hear yourself  talk is a selfish and wasteful way to waste MY time.

That’s today’s blog.  Short ‘n’ sweet.  If you want to know more…just scroll down to read the rest.  I’m trying to be considerate of your time.













So as I was saying, about being thrifty with your words;  broadcast writing and presentation has prepared me well for not only being concise, but GETTING TO THE POINT.  When you have to tell a news story in 20-seconds, you learn to precipitate the pertinent facts down to the bare essentials. Period.  When you’ve made your point, you stop talking.  Next?

I can’t tell you the number of YouTube videos I’ve bailed out of because the main talent is eating (EATING!) during their presentation, or going off on some tangent that has no bearing to the INCREDIBLE! topic of interest that they sold you on to get you to watch their video.  See my site OnCamTips.com for a simple, easy mnemonic that helps you remember the essentials of on-camera presentations.

There are two downsides to this brutal economy of words:
1)  Traditional boardroom meetings,  phone conference calls or teleseminars become tedious in the extreme.  GET TO THE POINT!  Patter/Chatter become irrelevant.  Patience and attention span grow extremely short, and that’s frustrating.
2)  The tendency is to become TOO business-like and curt or short to the point of being rude. There’s a place for word economy, and a time for friendliness.  Knowing the difference is important.

Not only in verbal conversation but also, now in Social Media discourse, keeping it short does not mean being unfriendly.  In fact, the key to successful relationships on FaceBook, Twitter, Google+ and other sites is that you show something of yourself…enough for people to get to know you.  Do you want them to know you as a wordy blowhard?…a person who has lots to say, but says nothing?

So, long story short…when you write your newsletter, your blog, your email, record a YouTube video, or hold a teleseminar, puh-leez…get to the point.

In a time and in a culture when words mean so much.  Make your words count.  Don’t cry wolf.  When you talk (write), people will come to know that you’re not going to waste their time with drivel.

…end of rant.




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  1. Robert Uhl

    Amen Bro CourVO!
    And your advice could be applied by the experts on VO conference calls and webcasts. On those calls I want to hear about the designated topic, based on their VO experience and knowledge, that may include marketing tips, what they learned from their mistakes, or insight on script analysis. I do NOT need a verbose explanation of what makes their dog’s hair fall out, how to make perfect al dente egg plant every time, or an opinion on where aliens will begin invading the planet. (Although these off topic topics would be way more interesting than what I sometimes hear.) Advance preparation for the call such as an outline and a couple of advance run throughs covering the main points would go a long way toward providing a discussion that listeners will remember and revisit for the replay. Just a thought toward utilizing our most precious resource, time, more effectively.
    Read your blog everyday, thank you.
    Best regards, Robert

    • CourVO


      Actually, the genesis of this blog came from frustration over the pathetic verbal patter that took up a good 10 minutes of a webinar. We PAY for that time, and while it’s great to know the person is an affable and colorful human being, I’m more interested in hearing what I’ve paid for than about his/her personal issues.

      I don’t often get on rants like that…but sheesh…business is business.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

      Dave C

  2. Lisa Rice

    So true again, Dave. Short and sweet is…SWEET!
    The challenge? It takes more effort to be concise.

    Philosopher Blaise Pascal said it best, “I have made this letter longer than usual, only because I have not had the time to make it shorter.”

    • CourVO


      Sorry so late in replying. I always get a smile when I see you’ve stopped by. And your abbo-lutely right… it DOES take more effort to be concise.

      That’s it! I’m done with this reply!

      Dave C


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