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Craft Your Content With A KISS

By Glenna Shaw

 

For those of you who donít know, KISS is an acronym for Keep It Simple, Stupid.  Simplicity gets right to the heart of communicating effectively.  The content of your presentation should be clear and simple so that itís easy to understand.  Using clear and simple language also benefits people whose first language differs from your own.  This includes persons who communicate in sign language.

 

Begin by crafting your message in an outline, preferably in a Word document.  Set up a more useful version of the Spelling and Grammar checker:

 

 

When complete you will see a readability statistics box.  Make note of the statistics. Ideally, your Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level should be around 10 or lower.  Increase the readability of your presentation by using shorter paragraphs, sentences and words.  This isnít ďdumbing downĒ your presentation, itís communicating effectively.  Resist the temptation to show off your vocabulary.  Your audience wonít appreciate your message if itís over their heads.  As my granny says, ďWhy use a $100 word when a $1 word will do?Ē  To learn more, visit this site: http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/octnews/oc030602.html

If youíre up for a little entertainment, download Bullfighter at www.fightthebull.com.  Bullfighter is an add-in for Microsoft PowerPoint and Word.  Itís easy to install and is a lot of fun to use.  For a real treat, submit a request for the CD.  It offers even more than the download.  What more could you ask for?  Itís fun, itís free and itís useful.

 

So, what did Bullfighter have to say about this article?

The Bull Index:

Diagnosis: Congratulations - you rely upon standard words to explain concepts. Most concepts will be clear and understood. Keep clean.

Flesch:

Diagnosis: Mostly clear, with some unnecessarily long words and sentences. You get to the point, although with an occasional detour. Most educated readers will navigate the text with no difficulty. Longer words and sentences appear occasionally.

 

Ah well, granny also said I liked to talk too muchÖ

 

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