GM No I Don’t Want Any Salad

Stop Burying The Lead

No, I Don’t Want Any Salad… And Neither Do Your People

My Bottom, Line Up Front (BLUF) – speak more clearly, not more.

Your words are not as well understood as you think because you use too many. A word salad is a colloquialism for many words, most unnecessary and not in an appropriate order to convey a message

Simplify your speech and improve your reach. (7 words)

The Power of Brevity

There’s a reason that campaign slogans are short and tight. There’s a reason that punchy nicknames stick.

Pilots speak in an extreme version of clipped, brief phrases. They convey facts quickly and succinctly.

A paradox emerges as we become experts. We believe we must provide context and background so that our uninformed audience will understand and “get” our intent. See what I did there? I baked in the fact that you may look at your audience through a specific lens as unknowing and not realize you’re doing it.

A Tool for Clarity

In the senior-level Public Policy course I teach at Florida State University, I expect students’ writing to incorporate the APA writing style. The specific formatting of citations serves two purposes: to draw on facts and to credit the ideas of others appropriately. The byproduct of the methodology is the removal of extraneous words and phrases.

Here’s An Exercise

Look at the last five emails you sent within your company and the last memo or notice you sent to employees.

Could you cut the word count in half? I bet the answer is yes.

The Single Sheet

I’m in the middle of taking clients to Congress to tee up requests and inputs to the budget process that will eventually lead to FY25 funding. In every case, we do it with a single sheet of paper and a well-orchestrated message intended to be understood on the first pass without follow-up.

I am an expert at conveying information, but I don’t try and don’t let the client tell the congressional audience everything they know. We say it succinctly without extraneous words.

Salads are a starter, not the main course.

For a copy of my book, Pitching the Big Top: How to Master the 3-Ring® Circus of Federal Sales, and more information on federal sales, visit Capitol Integration.

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