Know Your Audience, What to Leave Out, And How to Rewrite

Don’t leave your audience behind

When you write or talk about something you are well familiar with (as you should), it is easy to forget that your audience probably doesn’t know everything you know.

When you think about the flow of your content, the jargon you use, and the logical moves you might be doing, consider how your audience will perceive them. Will they be aligned with your line of thought every step of the way?

Keep in mind what your audience knows and what they don’t. Don’t talk over your audience’s heads.

Know what to leave out

What you leave out of your text is as important as what finds its way in.

Your content must be focused on a concrete goal: the impact you aim to create. Every sentence and paragraph, every example, slide, or frame must serve this goal.

No matter how great some idea is, leave it out if it doesn’t contribute to creating the predefined impact. It can be an excellent idea for your next piece of content.

Rewrite a paragraph written by someone else

A great way to master effectively conveying a message is to practice saying something in different ways.

Pick a paragraph of a text that left an impression on you, and identify the key idea — the message — of that paragraph. Now, take a blank piece of paper and write a paragraph of your own conveying the same message.

Don’t just rewrite the original text. Leave it aside and write your own paragraph from scratch.

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