How Twitter Can Improve Your Communication Skills
Twitter’s 140 character tweet limit may be the best thing to happen to PR professionals since online press releases. Twitter’s tweet limit forces people to write more concisely. In addition, people have to edit quickly and exercise their entire vocabulary to stay within the limit. Effective communication involves being clear and concise. Your message should not leave room for misinterpretation. Basically, say exactly what you mean.
I could have just said concise above to shorten my sentence, but unfortunately, people think concise doesn’t encompass clear. Well, it does. Being concise put simply is not wasting your reader’s time. Get straight to the point. So that is exactly what I will do. Next time you have a tweet that is too long, look at the following things that will help you with your writing and speaking outside of Twitter.
1. Eliminate the Non-Essential
Tweets are supposed to be conversational. This is difficult for many people including myself because I use a lot of filler words such as “like” and “so.” When I review a post that is over limit, I always look for filler words first. This forced me to also evaluate how many times I use them in real life conversations. The answer was way too many. Now, I am aware when I start a sentence with “so” or end one with it. Eliminating the non-essential will help you be clear in your conversations both online and offline.
2. Evaluate Your Tenses
Often people will include 2-3 additional words instead of simply changing the tense of one verb. Add “ing” onto the end of a word can give you an extra 15 characters to work with. There are common infinitives we always change and others we overlook. The Twitter limit makes these overlooked words pop out at us. Using the most appropriate and correct tense will help shorten your message and help get your point across quicker.
3. Use a Synonym
We get into routines of using the same few adjectives. Review the adjectives in your tweets and see if there is a shorter synonym that can replace it. There usually is and it is most likely one that will make your sentence read and sound better. Using synonyms will help you from sounding redundant and sound a little more intelligent.
Remember the above tips for all of your future tweets. It will help you with social media marketing, but more importantly all of your personal and professional communications. I know these tips seem simple, but they are easily forgotten because of the relaxed nature of Twitter and other communications.