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How Brevity Got to The Oscars

Mar 2, 2016 | BRIEF

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The Oscars, the most awaited event in Hollywood, brought a pleasant surprise this year. And before you think I am going to launch in a debate about who should or shouldn’t have won the famous statuette, let me tell you I am not.

The pleasant surprise I am referring to, has to do with the decision of the producers for the Academy Awards telecast Reginald Hudlin and David Hall to ask the Oscar nominees to fill out in advance a card with the names of the people they wish to thank, in an effort to keep the ceremony meaningful.

Furthermore, should they win, those names on the card were to be displayed across the screen during the speech.

Oscars Embrace Brevity

We, most certainly, live in interesting times, where brevity becomes more and more relevant in each area of our lives.

By asking the Oscar nominees to keep the “thank you” list short and to the point, the producers took a step forward and not only “forced” them to make meaningful speeches, but also to put the audience first.

That’s what we preach at The Brief Lab: Put your audience first. Before delivering that speech, making that presentation, or even writing that email, ask yourself: What’s in it for them?

Take it a step forward and put yourself into their shoes. Would you like to listen to the presentation if you were in the audience? Would you understand it? Does it need to be that long?

How can you trim your speech, and still deliver your message?

It doesn’t matter if you’re in Hollywood, thinking about work, or just picking up groceries, we all need to put our audience first. We need to think of them, so we can deliver our message in a meaningful way.

Showing you care about your audience is the first step in winning their loyalty. Of course, words need to be accompanied by actions, and brevity is the place to start.

In this world flooded with information, where people’s attention span decreases from one day to another, where we are assaulted with decisions to make in every second, the need for brevity is more acute than ever.

Brevity is not the future, it’s the present, and those who not only understand to, but put their audiences’ needs first will win the game. If the Oscar winners can do it, you can do it too.

How will you apply brevity in your company and work?

Image Credit: Shutterstock

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