Eliminate Verbal Haze

After writing a piece, I often eliminate words and restructure passages. I believe everyone should cultivate a habit of relentlessly removing redundant words. If you think that you write too much, you just might. This is regardless of how skilled of a wordsmith you are.

Over time, I compiled a list of common phrases that people pepper their speeches with. Such phrases can and do find their way into writing. Your speech probably wasn’t clear enough initially if you blurt them out or commit the cardinal sin of chaining them together:

  1. Apologies if I was not clear enough, but
  2. What I mean to say is that
  3. Okay so to make it clearer
  4. Let me rephrase it
  5. So in other words
  6. Let me put it to you in another way

Make no mistake: It can help to rephrase what you’re trying to say if you sense that the listener is struggling to understand you.

However, if you acknowledge that you could write better, you can improve your writing! Perhaps you also aspire to deliver great speeches. If that sounds right up your alley, you can practice the four ‘R’s:

Remove: Can you remove words? Make your passages shorter? Cut out the fluff?

Replace: If you cannot remove, can you replace words and lengthy phrases? Can you substitute phrases for one word if it succinctly describes what you were trying to say?

Rephrase: If you cannot replace, can you rephrase your sentences to aid clarity?

Review: Leave your writing for at least a day or two. Then look at it again. I often catch loose writing after a night’s sleep.

Try the above. I hope this helps!