The POWER of Editing… Get to the POINT!

Remember the Subaru commercial called, “They Lived?”

As a horribly smashed Subaru is loaded onto a tow truck a cop tells the incredulous tow-truck driver, “They lived.”

The tow truck driver then tells the amazed junk yard foreman, “They lived.”

The foreman tells the crane operator, “The lived.”

Then… a father walking out of his home looks at his wife and children climbing into their new Subaru and says, “We lived.”

Two words, four camera shots, 30 seconds, I’m in tears… it is brilliance in storytelling and advertising.

So, how often do you use forty words to say what could be said in ten?

Editing is essential in all sales… a short, powerful ad or presentation always trumps a verbose monologue.

Editing is essential in all comedy… Jerry Seinfeld has said he will spend hours reducing an eight word joke to five.

Editing is essential in all songwriting… we share an entire story or thought in three minutes.

Editing is essential in all communication… People tend to understand concise definitives more readily than flowery rhetoric.

Editing is essential in all musical expression… if one note works don’t play twelve.

Editing is essential in all requests for anything… a raise, a promotion, a date, assistance, getting out of a speeding ticket… anything.

When you use powerful words, instead of a plethora of words, you maximize clarity, impact, and the likelihood of a yes.

So, how can you begin editing today?

   * Always ask yourself, what is truly relevant? Get rid of everything else.

   * Learn the english language by reading regularly, noticing speech patterns and word usage, practicing verbal expression.

   * Grow your vocabulary with attention to phraseology, nomenclature, vernacular, lexis, use of metaphor, simile and symbolism. (The dictionary and thesaurus on my computer get a workout, and yours should, too).

   * Limit adjectives and adverbs when you want to create impact.
Rehearse important pitches, interviews, and requests to concentrate the power of your word choices.


Example: Short bio’s are necessary in a performance career. If a bio says “Shawna is an astounding, amazing, melodic, world-class, traditional vocalist… you’re tired of reading before the sentence is done.

Qualifying her singing is relevant, overkill is NOT! So, which one of those adjectives implies all the rest? I say “world-class.”

That same sentence could read: “Shawna is a world-class vocalist…” and we get it.

In other words… Get to the point!

Start applying this today for it to take hold and have maximum benefit.

FYI, this tip was originally over 550 words. It is now 441.

‘Nuff said.

Please pass this along, share on social media… that helps me.

Live truly, truly live,


2 Responses

  1. Ray,

    We have so much in common! Besides being friends with Chris Peterson, we also went to the same High School. I graduated from Groveton High School in 1983. Besides running a few businesses, the focus of my life is inspiring people. I teach Torah a few times a week and occasionally speak for Jewish groups. I started posting “secular” short video blogs on Facebook a few months ago. Anyway, I work very hard on “getting to the point” and love your article!

    All the best,

    Daniel Ratner

    1. Hey Daniel. Great to hear from you. Your career sounds really cool. I, too speak spiritually at our Verve Church, Christ-centered and very different from most Christian churches. Great to be in touch with you and keep inspiring people. I love it!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *