A note for all copywriters and those writing for the web. An intriguing article in today’s paper about TED.com (stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design) has relevance to anyone attempting to master the art of copywriting or any other form of writing for the web.
Chris Anderson is the owner TED.com and what particularly grabbed my attention was his ruling that speeches at TED conferences cannot exceed 18 minutes. Eighteen minutes, he concluded, is: ‘..long enough to be serious and short enough to hold people’s attention’.
How true that on first exposure to a new speaker or writer the author or speaker needs to grab your attention sufficiently to ensure that you come back for more – while at the same time keeping it short enough to recognise the user’s short attention span that characterises the modern world as we surf our way through our lives.
At the same time you need to pack sufficient impact into your message to ensure that the listener recognises that it has value.
Note to self; more time and preparation required for all public pronouncements to ensure maximum impact with minimum words. And if it ain’t worth saying then don’t bother opening your mouth.
Related articles about TED.com
- How did TED start? (laf.ee)
- When ideas have sex: Matt Ridley on TED.com (ted.com)
- Announcing TED’s Global Conversation Project (ted.com)
- Ted – the ultimate forum for blue-sky thinking (guardian.co.uk)