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One of the latest social networking phenomenons is Twitter. It seems to be on the mind of every celebrity, politician, student, business owner, and social maven.
If you aren’t aware of what Twitter is, here is a brief description. Twitter lets you post (the catch is 140 characters total or less) what you are doing, thoughts on a subject, a plug for a product, or a hello to your friends. You follow Twitter users and they can follow you as well.
Here is where I have found a new use of the site. One of the exercises I am currently teaching is how to say what you need to in articulate sentences while still staying in the 140 character restriction.
Yes, there are ways to circumvent the limitations such as using u for you or 4 and not 4 but when you can get a full impact to the reader without having to abbreviate your thoughts, you have learned a valuable tool.
When you speak or write the key is to keep the attention of those that you are communicating with. We often find ourselves endlessly explaining something that could be stated in more concise patterns.
The exercise is can be advantageous for the sports commentator that has to get his point across between each pitch of a baseball game or in between downs of a National Football League broadcast. It can help somebody on a job interview think faster and better their choice of words. Maybe you are a business owner and need to get the attention of a future client in a couple of sentences, or you are writing a headline for a blog post.
Whatever the reason why not try this. Think of a message you want to get across to friends, family, co-workers, and so on. Start to write the contents in Microsoft Word. When you have finished check the character count and if it is over 140 try to condense it without using abbreviations and losing the meaning of your thoughts. The next thing you can do is to take something that you have already posted or written that is over 140 characters and see if you can truncate this as well. It is not always feasible to be effective with a word or character limitation but for practice it can only benefit your speaking and writing capabilities today, tomorrow, and further down the road. What have you got to loose but a few words. Good luck!
Craig Fenton is the creator of Painting My Room In A Colorful Way (the ultimate speaking and writing course with written, audio, and phone coaching). He is the author of the Jefferson Airplane book Take Me To A Circus Tent and the Jefferson Starship Have You Seen The Stars Tonite. Craig lectures with a one time member of the Grateful Dead and a legendary American Rock & Roll Photographer.