For Impact


Build Simple: Communication

For Impact Ideas | | Tom Suddes


This week marks the 150th Anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.

Lincoln wrote this himself, and it certainly features one of the great openings of all time: “Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth, on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.”

The final version was 272 words! (I’m sure it took Lincoln many iterations to rid the ‘speech’ of all the words that were not important.)

Washington’s First Inaugural Address was 134 words.

Einstein’s Theory of Relativity was written on 3 pages (longhand) … summarized with 3 words … and then SIMPLIFIED again into 3 letters!!!

It seems like ‘we’ can’t write a proposal, a case for support or a request that isn’t 20, 30, 40 pages … smallest type possible … pages of financials …

Lincoln. Washington. Einstein.

Thoreau: “Simplify. Simplify. Simplify. Always simplify.”

And finally, Sir William Ockham’s famous Razor: “What can be done with few assumptions is done in vain with more.”