Happy New Year! ?
Like most years, I purged my house of clutter after Christmas in a frenzy. Cupboards emptied. Shelves streamlined. Chaos calmed.
(My children and pets went into hiding in case they, too, were shoved into a black sack marked ‘charity’.)
And it’s a great time for a purge in other areas too.
My colleague and ex-military man, Andrew Pullman, recently told me about a common acronym in the army: CLAP. It’s used in training to help officers communicate effectively with their troops, and it stands for:
As an order
Simple and memorable.
And whilst we may not want to bark orders in our business communication, there’s a lot we can take from this pared-back approach. Especially with our emails.
Clear – get to the point and get rid of any word salad (staying in the military theme, a client of mine calls this his ‘scorched earth’ approach to editing)
Loud – make sure your key message stands out and is easy to skim read (we rarely read every word online)
As an order – end with your call-to-action, ideally in one sentence – what one thing do you want your reader to do next? (But remember to make your tone appropriate for your audience – no-one wants to feel like they’re being told off)
Pause – give the sensation of breathing room with short paragraphs and plenty of white space in your email.
So – what are you going to purge next?
I’d love to know!