2016-02-23

Concise And Persuasive

A few days back, I mused on the idea of putting together some sort of a podcast-type thing as a method to practice being persuasive.

Further to that initiative, I recently stumbled upon something kind of fun: a website called EdgeStudio.com offers a "script timer" that you can use, free of charge, to estimate approximately how much time it takes to speak words that you have written.

It turns out to be pretty simple arithmetic, anyway: at an average of three words-per-second, a person can expect to recite about 180 words in sixty seconds. I think this puts bounds on my initiative. I'll start at 180 words - if I can be reasonably persuasive using only sixty seconds of your time, I'll consider myself a successfully persuasive person.

Granted, this is just an exercise for me, but think about how it could be applied to your own life. We've heard a million annoying things about having an "elevator pitch." Well, three words-per-second gives you a starting point there. If an elevator ride takes fifteen seconds, then you've got forty-five words with which to make your pitch. Alternatively, you could write down your best-possible argument for something and then count how many words you've used to estimate the minimum amount of time you'll need to get your point across.

Obviously, someone like myself, who is used to writing long expositions, needs a lot of time to convey a message. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but it helps to be able to communicate in more than one way.

This experiment, then, should be a good way to hone my persuasive brevity. Thanks to a little clever Googling, I now have something to aim for.