You Only Have a Little Time: Say It and Make It Stick

We are living in a world of instantaneous communication where you have to say it and make it stick – quick – or the opportunity is gone.

Think about it: If you’re trying to communicate in this digital age, then you’ve noticed that our attention spans are short. Twitter makes us think we can get the gist of “it” in 140 characters or less.  But not just that; those of us who have worked with children were either frustrated or discovered the art of quick and powerful lessons. Have you ever tried to teach a roomful of 6-year-olds? My hat is off to the professional educator because in my opinion, a 6-year-old’s attention span seems to shift every 2 minutes.  And that’s perfect.

confused child

You can’t become good at communicating, marketing and getting the kind of attention that you want your company to have unless you practice.  And the way I see it, working with Twitter and with children is the perfect marketing exercise.


Can you explain what you do in a way that a roomful of children can understand it?

What would happen to your marketing if it was clear and relevant enough for children to understand? Meeting that standard of simplicity could be good for business. That means minimal jargon. That means words and stories that  really connect with your audience.

Apple did it with the first iPod.  Remember their marketing language: “1,000 songs in your pocket.”

A child can understand that. It’s clear. It’s engaging.


Can you make your business matter in 140 characters or less?

Use Twitter to master the art of the meaningful sound bite. Since you only have 140 characters, you’re forced to be interesting and quick.

Think about it: 140 characters is a good rule of thumb not only for Twitter but also for:

  • blog post headlines,
  • press release headlines,
  • elevator pitches
  • 30-second ad spots

On Twitter, you only have a few seconds to get your point across before something new pops up. In business, you only have a little time to reach a potential client before something new pops into his/her mind.   So use the resources around you—children and Twitter—to learn to maximize your sound bites.

After all, everything is a lesson if we pay attention and learn.


Jamillah Warner Jamillah Warner (Ms.J), a poet with a passion for business, is a Georgia-based writer and speaker and the Marketing Coordinator at Nobuko Solutions. She also provides marketing and communication quick tips in her getCLEAR! MicroNewsletter.

6 Reactions
  1. Jamillah, I like the analogy about explaining your business in simple terms that even a child could understand. Creating quick, attention-getting copy is perfect for readers and listeners with a little ADHD.

  2. Thanks, Jamillah. Using Twitter as a training ground is exactly what I’m doing. Surprised that I like the format so much.
    Jan McClain

  3. I write how I like my children: short and sweet.


  4. I like this, its part of keeping it simple…not only with word count but simple words, easy to understand and non complicated jargon. Not only for attention spam, but for what you said “making it stick”, to that I add “making it catchy”, kind of like a song that sticks in your head. I agree Twitter is a great training ground, if it needs to be longer then Facebook comes to the rescue!
    Mark Brundage UOBIM