2. We say what's most important

Not everything we know

We often have powerful, surprising or interesting things to tell people. So we need to make sure we get to the point quickly, clearly and explicitly.

And we can almost always say a lot less. We’re often talking to experts who already understand the context. They want our insights, not a lengthy description of something they already know.

When you’re writing, do you know:

What’s the main benefit or insight? Can you say it in the first paragraph? In the opening sentence?

What’s the shared knowledge here? Is there a way to say enough to show we ‘get it’, without listing out every step or detail?


Too much detail, and doesn’t make the most important point explicit:

During the development of the synthesis process for pharmaceutical APIs, it is critical to ensure that elemental impurities associated with metal catalysts are scavenged prior to downstream processing of the drug substance. Traditionally, the effectiveness of scavenging processes has been determined using plasmabased instrumental techniques, such as ICP-OES or ICP-MS. Although these methods provide a means of accurately detecting very low concentrations of elemental impurities, they can be timeconsuming and costly to apply, delaying process development decisions.


Identifies the main benefit straightaway. Then outlines the process, but doesn’t over-explain:

Detect impurities in pharmaceutical APIs in minutes instead of hours.

Traditionally, the best way to check for elemental impurities was with plasmabased techniques such as ICP-OES or ICP-MS. They’re accurate, but timeconsuming and costly.

There is a faster, easier and more costeffective way: X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF). It’s simpler to deploy and gives you results in minutes, not hours.

So the opportunities to speed up development decisions can be huge.