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Sue Beatt

People Solutions (Scotland) Ltd


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Exercise in cutting words down


Hi all

Within a public speaking course, I would like to run an exercise in shortening long winded sentences. To save me having to think of one, does anyone have a paragraph or exercise that I could use.

Sort of thing I'm thinking of and have seen is where you are given a phrase and have to shorten it e.g. 'at this point in time' becomes 'now' or 'today'

Another exercise that I think I've seen is similar to above, but once it's shortened it becomes a well known phrase or poem.



4 Responses

  1. I don’t know if this helps…..

    An A-board at a farm gate says;

    Fresh Eggs Sold Here!

    four words….




    ‘Fresh’ is pointless; no one would advertise or buy stale eggs

    ‘Sold’ is pointless; you can’t rent an egg or borrow an egg and they aren’t giving them away

    ‘Here’ is pointless…by all means you could tell people where the eggs are if they aren’t ‘here’ but if the sign is at the farm gate then that is ‘here’

    so really the sign could just say ‘Eggs’….a 75% saving in words


    I hope this helps


  2. In Brief

    Hi Sue

    Had a quick look at some resourses I have and came across a simple exercise that might meet your needs.  It is too long to paste into a reply (I’ve tried) so e-mail me at and I’ll send you a copy.



  3. Thanks Rus

    This will be a great example to introduce the exercise and show that no matter how short something is, it can probably be shortened further.



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Sue Beatt


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