“Change the world—and your life—one sentence at a time.” In a sound-bite world, where an average attention span may be a matter of seconds, there is no harm in considering the value of the personal message. Beyond the obvious—that one memorable phrase that identifies you—Goss offers a plan for creating a series of dynamic sentences to communicate with the world more effectively. Time is of the essence.
To the author’s way of thinking, if each sentence is a bridge, each bridge should rest on a solid foundation. To this end, Goss offers specific suggestions such as eliminating wordiness, becoming more eloquent, focusing on goals, and identifying successes and the skills you want to improve. Goss’s memorable sentence differs from a regular sentence, with more layers of meaning and impact, a concept the author explains clearly in the text.
Complete with suggested practice exercises, diagrams and detailed chapters, Goss builds her case with an accent on the positive in communications, from the energy of a sentence to its intent and delivery. “Five Easy Steps” for stimulating dialog urge that you focus, listen, be clear, “be succinct and be human.” Although the media, particularly social media (Facebook, Twitter), are the most obvious applications, there are many occasions when brevity and clarity are appropriate but still requires enough punch to get attention, like letters to the editor, emails and blogs.
Focusing on the impact of one sentence is an interesting concept in a media-saturated environment, a communication skill that can be refined over time with consistent practice and the intention to better represent an individual wanting to make a positive impression with a thoughtful message of few words. Granted, Goss pens a plethora of sentences to make her point in this slim volume, but she does so in clear and precise language and directed chapters, illustrating each suggestion with examples and practice exercises. It’s enough to make you serious consider what your own sentence might be.
Seriously, though, considering the state of most communications today, any attention given to sentence structure, brevity and focus cannot be faulted. Too few are concerned with the image projected through communications, casual or professional, and Goss offers many helpful ideas that can be easily implemented by a willing student. First impressions are sometimes the only ones we have.