The Template

Every week, I maintain THE TEMPLATE, an award-winningWinner of the 2015 Plank Center Award (public relations org.) for commitment to mentorship. blog that's been viewed more than 1.5 million times by people all over the world. In every column, I provide step-by-step instruction to help you become a stronger communicator. Like I always say, "Write well, open doors!"

How to Catch the Most Mistakes When You Edit

how to edit
Baseball — the edited version.

Do you like the idea of baseball in the summertime, but you don’t have the patience for all nine innings?

You’re not alone.

As we kick off the 2015 season, Major League Baseball execs will institute several new rules to speed up the game and make fans happy. For instance:

– hitters must keep one foot in the batter’s box at all times so they can’t step out after each pitch and waste time

– you’ll now see a timer on the scoreboard that measures breaks between innings; 2 minutes, 25 seconds for locally televised games and 2 minutes, 45 seconds for nationally televised games

– managers can ask for instant replay from the dugout rather than approach the umpire on the field

So if it feels like baseball moves a bit faster this season, now you’ll understand why.

Yes, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred has edited his product (baseball) to pick up the pace, and it’s important we do the same. I have written several columns about words and phrases that slow down our work:

4 Sneaky Words That Diminish Everything You Write

How to Improve Everything You Write in Under Three Minutes

The One Question Every Great Communicator Asks

More editing tips here

This time I’ll step back and explain how I edit, in general. What’s the best way to delete all the extra words and clean up grammatical errors?

The key is to peel ourselves from the screen (phone, tablet, laptop or desktop). We stare at a document or email for so long we lose the ability to catch mistakes. We need a fresh perspective, and the best method is to give our eyes a rest.

My “How to Edit” instructions are nice and neat. If you’d like, print out the steps and stick them on your desk.

If you commit to being a better editor, I promise everything you write will improve.

 how to edit

How do you edit?

Share below!

Featured photo: Kafu Chau (Flickr)


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