How to kick off every essential communication

An easy framework to help you get started — every time.

The toughest part of any communication is deciding where to start. Too often, you're under a time crunch, trying to decide what to say or synthesize. 


What we've learned: It's a waste of time to start from scratch every time we communicate. All essential updates should start with the same two sentences: 

  • What's new: Tell your readers the most important detail to know. 
  • Why it matters: Share the context they need to see the impact it will have on them. 

This Smart Brevity workbook explains why this structure works and how to bring it to life — and includes the stories of how two organizations use it to keep their employees and stakeholders informed. 


1 🧠 thing: This workbook also has one of our favorite exercises to help your team or stakeholders understand and embrace why this structure is so effective. It showcases how your brain understands and organizes information faster when it can see a clear, organizing principle. 

Go deeper

Attend a Smart Brevity open house

Join a Smart Brevity editor to learn more about the muscle behind our style — and a tool called Axios HQ that makes using it a lot easier.


Radically rethink how you communicate

In his firstTEDx talk, Jim VandeHei breaks down the urgent need for all of us to communicate with better clarity and efficiency.


Download our Smart Brevity Checklist

This checklist helps you remember the most key ingredients so your next update will be clear, engaging and memorable.