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Jim VandeHei: "The Art of Smart Brevity" TEDx Talk

"I've got some tough medicine for you" — the not-so-gentle words that kick off his TEDx talk.

The big picture: Readers are busier and more distracted than ever. 

  • Most skim, not read.
  • We look at subject lines, headlines, maybe a tweet, then move on.
  • In most cases, you want to know what is new and why it matters — then get on with your life. 

This is true for news stories but also work updates, emails, text messages, basically any form of information that is tactical and needs to be consumed directly in the moment.

And yet, we are all still slammed with words. We spend our days listening, watching and reading them. And then we peck at our phones in a restless pursuit of more of them.

  • It’s getting harder to pay attention to anything — let alone what matters most.

Axios has been able to bust through this noise with Smart Brevity® — a communication methodology that puts reader needs above all else — and even built a piece of software called Axios HQ that empowers it.  

👇 In the TEDx talk below, Axios CEO Jim VandeHei breaks down how it works. 


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