I help to write lots of articles and I help people to communicate through the media. In the course of this I spend most of my time deleting rather than adding. The first thing to go is usually that remnant of essay writing – the first sentence. I’m sure everyone remembers this from either writing job applications or essays when even the most incredulous link somehow seems to be necessary. It isn’t. The classic example is when a curved ball question is thrown at someone preparing for an interview. People will, instinctively, find a tortured way to link back their thought to the question. There is no need to do this. All that you end up saying is nothing. Just ditch it and make the point you want to make. Here’s an example. First go: ‘It’s interesting that you ask that question but if I could just take a moment to…’ In one ear and out the other. Second go (after a little coaching), ‘My team has worked with ABC people in XYZ and we’re really proud of the results we get’. It’s worth a bit of practicing as it frees up space in your communication to make the point that matters to your audience, not to you or the interviewer.