Active Voice And Short Sentences

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Active Voice

Passive Voice










Writing and speaking in the active voice is more powerful than the passive voice. Big surprise, huh?

“The line drive golf ball shattered the car’s windshield.”


“The car’s windshield was shattered by the line drive golf ball.”

Yes, that first sentence conveys more power. More action.

It’s hard to break the habit of using passive voice. It’s just easier to be like that lazy ferret in the picture.

No effort.

Brevity is also hard.

George Bernard Shaw wrote, “Sorry for the letter, I didn’t have time to write a postcard.”

“I’d have written a shorter letter, but I didn’t have the time.” That quote is attributed to both Blaise Pascal and Mark Twain. Whoever said it got it right.

It takes time to be brief. Being concise demands greater effort and more upfront time.

Editing is hard.

But worth it.

Active voice. Short sentences.

Combine them for a powerful two-punch communication combination.



About the author: Randy Cantrell is the founder of Bula Network, LLC – an executive leadership advisory company helping leaders leverage the power of others through peer advantage, online peer advisory groups. Interested in joining us? Visit