Why should every PR pro read Jeremy Waite’s “Ten Words”?

Whenever someone receives an email that I sent from my mobile, it apologies for the brevity in the signature. After reading Ten Words by Jeremy Waite I started questioning whether being brief is something I should apologise for. Ten Words is a book that everyone working in any communications discipline should read. Here is the reason why.

Ten Words is a collection of 140 inspiring people. Jeremy Waite tells their story. In the headline, we read a ten-word quote from each of them. The 140 number isn’t random. As the author explains, Twitter has encouraged him to tell stories in 140 characters, so he wanted to inspire with 140 characters.

Balancing dreams and the reality like Paul Smith

From Ten Words we can learn inspiring, captivating and insightful stories from lives of many prominent figures. We’ll learn about habits that helped Michael Bloomberg in getting to the top of the business and politics world, make Albert Einstein so brilliant, and Jimmy Fallon so likeable.

All of the profiled people are carefully selected and we can all learn from them. Each profile is not just a summary of their lives. Jeremy Waite gives a personal touch to all of them. Theses personal and unique insights give even more reasons to get through all pages of Ten Words. This neatly written book is also a great testament to an incredible storytelling prowess of the author.

The book is constructed in a way that even those with short attention span will be able to get most of it. As Jeremy claims, each story can be read in 75 seconds. I’ve not been timing it, but the book reads splendidly. Each story is no longer than 300 words, which makes it easier to make Ten Words a bedtime, or an early morning, reading.

The concept behind Ten Words is simple. It aims to capture big ideas into smaller, more digestible format. It also intents to inspire by these ideas and comprehend that less is more. The book really does these things!

Can you write a book in hundred days?

But what is truly fascinating and admirable is the story behind the book itself. Jeremy Waite has undertaken the personal project, getting the book done in just 100 days! He spent ten days on planning, ten days on researching, seventy on writing, and additional ten days on editing. Noteworthy, he didn’t take time off from his work to complete this project. He juggled Ten Words with his busy role at IBM and family life, writing on a daily basis. He also documented each day on his Instagram. Does anyone have any excuses not to do something they want to do?

It’s also important to know who Jeremy Waite is. He features himself in the book, with a little twist — but I’m not going to spoil it for you. Jeremy is currently working at IBM, also having Salesforce and Adobe in his impressive resume. He’s a prominent marketing figure, has a vast knowledge about everything to do with data and upcoming technology, and as he demonstrated with Ten Words, is a superstar storyteller.

To sum up, Ten Words demonstrate that brevity is something we, people working in PR, marketing, advertising, need to look for. Our copy, slogans, and messages need to be concise, clear, digestible. Ten Words inspire, teach, and also support NHS, as £5 of every book sold goes to the organisation. Jeremy also teaches us how to be great storytellers and shows that ‘being busy’ is not a real excuse. And I’m strongly considering changing my email signature to something else.


Make sure to follow Jeremy on Twitter and Instagram. Most importantly, do buy Ten Words.

If you have any suggestions, would like to guest post or give me a feedback, feel free to email me at kl.marcel [at] gmail.com, tweet me @marcelkl or connect with me on LinkedIn. Thanks for stopping by, have a splendid day!