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White Space

by Randall Craig on July 22, 2008

Filed in: Blog, Communication, Make It Happen Tipsheet, Strategy

Tagged as: , ,

Graphic designers know that if you have one element on the page, and lots of white space around it, the eye is drawn to that one element. Professional speakers know how to use a pause – silence – to emphasize a point. And musicians know that a break in the music creates anticipation.

How can we use the concept of white space to help advance our careers, and help achieve the balance we desire? While the following ideas are quite different, they are tangible examples of how white space can be used:

  • Format your documents so that there is as much emphasis on the white space as the text
  • Don’t rush to fill the silence with your ill-considered thoughts.
  • Use the pause to help others understand your ideas, before you move on to your next point.
  • Instead of scheduling your meetings back-to-back, add some time between, so that you can properly prepare – and properly digest – the meeting’s subject matter.

This week’s action item: For each of the ideas above, resolve to add some white space. Each day, find one example where you could improve your document formatting, “silence”, pausing for comprehension, and scheduling. While adding white space may seem to be a less productive activity, it helps others focus on your most important ideas – and on you.

Note: The Make It Happen Tipsheet is also available by email. Go to to register.

Randall Craig

@RandallCraig (follow me)



Randall has been advising on Web and Social Strategy since 1994 when he put the Toronto Star online, the Globe and Mail's GlobeInvestor/Globefund, several financial institutions, and about 100+ other major organizations. He is the author of seven books, including the recently released "Everything Guide to Starting an Online Business", and speaks across North America on Social Media and Web Strategy. More at and

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