Saying more with fewer wordsSaying more with fewer words. Brevity is a lost art in this age of data overload.  Effective communication requires a host of considerations.  This includes the ability to clearly and concisely relay information. Mastering the art of brevity in communication is a helpful way to further boost one’s soft skill set.

Also, communication tools such as Microsoft Teams and Zoom lack the richness inherent in face-to-face communication.

Here are seven tips to deliver crisp, compact language:

1. Define key terms

Miscommunications often occur when people think that they’re talking about the same thing. Define your terms of what you understand.  It can help ensure that everybody is on the same page when they’re talking about something.

2. Be concise, not quick

There is a difference between brevity and expeditiousness; haste may eventually require further remediation.  Taking a little bit of extra time to read and clarify what you wrote before hitting send.  Always remain on point by saying more with fewer words.  Do not drift in generalities.

3. Ask questions

Ask questions to check-in for understanding and comprehension – not to make a point.

4. Remember to take pause

Effective communication involves active listening and planning. Rather than waiting for your turn to talk or present a set of ideas, it’s important to listen carefully, keeping in mind the ideas presented.

5. Put the audience in the picture

It’s imperative to engage the audience. An actively involved, attentive audience is more likely to be aware of the points being discussed and retain this information moving forward.

6. Incorporate abstract concepts and metaphors

The use of everyday examples can help teams break down complex information into more digestible portions. These concise communicative segments can illustrate a larger framework in a more approachable way.  For instance, a non-engineer might not understand what a SQL database is, but by using concepts familiar to anyone who has used MS Excel, he will not be left behind.

7. Think about your communication profile

Most people can be defined in terms of the DISC personality assessment framework.  This looks at communication in terms of Dominance, Influence, Conscientiousness, and Steadiness. This doesn’t define personality though. It’s simply someone’s default communication style. A comfortable exchange would be one that’s structured and backed by facts.

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