From in-person meetings to virtual ones, today communication permeates our work lives. From addressing a conference to even one-on-one meetings, it’s often seen that most people struggle to communicate their thoughts in a concise way. However, imparting your views in a way that doesn’t reflect their intended meaning, will only lead to misinterpretation and confusion.
Being concise is an art that involves getting your point across quickly and efficiently.
Here’s how you can learn to communicate in a concise manner;
PREPARE YOURSELF MENTALLY
Thinking first, is half the battle when it comes to concise spoken communication. Most people don’t bother to organize their thoughts before they speak. Such muddled thinking will only add to confusing conversations. Whether, it’s an idea you haven’t thought through, or an opinion you’d like to discuss, if you’re ill-prepared you will confuse everyone.
Tip: Plan what you want to say. Think about what is the main point you want to convey through your message and how would you go about structuring it. Ensure you understand the concept yourself, before sharing the same with others.
FOCUS ON THE MAIN TOPIC
Streamline your thinking to the most important point first. This is particularly important as 50% of what most people say is irrelevant to the central point they wish to make. Getting the main idea out there early in the conversation, will allow your mind to develop a mental roadmap for a smoother thought flow. Don’t pad your sentences with jargon, to sound more professional. It’s necessary to recognise time is valuable and that it is critical for every person to understand the relevance of what is being said.
AVOID THE TWO TENDENCIES
These include the tendency of; Over explaining: You can overcome this tendency by talking only about the most relevant points. Under Preparing: If you don’t prepare and don’t know what the key points are, you won’t be able to be brief. The best way to overcome this tendency is to prepare a mind map to organize your thoughts in advance.
When you’re confident with your speaking skills, you are more likely to speak directly and to the point. The only way to achieve this is to keep practicing. Read an article related to your area of interest and then give a short summary on what you’ve just read. Depending on how concise you are trying to be, set a time limit. Try to include all the imperative information you can recall within the pre-set time. Use a new article every time you practice. In this way, you will be able to train your brain to process and deliver information more efficiently.
DEAL WITH NERVOUSNESS
Speaking anxiety is very common. However, when you’re nervous you tend to speak faster and your ideas are more disorganized. Deal with your nervousness by asking a friend, or colleague to be your confidant, with whom you can practice speaking concisely.
DELIVER AN ENGAGING MESSAGE
Be it a speech or normal conversation, your message should be engaging enough for the opposite person to retain it. Using as few words as possible, give information in an amount that can reasonably be digested, and not the amount you personally feel compelled to share. Eliminate unnecessary sentences from your conversation by cutting down on unrequired words and excluding trivial details. This will help you to cut out on matter that doesn’t add value to the central message.
Now that you’ve delivered an engaging message, it’s time to craft a memorable conclusion. Your ending must have impact. This will help to keep your influence flowing even after you’ve finished speaking.