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Concise Communication

April 7, 2020

For all of us, it feels like the world has stopped in many ways, but even when you’re addressing your team on a conference call or talking to your neighbor six feet away, the ability to communicate effectively is important.

While there are a lot of strategies for communication, one of the most important—but least utilized—is the practice of being concise.

Author Earnest Hemingway is famous for his direct prose, and here are his four helpful rules for writing: 

1. Use short sentences. Don’t overstate what could be said simply.
2. Use short paragraphs. Don’t bog your audience down with unnecessary details.
Use vigorous English. This means no word is wasted. Each one is focused passionately on the topic at hand.
Be positive, not negative. State what something is rather than what it’s not. For example, instead of saying something is inexpensive, say it’s affordable.

Though Hemingway died almost 60 years ago, his rules are more helpful now than ever.

In a world where we’re bombarded by 100 emails a day, being the shortest in the inbox can really work to your advantage.

Management guru Peter Drucker once insisted that any organization’s or person’s vision statement should fit on the front of a t-shirt. Drucker’s reasoning rested on a belief that a vision statement should be clear, concise, and memorable.

Today, think about how you can make your written or verbal communication a little more brief.

You’ll find in most cases that less really is more.


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