In our fast-paced world, communicating efficiently is equally as prized as communicating intelligibly. As people become progressively busier in their lives, the quest to save time while maintaining production has escalated. This is where concise communication plays a significant role. Forget what your high school English teacher told you about word counts. Being concise is a highly valued superpower in the real world!
What does it mean to be concise?
Conciseness is communicating complete information about a topic or idea using minimal words. Conciseness centers around precise word choice. Of course, to be concise in your communication, you first need to establish an extensive vocabulary. Then you can utilize the optimal words to express your intended meaning.
The initial benefits of conciseness are significant, with multiple residual advantages paying dividends down the road.
Firstly, being concise while communicating with others will save you time. Whether you’re speaking or writing, using fewer words to communicate the same meaning will result in less time spent in the conversation and more time for production.
Secondly, studies have shown a measurable positive correlation between concise communication and audience recollection. This means the more succinct you are in your communication, the more your audience will remember. Being concise will have more impact.
Thirdly, being concise requires not only having a highly developed vocabulary, but it also involves tailoring the message for the audience. This skill of brief, optimal communication will demonstrate to others that you are a prepared, polished, and professional communicator.
Finally, you will set an example. When others notice your enhanced communication, they’ll be inclined to follow your lead and become more concise in their communication. This results in more time saved as you’ll be apprised of more accurate information more quickly than before.
Building your skills
Conciseness is a skill that anyone can practice, apply, and improve. For starters, check your prepositions. Often, multiple words can be condensed into one. For example, “a number of…” can be changed to “several” and “in order to…” can be changed to simply “to”.
When writing, use subheading to help your audience navigate the content. Also, keep sentences to fewer than 12 words. Short sentences will increase the probability of your message being received and remembered.
The most important element of conciseness is word choice. Therefore, the first step to being a more concise communicator is to expand your vocabulary. This will enable you to choose the most accurate language when communicating specific messages.