When it comes to human interaction, communication is the foundation through which most of our tasks get carried forward. The need and essence of communication are not unknown despite your age or profession. Even via this article, there is communication going on. So be it verbal or non-verbal, no one can deny that interaction is an essential part and parcel of life. While several pillars hold the foundation of good communication, let’s focus on one of those pillars- conciseness. Let us know more about “what is concise communication?”.
Concise can be defined as precision, being on point, and being straightforward with the delivery of your information. Only then can you build your skills for clarity while communicating.
What is concise communication?
Concise communication in itself is a vast topic. To put it in simple terms, all the factors that lead to transmitting information that is to the point without beating around the bush is concise communication.
Conciseness means focussing on quality rather than quantity. It is to make sure that the person receives the correct message with the precise terms, the way it was intended. Filtering out any extra bits that can cause hindrance towards a complete understanding is what we can line up as concise communication.
Why and where is it necessary?
Why is it necessary to be concise? Why not just explain it in your own way and get it over with? Communication aims to exchange or send across ideas. As blank and simple as this sounds, it means that if what you’re communicating is not going to go across the right way, then there’s no point in that communication.
Consider simple examples, perhaps the reports you receive at work, the news that is being broadcasted over television, or even your market list. If it’s not concise, you will have a hard time understanding and may end up getting the wrong idea.
And where is it necessary? Practically everywhere! It’s better to make it a habit as it influences a lot of your relationships, both professionally and casually too. Secondly, it is also a much-favored skill during interviews, jobs, and many other aspects.
Benefits of being a concise communicator
Being a concise communicator has its benefits. It’s not for nothing that it is one of the components in the 7 Cs of effective communication that is studied and practiced globally!
- Easy and effective
Needless to say, when you don’t go on a merry-go-round with your information, it’s obvious that you will be understood better. Your message will become clearer and easier to take in and is likely to have more influence on your audience than otherwise. There are higher chances of persuading your audience and getting positive results with a concise format to follow.
- Focused on the receiving end
When you give gallons of information for the audience to cut down and make sense, you’re bound to lose them. Instead, being concise gives them exact pointers to list in their minds and to ultimately narrow it down to a meaningful message. You can ensure the audience is engaged and will gradually follow up through a simpler language. With conciseness, you can keep your audience focused till you’re finished.
- Increases your confidence
Keeping information short and intact gives more clarity. So, you being the communicator too, know what it is you need to get across to the receiver. When you know what your part is, you automatically get more confident. If you had to use confusing illustrations and ideas to explain one point, you’d lose yourself before you lose the receiver!
- Builds your overall communication performance
While you might not be aware, when you work on making your message concise, you simultaneously fix many other issues that could otherwise stem while communicating. For instance, a concise message will also be clear as well as serve facts. Moreover, when you remove all the unwanted portions, you also end up making it more effective as a whole!
- Easy on your part too!
This is one of the best benefits. If you are aware of how to frame your message concisely from the start, it saves you from so many hassles and troubles. Going through the trouble of rechecking, editing, deleting portions and chunks of information you wasted hours of research on can be avoided if you understand concise communication in the first place.
How to communicate in a concise manner?
To make communication easy, you need to know how to communicate concisely. And this is how:
- Use short phrases
Try to shorten your sentences as and where possible. Reduce the number of verbs and adjectives. Keep out words that are only going to add to your message in length. The best way to create a concise message would be to use short phrases. Instead of “another way to”, opt for words like “Additionally”. Use “However” and break sentences instead of dragging them on and on and complicating the meaning.
- Simple language
Generally, most people think that using big words would make you seem smarter. That’s not entirely true. Before checking out our vocabulary, anyone would want to ensure that what you say or write makes sense. So conciseness comes before vocabulary. Try to be as simple as possible with your words as well as phrases. Remember, getting the message across is more important than how you do it.
- Basic interpretations
Whoever your audience is, try putting yourself in their shoes. You’ll realize that they don’t want to be decoders interpreting everything you say. They want the information as simply and as easy to understand as possible. Remember that while framing your message and keep it as basic as possible.
- Understand your audience
You need to define your audience before you set out to give the information. That’s a must, not only for conciseness but even for creating the base of your message. Knowing whether your audience is a child or an interviewer or a group of men or farmers will help you decide what conciseness would be on their terms.
- Stay on point
If you’re talking about how to write a good piece of news, the people don’t want to know the house you were in, nor the pen with which you wrote. Stay in line with your topic and pointers, and even if you need to diverge to explain them, make sure you don’t drift off completely.
What to avoid?
- Repetitions (wordiness)
These are the most upsetting and yet the easiest to avoid in concise communication. You want to refrain from using redundant words like own, themselves, and so on that will only add to your sentences and make understanding more difficult. This can also be connected by wordiness which again makes the meaning tougher than what it ideally is.
- Unnecessary information
If an article is on what concise communication is, it is highly unlikely that the author will tell you about a time they failed to be concise and what consequences took place. Remember that if you’re going to throw in unnecessary and extra information, people will lose focus as well as forget the main meaning that you initially intended for the message.
Jargons are terms that you can identify or relate to. Americans may use the phrase “to bring one’s A-game”, meaning one’s best, but if your audience is a mix of people of different nationalities, they won’t understand what you’re saying. Avoid jargon and opt for basic and simple words instead. In this case, you can say, “give it your best!”
- Leaving room for assumptions
If you’re going to be a mysterious guy while communicating, jumping from one topic to another, leaving the receiver to interpret, it’s going to stab you in the back. One, because the receiver may not interpret it the way you want. Two, because they’ll just give up on trying to understand your confusing message. Explain each point as simply as you can so that it registers well in the audience’s mind.
- Leaning on your biases
This is as good as jargon, but instead of your own words and slang, you rely on your morals and ideas. For instance, if you believe that it’s best to begin your practice as a writer after university, there may be others who are of the opposite opinion. Don’t include your biases, be more generalized and balanced while communicating to ensure effective understanding.
Now that we know how to frame a concise message, here are a few examples that you want to consider. Consider the language, tone, format, and idea of the main message in each example.
I hope you are doing well. I am writing this email to address the issue regarding the designs sent in earlier. The designs are well in detail and appropriate to the guidelines. However, the following issues need to be amended.
- Design 5 needs a vintage component along with the natural color scheme
- Design 2 has to have a few shiny elements to coordinate with the black and dazzling theme
It would be great if you could look into the following and suggest ideal changes as soon as possible.
This email followed the right pattern of concise communication. There is an order followed which makes the message clear; namely the greeting, purpose of the email, overview, core information, call to action, and lastly regards and salutation. The sender has kept in mind to point out all the necessary information without adding anything extra.
Hey! This is a shout-out to all women to get their heels on!
XYZ company has put out the largest sale from 20th November to 20th December on its range of signature stilettos and pumps.
Visit the website ‘ xyzmerrysale.com’ or lookout for the nearest store for more details.
Grab your pair soon!
This is a good example of a concise invite. Most of the pointers on concise communication have been merged in well. The language is short and simple, to the point. They have also considered and mentioned their target audience, which leaves no room for doubts, and have additionally given a source of contact to communicate rather than being lost!
We welcome you to our university! Here are a few guidelines to keep in mind while you’re visiting us:
- You are requested to maintain silence and order at all times.
- No edibles are allowed within the main campus while on tour; kindly use the cafeteria.
- Kindly refrain from wandering by yourselves and stick with the instructor. In case you lose your way, please follow the route maps provided on the boards near you.
- We would appreciate your cooperation at the end of the tour during the ‘Get to know our campus’ short program.
- In case of any doubts, kindly contact your instructor.
Hoping you have a fruitful experience with us! Have a great day!
Principal and Manager
Here again, is a well-worded instruction document containing all the pointers, in brief, targeting a general audience as well as avoiding the use of redundant words. The greetings have been kept short and simple as should be for good concise communication.
What would you say is your greatest achievement?
It’s hard for me to fill in on this one. I remember the time when we were closing in on an important deal at my previous company. The client was not very satisfied with the present sample results and was shaky on his decision. However, I managed to convince him and worked on his project with ideas slightly distinct from the original. This suited the client’s requirements better, and thanks to that, the deal was ours!
This is an ideal example of a concise interview answer to the question above. Not only is it short, but it has also made use of the right words. The framing has been done in such an order that it’s easy for the interviewers to join the dots to get the whole picture. No extra wordiness nor any grand vocabulary!
Concise communication is a pillar of the foundation of fine communication. Now that you’ve got varied examples on how to make concise communication, add the remaining tips to your list and ace your communication skills!