1. Be concise. Don’t use 100 words to say something you can say in 50. It’s easy to become enamored of your own voice, but this may cause you to drone on and lessen your effectiveness as a communicator.
2. Have a point. Don’t speak for the sake of speaking. Have a point—especially when you’re trying to be persuasive or explain something. It’s one thing if you’re having coffee or a beer with a friend, but in a business or teaching situation it’s important to have a point before you start talking.
3. Don’t have too many points. It’s tough for most people to remember long lists. It’s even tougher if the list is comprised of complex points. Many memory experts say to stick to a list of seven or fewer points if you want your audience to remember them.
Have a maximum of three key points you’d like your audience to remember. Better yet, have just one and hit it from a bunch of different angles. Obviously this is not one-size-fits-all, but in most instances you’ll want to stick to a small number of key points or you will confuse your audience.