Why brevity and clarity are essential to modern communication

Real-life situations demand straightforward messages. Why not apply that urgency to conveying your thoughts and insights at work? Here’s guidance on weeding out overblown phrasing.

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Hey, businessperson. Yeah, you. The one who keeps putting words on the page, every day.

You create a lot of messages. Emails, presentations, reports, posts, requests, responses, and who-knows-what-else. They sound so important, with their long words, complex sentence structures and hefty paragraphs.

You know what, though? We don’t understand you; most of us aren’t even trying to get your drift. So much language is so much trouble. We see your weighty words, and we want to look away. Maybe we skim. More likely, we guess. Most likely, we delete.

The result? You don’t get results.

No doubt, your message matters to you. That’s why you spend so much time inflating and complicating the words. But if you want that message to matter to us, you’ve got to say it like you mean it.

Instead of obscuring your meaning in a mess of words, reveal it in its simplest form.

Do you need a model for simple, clear communication? Think about the words you say—and don’t say—away from work, where you’re less likely to overthink and overcomplicate a message.

In teachable moments

When teaching life skills to children, you simplify the instructions to their essence.

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