Which sentence gets the point across better?
“It is absolutely critical that we work together and employ first-rate teamwork in order to complete the task to the best of our ability, impress this client, and engender follow up business.”
“We need to work together to please our clients and encourage their referrals.”
In the example above, the second sentence not only gets a stronger message across, but it is also less than half the length of the first. Don’t waste your reader’s time with long-winded jargon. The key to effective communication in business is brevity. Here are 3 simple tips on being a concise communicator with employees and customers alike:
- Start Strong. Sentences that begin actively are more direct and require fewer words. Try to avoid beginning with “It” or “There,” and instead, introduce your subject right away. In the first sentence above, “It is absolutely critical that we work together…” proves cumbersome. Replacing it with, “We need to work together…” helps you get right to the point.
- Don’t repeat yourself. If you say something once, you don’t need to say it again in a slightly different way. In the example, “work together” implies “teamwork.” Saying what you mean the first time shows your reader that you have respect for their time and their intelligence.
- Avoid overstatements and vague modifiers. In most sentences, you can eliminate excess verbiage by deleting modifiers like “very,” “basically,” and “actually.” These types of words are vague and add little to your message. In the example sentence, the phrase “absolutely critical” is too much because the word “critical” connotes absolute urgency all by itself.
Conciseness is a powerful, professional, timesaver. Utilize these tips to help others understand your message quickly and clearly. Everyone will get more done as result.
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