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The effectiveness of concise communication

Excessive messaging and ubiquitous information overload lead to lower work efficiency and poses a challenge to companies, which are still looking for a remedy. The information flood has ceased to be treated as a problem of individual employees and has become an organizational issue requiring systemic solutions – which we still are not good at. The effectiveness of concise communication.

The boundaries between different management areas are blurring, therefore, in the search for inspiration and new ideas for effective organizational communication solutions, it is worth reaching for other, related areas – marketing or advertising. Good ideas are not created out of nothing, we must feed our creativity with information from various fields and disciplines.

While companies are struggling to implement systems supporting internal information flow, the author of the book “Brief” Joseph McCormac, claims he has a solution which will make everyone communicate better and more effectively irrespectively of the growing information overload.

McCormack spent over 20 years advising companies on how to effectively communicate with different stakeholders. On the basis of many years of experience, he wrote a book on how to be concise and concrete – literally: “How to say less, and achieve more.” At this point, you can smile with a sneer that the author needed the whole book to convince to communicate briefly – but definitely reading is worth attention.

In addition to tips on how to create concise and effective messages, the book proves that the time has come to start knowingly manage the information we receive. The quoted statistics are overwhelming and show how negative might be the impact of information overload, caused by dozens of pieces of information bombarding us every minute. Where in all this is the necessity to speak briefly and on the subject? Well, 56 seconds is the average time that Americans spend on one website, less than 4 minutes – this is the average time a YouTube video is watched. Do you want to influence the recipients and communicate effectively – already in the first lines, convey the crucial message, and in the first seconds say what is most important.

Today’s communication in business is turning into a battle for recipients’ attention – we have to communicate as much as possible before another SMS, email or phone irretrievably takes their attention away from us. Is there a method in this madness? McCormack tries to convince us that it does, and gives us solutions that will shorten and strengthen communication, indicating that the key to its effectiveness lies in preparation. To create a concise and effective message, we need to take the time to precisely define the purpose of communication and to crystallize the most important information. This is nothing revealing, everyone knows that you should prepare for meetings and definitely rehearse the speeches. The fact that we are able to distil the short, the most significant and valuable message from the larger whole after a rather time-consuming elaboration, is also obvious – yet for some reason we do not often do that.

McCormack very well argues for the need for meaningful presentations, concise speeches and short meetings, but in my opinion he does not take into account one of human, rarely diagnosed accidents – we value the work that gives the impression that a lot of effort has been put into it. This mechanism has been proved by psychologists and unfortunately sometimes works against rational premises. As a result, a short but previously thought-out presentation may be less impressive than massive PowerPoint with random information collected on 30 slides. And it does not matter that the preparation of the first one cost the author much more time and effort – at the end of the day, it does not seem labor intensive.

 

So maybe the title of the book, which begins with “Brief” should be extended with a “brave”, since for now, to speak succinctly and on the subject, instead of dwelling on the subject and trying to focus the attention of the recipients on yourself, you also need courage, or at least some fortitude.

„Brief: Make a Bigger Impact by Saying Less”, Joseph McCormac, Wiley. Amazon


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