This summer, we’re re-releasing the TOP TEN Talk About Talk podcast episodes of all time, one every Monday morning. So far we’ve covered:
- Mentally Preparing to Communicate with CONFIDENCE
- The Power of LISTENING
- The Power of THREE
- The 3-Point BODY LANGUAGE Scan
- Communication Skills for JOB SEEKERS
- Communicating with PRECISION
In this week’s episode on communicating with PRECISION, I share an epiphany I realized since we released that original episode. This epiphany is also the first point in this week’s newsletter…
3 things to Talk About this week:
1. The Irony of communicating with precision
2. How to communicate with precision
3. Writing tips from the co-author of Smart Brevity
1️⃣ The Irony of Communicating with Precision
While I was looking back at some of my email newsletters from a few years ago, it occurred to me that these emails were way too long. They lacked focus and precision.
In retrospect, I realized that I was trying to be generous with my readers.
When we ramble on, it’s often in the spirit of generosity. We want to make sure that we communicate all the relevant information. That was certainly my intention with those old email newsletters, but the result was not truly generous communication.
What is generous communication?
2️⃣ How to communicate with precision
As my friend Jill Nykoliation once said, when it comes to communication, you want to be the scalpel, not the butter knife.
Try these three tactics to start communicating with the precision of a scalpel:
#1 Leverage the Power of 3 – Three is balanced, substantive, and concise. Make three your default!
#2 Use Headlines – Unless you’re creating a work of fiction, don’t keep your audience in suspense! Start with your main point.
#3 Repeat Yourself – This reinforces your main point and helps your audience internalize it. Think of it this way: tell them what you’re gonna tell them (the headline), then you tell them (the content), then tell them what you told them (summarize the main point).
3️⃣ Writing tips from the co-author of Smart Brevity
If you do a lot of writing, I highly recommend the book Smart Brevity. Whether you’re writing an email, article, or report, this book will teach you how to keep your written communication focused, concise, and easily consumed by your readers.
I also suggest listening to Smart Brevity co-author Jim VandeHei’s TED Talk, in which he shared his top tips for written communication:
- Don’t be selfish. Put your audience’s needs first.
- Grab your reader’s attention.
- Keep it simple.
- Drop the jargon and write like a human.
- Keep it short and sweet.
Executive Communication Coach
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