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:

Have you listened to these most popular episodes? Of course, you can listen on Spotify, Apple, or wherever you listen to podcasts, and now also on YouTube. (Please subscribe!)

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?

"The most generous communicators use the fewest words. They do the work to focus the message, instead of imposing that on their audience. Think quality and precision, not quantity. This is generous communication." – Dr. Andrea Wojnicki, Talk About Talk

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.

image shows a gloved hand holding a scalpel against a blue background; image by busracavus via Canva

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

Smart Brevity book

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.

"Delete, delete, delete. What words, sentences or paragraphs can you eliminate before sending? Every word or sentence you can shave saves the other person time. Less is more – and a gift." – Jim VandeHei, co-author of "Smart Brevity"

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.

There you go – 3 things to Talk About this week:
1️⃣ Precision = Generosity
2️⃣ How to communicate with precision
3️⃣ Writing tips from the co-author of Smart Brevity

Are you ready to put these tactics to use? Here’s an idea: do a practice run with me, and email me or message me on LinkedIn. I love hearing from you.

Talk soon,