“Less is more”—Robert Browning “Andrea del Sarto” (1855)
Communication truly is the engine of fruitful relationships. We often don’t think about the process of communicating while we are doing it, but paying closer attention to how you send and receive information can help you prevent misunderstandings, bolster your relationships and save time.
We communicate to explain, inspire, ask, understand, and motivate. But do businesses sometimes fall short of effective communication?
When teaching my toddler how to communicate, my primary goal is to break it down and to slow it down. Observing my child shows me how important tone, pace, eye contact and body language is, for positive interaction.
If the basis of effective communication is to keep things simple, how did it ever get so complicated? Many of us believe that effective communication in business equals complexity, and the more detailed the message, the more intelligent the messenger. Reading and re-reading complex, wordy, jargon-filled emails, SOPs or guidelines, and listening to long presentations and town halls without fully comprehending is commonplace. Rather than focusing on delivering a concise, clear message, experts, managers, and leaders sometimes try to impress with their range of vocabulary. We know that time is of the essence in today’s fast-paced world, and your customers or employees don’t want to bend over backwards trying to decipher the message. What they want, is a clear message that is delivered in language that is easy to follow, with reliable information that can be understood and put into action.
Effective business communication is essential when it comes to customers and employees. Have you ever presented to a glassy-eyed audience stifling back the yawns— your words heard but not comprehended? Fun fact: employees put their leader’s intricate vision, longwinded mission statement, and extensive policy rulebooks in a drawer and forget about them.
Strong communicators have one excellent quality: the skill to communicate an inspiring vision in simple, memorable terms.
Political campaigns have long recognized the power of slogans to rise above the competition and generate momentum with supporters.
Think of Barack Obama’s “Yes, we can.” Obama borrowed the phrase from Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta who applied the Spanish version (“Si, se puede”) in the United Farm Workers’ rallying cry for labour rights in the 1970s.
The baseline requirement for a powerful slogan is an innate aesthetic appeal. But equally important is how the slogan enters specific contexts of circumstance, draws from historical contexts, and rings true into the broader campaign. Obama’s, “Yes, we can” displays all these elements.
The point is a short, catchy, memorable message resonating with your broader vision, works wonders to inspire and engage your audience.
So, the next time you are preparing a speech, a proposal, or an email for your client, team, manager or colleague, remember three shining rules:
- KISS (Keep It Short and Simple)
- Stick to the point
- Less is more
Author: Lara Bartlett, Digital Communications Manager KVALITO
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