Robert Bacal in Directors and Executives, beBee in English, Human Resources Professionals Book author • McGraw Hill, Complete Idiot's Guides Oct 4, 2016 · 1 min read · 1.1K

Bacal's Briefs: Often the less we say the better our points will be understood

Bacal's Briefs: Often the less we say the better our points will be understoodWhat is the "less is more" principle of effective communication?

In informal speech and communication, people have a tendency to talk, and talk, often is a slightly disorganized fashion, since informal speech is not the kind of thing you can plan out. It may surprise you to know that in both informal and formal speech (including presentations, speeches), people listening to you will tend to understand your points -- your intent and message -- far better if you talk less, and provide less detail.

There are a number of reasons why this is so, but here's the most important one. When you talk, the other person has to try to figure out your main points, or main messages, and this applies in all communication efforts. When you bury, or surround your main points or messages with too much "other messages", the impact of your target messages get lost. The people listening get distracted or simply focus on the things that are less important (at least to you).

Think about a one to one conversation with your spouse. How often do you offer your main point or message, but include other sub-messages? How often does your spouse then focus on one of the minor sub-messages, and appear to completely miss the point you were really trying to make. Happens all the time.

Bacal's Briefs: Often the less we say the better our points will be understoodBacal's Briefs is a series of short articles on a single standalone topic. They are based on longer articles, or the Frequently Asked Questions sections of my websites. Look for my underwear. I promise it's clean.

Robert's archive of longer posts is available here.

For more on interpersonal and organizational communication check out my specialized site: The Communication Resource Center

Robert Bacal 7 d ago · #12

In case you missed this, learn to say less and mean more, online and off.

Brian McKenzie Oct 5, 2016 · #11

Dont bother bringing logic to the table when the other is all consumed with only emotions & "feels"

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Vincent Andrew Oct 5, 2016 · #10

This succinct article makes its point crystal clear. Thanks Robert.

Lisa Gallagher Oct 5, 2016 · #9

#7 @mohammed khalaf, you hit the nail on the head! Those who know me well, also realize when I get nervous I do talk more and faster. Again, something I am really trying to work on. It got worse when I turned a certain decade older for some reason haha.

Lisa Gallagher Oct 5, 2016 · #8

#5 LOL, glad I'm not the only one @Robert Bacal. I guess it's a good thing when we realize something because it helps me to stay focused on refining my writing and talking style :)

mohammed khalaf Oct 4, 2016 · #7

Mind Your Mouth. As in, speak slowly. The tendency is to speak faster and faster when we are nervous. That can cause major slip-ups and can prevent you from catching errors of thought or inappropriate speech on the fly. When you reduce your speaking speed, you allot your brain time to catch up with what you are saying, which allows you to redact, revisit, or retract any slip-ups.

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Deb Helfrich Oct 4, 2016 · #6

#4 I am completely willing to bee a beta tester! @Daniel Paz & @Alberto Anaya Arcas

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Robert Bacal Oct 4, 2016 · #5

#3 Thanks for sharing this, Lisa @Lisa Gallagher I'm prone to rambling, also, particularly when I am not exactly clear on the point I'm trying to make, so I kind of cover everything at once. And most of it gets lost.... we're all works in progress.

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