How to be Concise

Over time, one of the most important lessons I’ve learned is the importance of being concise. The best way to get someone to remember what you say is to be as brief and impactful as possible.

We’ll start by talking about being concise is, why people aren’t concise, and what you can do to address this problem.

What Does It Mean?

Being concise means:

1. Offering a complete thought.

2. Explaining the significance of your statement (in the context of their goals / what they care about).

3. Including only necessary information.

4. Having brevity of language.

5. Relying on shared vocabulary or knowledge.

Why People Aren’t Concise

I’ve found there are two main reasons why people lack concision in what they say:

1. Details – Many people think others are interested in all the details of what they’re talking about.

On the contrary, I’ve found people are quite cognitively overloaded these days, and really just want to know the important part of what you’re saying.

2. Mentally Taxing – It takes a lot of work to be concise. You basically need to take information and process it to be in a form that’s easily understood by someone else.

3. Assumptions – Most people forget who they’re talking to, and over explain things to someone who they have shared knowledge / vocabulary with.

How Can You Be Concise?

1. Determine what the other’s person goal is, and start with that.

2. Explain what you think, and a few short reasons why.

3. Include only necessary information (the minimum required to understand your argument). If they are curious they’ll ask further questions.

4. Use shared vocabulary or knowledge, don’t explain every single detail.

Example

Let’s say you crack a case and realize to increase the client’s profit they have to acquire a company with an internet distribution channel.

You could say this as follows:

To increase your profit (goal), you should acquire a company with an internet distribution channel (action) because:

1. The internet channel is where all the growth is.

2. We can’t develop it ourselves.

3. The NPV of the acquisition is greater than the price.

(reasons, only includes necessary information, and relies on shared vocabulary / knowledge).

This can be applied anywhere.

Conclusion

To be concise:

1. Determine what the other’s person goal is, and start with that.

2. Explain what you think, and a few short reasons why.

3. Include only necessary information (the minimum required to understand your argument).

4. Use shared vocabulary or knowledge, don’t explain every single detail.

Good luck!

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