As super communicators you should observe these six basic guidelines to ensure effective communication:
1. Lead with the Conclusion: The agreed upon standard for communications used to be gradually building to the main point, usually best to state the main idea first and why it is important. After ensuring that all readers have at least understood the critical argument, writers can continue with supporting evidence, information, and a limited number of links for those interested in reading further.
2. Use Big Words Sparingly: Ironically, research shows that while people with stronger vocabularies are more successful in business, those who use too many big words are not effective communicators. When the audience is concentrating on a speaker’s vocabulary, they are missing the overall message. Rather than responding with admiration, people become frustrated or are put off by the speaker’s perceived attempt to brag or impress. Again, the aim is not to insult the audience’s intelligence, but merely ensure that their focus is on the information being conveyed.
3. Combat Jargon Abuse: While jargon feels good to use for insiders, it inherently excludes everyone else. When trying to simplify complicated subjects for a non-specialist audience, it is imperative to minimize and explain any use of jargon. Acronyms are like another form of jargon that increases efficiency for insiders but, again, is a hassle for outsiders. When content looks like “alphabet soup,” acronyms are being overused.
4. Shorter Sentences, Paragraphs, and Chapters: Just as with the overuse of big words, long sentences, paragraphs, and chapters are “roadblocks” for readers. Internet culture has promoted brevity in the same way it has encouraged easy readability. Overdoing it can make a document boring, however, so this is not a hard and fast rule but something to be mindful of.
5. Sync Content with the Audience’s Culture:
When making cultural references or analogies, communicators must be sure the entire audience will understand them. It is safest to stick with shared human experiences (e.g., food, family, sports) to avoid confusion. also need to consider the tone their messages are delivered in.
6. Make it Error Free: Errors ruin credibility no matter how intelligent the person presenting is. Communicators should always work with others to ensure work is free of errors, particularly those a computer may not pick up.
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