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Communication Skills: Conciseness

Right word for the right message in the right place is the centre of conciseness; hit the bull’s eye or hit the nail on its head


Conciseness is another very essential skill in effective communication.  We said conciseness means not using extra and unnecessary words since such usage dilutes effective communication.  And it is waste of time, energy and materials.  Where two words are sufficient, using three words to communicate the same matter is waste of time; this is conciseness in effective communication. There are some simple ways to achieve this effect of conciseness in writing. Let us see some of them.

First thing, use of verbs helps achieve conciseness and effectiveness in communication. Verbs are called action words which are generally immediately understood. You are a man of kindness because you have made a provision of financial assistance to the tune of Rs 10,000 at a critical time.  This sentence is ok and it conveys meaning alright. You are a kind man as you have given him Rs 10,000 at a critical time. Same meaning is conveyed shortly and effectively. Instead of saying you are a man of kindness, it is more effective to say, you are a kind man. Kindness is an abstract word; of course it is not a difficult word; but the meaning we get out of it is not direct.

Simple directness in sentences is achieved when verbs are properly used.

A good vocabulary and knowledge of the function of the language is good; but here the problem is what exactly we mean by ‘good’ is difficult to explain. Let us take the following example:

The letter was not signed at the end of it by the writer, him or her. The same sentence with no change in the meaning can be written as follows;  This letter is anonymous. Is it not simple and direct? Of course, you must know the word ‘anonymous’;  ‘ at the end of it’ is totally unnecessary therefore useless; this you can see it.  You can see how vocabulary and sensitive reading help in achieving conciseness.

We will see some more points in our next session.

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