Jordan Ogren

May 24, 2022

2 ways to be more brief (with writing and talking).

If you know me, you know I’m long-winded. I could talk for days.

That directly correlates to my writing.

Put simply; I struggle with brevity. I’m a verbose guy.

If I can say something with five words, I’ll use fifteen. I’ve always been that way. But over time, I’ve realized that it’s a significant weakness. 

It’s a weakness in a couple of ways:
  • My point gets lost in the verbosity resulting in having to repeat myself
  • People expect me to go off on a tangent resulting in them tuning me out
  • It shows that I do not fully grasp what I’m discussing, as I’m unable to break it down succinctly

So, I’ve made an intentional decision to get better at brevity. When writing, I chop words and rearrange sentences for clarity.

I also have implemented a simple technique when talking to ensure brevity: Pausing before answering.

When someone asks me a question, my instinct is to respond quickly. But this usually results in an unfocused and long-winded response.

When I pause before responding, I can begin to formulate my answer in my head. Then, I can let the random, off-topic responses pass before opening my mouth. 

It’s a tactic I’ve seen great thinkers deploy. They think deeply about the question before answering, so their answer is straightforward.

Maybe you’ve never struggled with being verbose. Good for you.

But if you have, use the two tips I provided to get to your point quicker:
  • When writing: Edit any word that does not move your sentence forward and rearrange words to increase clarity
  • When speaking: Pause before answering to ensure you get right to the point rather than dancing around trying to find the right words

What is a technique you deploy to ensure succinct communication?

🧠 + ❤️ // JO