Sunday, November 30, 2008


I came across an interesting analogy when talking about communications. Words are second hand, or dead, when talking about our real thoughts or concepts just like a bucket of water is dead when compared to a raging river.

That email you sent, voice mail you left, or blog post you wrote probably doesn't capture what you really intended to say. Seth Godin had an interesting blog post on this recently.

So how do you ensure your message gets across? You can look at the replies to your blog posts, make your voicemails to the point, or take time to really read that email before you hit send. Personally, I don't leave long voicemails and I hate receiving them. Emails shouldn't be more than a few (short) paragraphs. The same goes for presentations.

Woodrow Wilson captured it best when he said "If I am to speak ten minutes, I need a week for preparation; if fifteen minutes, three days; if half an hour, two days; if an hour, I am ready now." I have seen speakers ramble on because of a lack of preparation and emails ramble on because someone didn't take the time to organize their thoughts. I'm an advocate of pecha kucha and I hope to see this catch on.


George Pitagorsky said...

Yes, brevity and clarity are keys to effective communications.

asantone said...

Interesting. I took a business communications class and we used the text book Say it in Six.