Communication is King: Why Being Concise Is Essential in ALL Areas of Business
To say that communication is important to the world of business is something of an understatement. In truth, you’re not really a “business leader” at all – what you’re really doing for the majority of your day, whether you realize it or not, is communication.
You’re opening an essential line of communication between you and your employees every time you answer questions or provide constructive feedback.
You’re communicating with your customers every time you approve the final design of that great new marketing infographic.
But getting your message out into the world is one thing – getting it out in the purest form of itself that is easy to understand and that leaves no room for interpretation is something else entirely.
By making an effort to be as concise as possible in ALL areas of business, you’ll find that people won’t just be more receptive to your message – your business itself will be more successful.
Businesses are Founded on Communication
In terms of actually running your business, communication isn’t just important – it’s everything. This is particularly true if you’re a leader.
Communication is what makes people feel like they understand not just what they’re supposed to do, but how important it is to the bigger picture. Communication is what makes people unafraid to make mistakes or to come to you for advice at critical moments.
Communication is what creates a better, stronger relationship between you and your team – which in turn improves not just morale, but efficiency and productivity as well.
Being as concise as you can possibly be is a big, big part of that. Take meetings, for example.
Meetings are seen by many as a “necessary evil” in that they’re often an important communication tool, but are also a productivity killer as well. People have to stop what they’re doing, gather around and witness something they could have easily just read about later in a memo.
But why are meetings so annoying? Because they’re often not concise. They’re filled with wasted space and the communication of unnecessary information that is largely irrelevant to either someone’s position, their task or even the reason why you called the meeting in the first place.
The same is true when it comes to delegating responsibility. Keep it simple, above all else. If you want a particular employee to execute “X” task by Friday, tell them the bare minimum required to get the job done the way you want.
Don’t launch into detail about “A, B and C” pieces of information just because they’re on your mind. This creates confusion.
Keep it simple. Not only are you literally saving time, but you’re preventing bad choices and bad decisions based on irrelevant information down the road.
Marketing Is All About Communication
You may think that marketing is about selling – trying to position your product or service as the be all, end all solution to your customer’s problems. In reality, this is only half right – if you boil it down to its bare essentials, marketing is just another form of communication. Only this time, you’re speaking to a different audience.
The reason why your marketing collateral (particularly in terms of online marketing) needs to be more than just a spec sheet or glorified instruction manual is because of the way your message influences the customer journey.
Because of this, clear, concise communication is critical to guaranteeing that your message is interpreted the right way. This is a large part of the reason why Infographics and other visual marketing collateral created have become so popular.
They allow you to cut out all the noise, distilling your message down to its purest form. They also allow you to present that message in a visually arresting way, which certainly helps.
Consider the top traits shared by all viral Infographics – one of the major qualities that they all share is that they don’t waste a single word on information that doesn’t support the overarching message. Anything that doesn’t prop up your thesis needs to go – it may be interesting and it may have played a role in getting your business where it is today, but if it isn’t absolutely “need to know” given the topic at hand, make no mistake: it “needs to go.”
Presentations are largely the same way. Any single piece of information that doesn’t support the idea that caused you to create the presentation in the first place has no business being included. Remember that we’ve entered into an age where people are bombarded by information and data from nearly every angle.
Smartphones (and by association, the Internet) are the first things people check when they wake up in the morning and the last thing they check before they go to bed.
Because of this, they just don’t have time to entertain superficial information that doesn’t either support the decision they’re trying to make, support the information they thought they were receiving or (in most cases) both.
Focusing on being as concise as possible in all of your online marketing material will only make your message stronger.
Brevity is the Soul of Wit
There’s an old saying that tells us “brevity is the soul of wit.” What this DOESN’T mean necessarily is that a shorter joke will always be a funnier one. Instead, it’s talking about how important it is to be concise.
A joke with only essential information will ALWAYS be funnier than one filled with flowery and irrelevant language, regardless of how funny the punchline happens to be on its surface.
Literally every area of business depends on the exact same idea. Whether you’re trying to get all of your team members on the same page ahead of that next big project, or you’re trying to expose your brand to a whole new audience by way of online marketing, never assume that you’ve done enough to be concise.
You can always simplify your message. Make it stronger without making it longer. This should be your goal, not just as you’re starting out – but across the lifespan of the organization you’re trying to build.
Payman Taei is the founder of Visme, an easy-to-use online tool to create engaging presentations, infographics, and other forms of visual content. He is also the founder of HindSite Interactive, an award winning Digital agency specializing in website design, user experience and web app development.