Business Communication: Getting your Point Across
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Has anyone ever asked you, “So what is your point? The point we try to make to someone can easily get muddled with extra words and long explanations, or it can get confused by lack of tone over digital communication. So how do we get to the point faster and make communication more effective?
Here are some points to consider:
State your point up front.
It’s important you know what your point is before you start communicating it. What is the outcome you’d like to get after your explanation? Particularly over email, it would be great to include your point in the subject line, if possible, so people are prepped to read. You should also summarize your point and purpose for the email in the very first paragraph.
Keep it simple.
When people ask what your point is, or say get to the point, they’re asking you to be direct –in other words – simplify the message. Don’t fill your explanation with big words, slang, abbreviations, or buzz words. If you have time to prepare your communication, choose your words carefully.
Getting to the point also means “be specific.” If you state, “I need the products to be delivered fast,” what “fast” means to you may be different for someone else. You meant within one day, but by another person’s standards maybe a week is fast. Best to say things like, “I need the products to be delivered within 24 hours,” or “by 2 p.m. tomorrow.”
Don’t bury your point in too many words.
We tend to explain ourselves more when we aren’t confident or clear about our own point. People read diagonally if you have too many words in your email. Keep it short and sweet. One way to do that is by using bulleted or numbered lists. You can summarize specific points really well that way.
If you can include examples to get your point across, do it. And the more specific examples, the better.
Finally, re-read your email before pressing send.