Communication: Effective speaking and writing are part of the job for professionals in all types of fields and responsibilities. Here are some ideas to make your business and personal communications more powerful.
Even when speaking, you will help people understanding you with a headline. The headline states the topic. “Bill, let’s talk about the plan for this weekend” is a simple sentence that let’s Bill know what you are discussing.
In writing, where you put the headline depends on what you are writing. In a letter or an email, the headline goes in to the subject. In your LinkedIn profile, the headline goes next to your name. In a resume, the headline can be a short statement below your contact information.
Clear Communication: The Opening Paragraph
For most effective communication, state the purpose of the discussion in the opening paragraph. Note that the purpose is more than the subject. The purpose includes the subject and the reason for discussing that subject. For example,
“So, that we don’t overlook anything, Bill, let’s talk about the plan for this weekend.”
One Subject at a Time
Whether writing or speaking, you will have more success by sticking to one subject at a time.
Busy people tend to look for the point. Once they find it, their mind is ready take action or to file the information.
Additionally, jumping back and forth on different subjects confuses people.
New Subject Introduction
Sometimes, you need to discuss several subjects in one meeting or correspondence. When you do, you can help the other person follow your discussion with transitional tools.
In a conversation, you can state that you are moving on to a new subject.
When writing, use subheadings, all caps, bold type, or initial caps at the beginning of each subject. The switch from normal style to one of these four styles highlights that you are moving on to a new topic or subtopic.
The reader may only have time to scan information. Your key points stand out in the brief statements that you highlight with subheadings and initial caps.
Transitional devices are a bridge to help the reader follow you from one sentence or paragraph to the next. Additionally, these words or phrases can help your reader know whether you are adding more information on a subject or moving on to a new one.
They are signals to smooth the flow of your message.
Here are some examples.
- Write a transitional statement such: “Now I would like to discuss a new subject.”
- Use transitional words such as “also, so, for this purpose, later, furthermore.
- Time categories help you reader following your message: First, Second, Third, and so forth.
- Additionally, bullet points or numbered lists are excellent when making short phrases are statements.
Grammar is as important as content. I carefully proofread what I have written and use word processing software to check for mistakes. I still make mistakes. If you see any mistakes in my writing, please let me know.
I make it a habit to look up words I don’t know. Furthermore, my curiosity prompts me to read articles about new terms. Today, in this digital world, the flow of information gives me the opportunity to grow professionally and personally.
Here are some examples of new words or topics I have learned in the past 5 to 10 years.
“Disruptive” in reference to innovation “Emotional Intelligence” “Mindfulness” in reference to focusing attention on the present moment; also, in reference to breathing meditation
In conclusion, the formula for saying or writing anything is simple. Start with a headline. Second, state the subject in the opening sentence. If you wish to write about multiple topics, just say so clearly in the opening.
Use capital letters, subheadings, and transitional devices to introduce each new subject.
Your listeners and readers will appreciate your effort to communicate effectively.
Furthermore, you will find that people take more action and give you better responses with effective communications.