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5 Tips for Concise Communication

Imagine packing for a trip: while many of us enjoy taking extra items (and sometimes find it hard to take out items!), we know that every extra item we take will add weight to our luggage.


Writing works in the same way. Excess words can weigh our readers down.


But, navigating the art of concise messaging, without compromising meaning and clarity, can be difficult, right? Let's explore 5 tips you can use to make your writing concise.


Tip 1: Slash Wordiness

Compare the sentences in the examples below:

Example A: Report

Original: The purpose of this report is to provide an overview of our hotel’s quarterly performance.

Edited: This report presents [an overview of] our hotel’s quarterly performance.

Example B: Course Overview

Original: This course is designed to provide an in-depth understanding of complex topics related to the property field.

Edited: This course covers complex topics in the property field in detail.

In both examples, we trimmed down words without losing meaning, making the sentences clearer to understand.


Note about Example A: Whether or not to add the words "an overview of" in the 'after' sentence is a matter of personal preference, as the words simply provide extra detail and don't necessarily make the sentence verbose.


A tip to identify wordiness:

Read your writing out loud! It can really help you gauge how well your words flow and how easy your sentences are to understand.


Tip 2: Avoid Repetition and Redundant Phrases

Repetition, like an overused melody in a song, can drag on your message.

Example: Report

Original: This report provides an in-depth analysis of the market trends in

the past quarter.

Edited: This report provides an analysis of the market trends in the past quarter.

In the after sentence, we removed the word “in-depth,” as “analysis” already implies a thorough examination.


Tip 3: Break Up Long Sentences

When you devour a huge piece of chocolate at once, it can be difficult to fully appreciate the taste and texture. But, when you break it into smaller pieces, you can savour each bite and better enjoy the flavour. Similarly, when you break up long sentences into shorter ones, it can help the reader digest each point more effectively.

Example: Blog Post

Original: Tokyo, the bustling capital of Japan, offers a range of attractions for visitors, from indulging in delicious street food and shopping in vibrant markets to exploring ancient temples and traditional gardens.

Edited: Tokyo, the bustling capital of Japan, offers a range of attractions. Visitors can indulge in delicious street food, shop in vibrant markets, and explore ancient temples and traditional gardens.

See the difference between the two sentences? Simply breaking up the sentences emphasises each point clearly.


Tip 4: Use an Active Voice

Imagine you're watching a play: in the active voice, the actors take the spotlight. They grab your attention and speak clearly and directly to your readers.

Example: Email

Before: The report was written by Charles.

After: Charles wrote the report.

The 'before' sentence uses a passive voice, while the 'after' sentence uses an active voice. In this example, the sentence that uses an active voice is clearer to understand, as it brings the person (Charles) to the centre stage and emphasises his actions more naturally.


Note: Even though an active voice is often preferred for clarity, there are times when it can be more appropriate to use a passive voice, such as in formal settings. It's important to choose the voice that best suits the context and purpose of your writing.


Tip 5: Use Simple Language

Using words that are accessible can help you connect with a wider audience.

Example A: Business Email

Before: We would like to extend our sincere gratitude for your unwavering support and cooperation in this collaborative endeavour.

After: Thank you for your support and cooperation in this project.

Even though the language in the after sentence is more direct, the “before” sentence conveys greater emotion. The sentence you choose would depend on how much emotion you would like to convey to your audience. Consider your writing style and the level of formality required for your audience. Just as different occasions call for different attire, different writing contexts call for different degrees of formality.

Example B: Blog Post

Before: In this comprehensive discourse, we will discuss the intricacies and nuances of effective content creation strategies for digital marketing purposes.

After: In this blog post, we will discuss effective content creation strategies for digital marketing.

Remember that simplicity doesn't mean sacrificing quality or depth! It's important to find the right balance to convey your ideas clearly.


Summary

"Make every word count," as the saying goes, is the essence of concise communication. It's important to make sure that your writing is a smooth read for your audience. However, don't sacrifice clarity in the process! Make sure your writing strikes a balance between the two (like in the examples we explored), so that you preserve your message whilst remaining concise.


By implementing the 5 tips we explored - slashing wordiness, avoiding repetition, breaking up long sentences, using an active voice, and using simple language - you can trim away the unnecessary and deliver your message concisely.


Editorially yours,

Aishwarya

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