The LESS IS MORE rule of communication

Robert K. Greenleaf, the founder of the modern Servant Leadership movement, is credited with this often repeated quotation: “Many attempts to communicate are nullified by saying too much.”

If only we all spoke and wrote us succinctly as Mr. Greenleaf did in making that statement. Unfortunately, too many speakers get caught in the trap of thinking that more is better.

The rule when giving a presentation of any kind is that less is more. We might think that were giving an audience more for its time and money by leaving them awash in torrents of information, but that is simply not true. People can only absorb so much information in a single sitting, and the point we are trying to make ends up getting lost when they reach information overload. Good communication requires that people understand and retain what we say. That means that our overriding concern should be that our audience walks away understanding the message we came to deliver, rather than trying to impress them with how much information we have at our disposal.

So the next time we take the stage, let’s make sure we do so with a script that is light on volume and heavy on focused, meaningful content. This less-is-more approach will help ensure that our audience walks away with a message that is memorable, meaningful and repeatable.

Mike Consol teaches public speaking, PowerPoint presentation skills and business writing to companies and business professionals in the Oakland-San Francisco-San Jose Bay Area. Contact him at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or 925-449-1040.

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