Everyone wants to save time. To be brief might seem a smart way to cut a corner by simply saying less

Not so fast.

Brevity is a balancing act, more than strict timekeeping. The formula to follow is how clear and compelling you need to be given the amount of time you have. Real effectiveness is making a point clearly in the least time necessary (efficiency). At some moment, that might be shaving off 30 minutes from a meeting. In other instances, it may equate to cutting ten unnecessary words from an e-mail and still maintain the same effect.

Being succinct means to factor in how easy and effortless you make it for someone else to consume an idea. Time is the denominator and being clear and compelling is the numerator. Sorry for the math lesson, but as time increases you need to be more clear and compelling to maintain the same overall impact.

In this way, you’ll always look at shaving time but never at the expense of your audience’s ability to get the point and know what to do with it. Bottom line: you can be too concise and the balance is lost. Just remember that as you shrink quantity don’t forget quality.

Enough said.

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