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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Simplicity In Communication

Simplicity originally uploaded by Katarina_2353.
A recent article from Ragan.com caught my attention. Titled "The four questions communicators should ask themselves" by Jim Ylisela, it focuses on simplicity in communication [Note: Ragan Select Access only].

"Simple is not dumb. And clear does not mean basic," states the article.

Simple, though, isn't always easy. Complexity often gets in the way.

To cut through all of that obfuscating complexity, attain clarity and focus on the pure essence of your communication, the author suggests 'four big questions:'

1. What are we trying to do?
2. Who are we trying to reach?
3. What's the best way to get there?
4. Why should anyone care?

"The simpler the better," says the author.

If I prioritize those questions, I consider questions 4 and 1, in that order, most important. I translate them as follows:

What is most critical and relevant to my audience?

[Note: this assumes that I am already very clear on question 2.]

What's my goal for the communication [i.e., the action I need my audience to take]?

Once those questions answered, it's a matter of figuring out the most relevant method to communicate with my audience.

How do you attain simplicity in communication?

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