inCredible Messages Blog

Expert Advice on Avoiding Communication Overload

John Medina, accomplished scientist and author of Brain Rules (2008), reports that the most common communication mistake is “[r]elating too much information with not enough time to connect the dots.”

Medina is not alone in suggesting we refrain from overloading our readers and listeners with information.  Gar Reynolds, in Presentation Zen, demonstrates that less is more in both words and graphics.  It makes sense for us as communicators to make fewer points people will remember than to bombard audiences with everything we know.

Knowing what to cut is both a skill and a discipline.  It begins with knowledge of your goals and your audience.  It ends with a certain amount of humility.  Just because you know something doesn’t mean you have to say it.

Also, just because you say something doesn’t mean your audience knows what to do with it.  Making the assumption that readers and listeners easily make the jump–from theory to their own situation–is dangerous.  Here’s a simple method to ensure you have connected the dots:  make your point; give an illustration; explain how it applies in practical ways.

Have you read Brain Rules or Presentation Zen.  What struck you as most important?

Posted by Bonnie Budzowski in Writing Mistakes and How to Fix Them, How to Write Content to Attract Clients, Business Writing Techniques, Clear, Concise and Compelling Writing.


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