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More is less

They say less is more.

They’re right, of course, when it comes to most of our business communication…and a lot of our personal conversations as well.

A friend is editing a piece of her marketing material; she mentioned she thought there’s room to pare it down. “You know,” she said, “Less is more.”

Absolutely! Also, as I told her, more is less.

Sometimes much less. It happens often that the more we say, the less engaged our listeners are and the less they take in, much less buy into, what we’re saying.

You know this from your own experience, right?

Maybe we’re presenting our big idea in a team meeting or a sales call, or introducing ourselves at a networking event, or even writing an email. We almost always have the greatest impact when we’re concise, when we say just what needs to be said and no more.

There’s a point when our point has been made. And if we keep talking past that point, we begin to undermine our message, dull the impact, and lose our listeners’ attention.

Can we get that precious attention back?

Maybe. We might say something provocative or even outlandish. We might change our delivery style, speaking more loudly or softly, speaking faster or slower, moving around, or gesturing more forcefully.

That kind of variety can be helpful in keeping an audience with us, in any event. And if a listener has drifted, it gives us a chance to bring them back to our message.

It’s easier though—for us and them—if we don’t send their minds wandering in the first place.

How about your mind?

Still with me? That makes this a good time to invite your response and then say no more.