How to "Talk Less, Say More"

Lawline Staff | December 20, 2010

Think of the conversations you've had recently. Was there anything you wish you hadn't said? Did you talk too much to convey an idea? Were one or more of your ideas passed on without thought or conceptualization from your audience?

Time and time again, we hear how communication is the key to increasing business efficiency, but rarely is this meaning ever spelled out in actionable steps.  Between emails, Instant messaging, social media, phone calls, and face to face conversations, the platforms for which we communicate is much to keep track of. As a result, our time is greatly limited as we dash from message to message. The importance to have your words stand out from the clutter is more difficult than ever.

Author Connie Dieken, in her book, "Talk Less, Say More" discusses exactly how to have your message heard, interpreted clearly, and followed directly. In her writing, she uses the 3 C's of communication - “connect, convey and convince,” to establish the grounds for her argument.


Have you ever have an idea, and got so excited you wanted everyone to jump on-board right away and take action? You likely wanted to skip communicating, delegating, and just get right to the point. You present your idea and think everyone will feel the same as you, but to your surprise, your audience is disinterested. What happens here?

According to Dieken, this would be a failure to truly connect with your audience. Before you can make others move and break through the inertia, you must connect with people. How does your idea benefit them? Why should they be excited to take part? Answer these questions quickly, and Dieken believes you will have completed step 1.


The second step is to convey your message. After you have connected with your audience, and have their interest, you must clearly convey your message. As stated in the opening paragraph, information overload has caused many of us to tune out what we deem as clutter. Thus, when conveying a message, you must be succinct and to the point.

Have a plan here and do not "wing it". If your message is important, whether it be in a presentation, conversation, meeting, phone call, or email, know what your message is and how you are going to convey it beforehand. Review your material before and think, "Is every piece of information necessary? Does it add to my point? Could it be said more clearly?" Within this section of the book, Dieken discusses further ways in which one can better convey their message, which I will not detail here.


This final step is where you establish commitment. It's the equivalent of closing a sale, and the previous steps are wasted if your message is not followed through to the end. This is the step where your audience believes they must take action and feels ownership transfer over to them. If you have followed the previous steps and connected and conveyed your message, then convincing others should be a result of your tone, body language, and enthusiasm. If you are sincere in your message and decisive with your words, you will find others more often than not "buying in", rather than complying as a duty.

""Talk Less, Say More" is an ideal book for anyone looking to improve their ability to get tasks finished. In business, we tend to focus on our area of expertise exclusively; however, communication is the most integral part of working within a team, regardless of our role. Having a great idea is only half the battle, being able to attract others through communication is the second half. I highly recommend this read for anyone looking to cut through the clutter of today's information overload and have their ideas heard.

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