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Proverbs and clear communication

Clear and concise communication is important if you want your recipient to take action.

What does clear and concise communication have to do with proverbs?

A proverb is defined as:

A short, pithy saying in frequent and widespread use expressing a well-known truth or fact.

Essentially proverbs are clear, concise and easily remembered.

Imagine seeing in writing or hearing someone say the phrases in the first list when in actual fact what could have been written or said was the second list of proverbs.

Complicated PhraseProverb
An ignoramus and his lucre are readily disjoined.A fool and his money are soon parted.
In the absence of the feline race, certain small rodents will give themselves up to various pleasurable pastimes.When the cat's away, the mice will play.
A plethora of culinary specialists vitiate the liquid in which a variety of nutritional substances have been simmered.Too many cooks spoil the broth.
Impetuous celebrity engenders purposeless spoilage.Haste makes waste.
A condition characterised by tardiness is more desirable than one that is systematically marked by eternal absenteeism.Better late than never.

Note the number of words used in the first list of phrases. They are greater than the number of words used in the actual proverbs.

Following the KISS rule ~ keeping it short and simple, helps the person that you are communicating with to understand your message.

Benefits of being concise

Concise communication has many benefits.

They include:

  • The person you are communicating with – whether face-to-face or in the written format – is able to understand your meaning.
  • If you want someone to take action then there is a greater chance that it will happen.
  • The person or persons that you are communicating with will not become 'stuck' on words and phrased that they do not understand.

So the next time you are tempted to use obscure words to express yourself, stop and think about the impact that it will have on your audience.



Maria Pantalone

Maria Pantalone works with individuals and teams to make communication their strength so that their message is heard. Her programs help her clients to excel in their role and be recognised as leaders in their field.
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