We live in an age when we are inundated with communications. Now, more than ever, clear and effective communication is vital. Clearly expressing your personal voice or your brand's voice is crucial in connecting with others.
With the fast pace of communication, it's easy to take shortcuts that seem to be time-savers; but these seemingly convenient time savers can not only hinder the effectiveness of your communications, they can also cost you valuable time.
Let's look at a typical email as an example:
Hi, Mary. We have an exciting project coming-up and I would like to talk to you about getting some help. Please call or email me when you can. Thanks!
This email is not as clear and effective as it could be. Mary doesn't know why her (and potentially others') time is being requested, she doesn't know what sort of 'help' is needed, she doesn't know how or why this could potentially benefit her, and she doesn't have any real reason to respond with any urgency. Mary is busy – VERY busy.
A clearer example might go like this:
Hi, Mary. I am contacting you because we have been awarded a very lucrative and exciting project (details about the project), and we are seeking 2 people to help with the installation of our work. I would like to speak with you to find-out if you would be interested in partnering with us.
If you're interested, I would need to hear from you by 2:00 on Tuesday. Please respond or call me at 555-555-5555. I look forward to speaking with you.
Clarity saves time and makes life easier for everyone. With the second email, Mary knows the What, Why, Who and by When of the situation. Without this, Mary and Kris might go back and forth several times before they establish all of these vital details.
Remember these simple rules of thumb:
- If you’re making a request, be clear about the 5 applicable Ws (What, Why, Who, Where, When)
- If someone has made a request of you, respond directly to each of their specific questions and be clear about the completion of the request
- Treat each communication like it’s your only chance to convey your message
- Make the person you’re communicating with feel like you value their time as much as you do your own
- The shorter, the better