Practice Being Concise!

Experienced public speakers can convey their thoughts within a strict time limit. When giving speeches or making presentations, we respect those who stay within the time requirement, because we have all suffered through events where a speaker rambled on long after their time was up. 

In these days of video and telephone conferencing, this skill is vital. Whereas in physical meetings, we have subtle visual clues telling us to stop speaking and give others a chance, in virtual meetings, this is harder to perceive.

Practice being concisegiving a lot of information clearly and in a few words; brief but comprehensive; marked by brevity of expression or statementfree from all elaboration and superfluous detail.

To ensure you don’t digress or get off-topic, state your key point upfront and then aim to expand on that point in as few sentences as possible. It helps to write down a keyword or phrase, and then, while you speak, refer to the word to make sure you are still focusing on the topic. 

If you are aware of a tendency to run long, set the timer on your phone. You may be surprised to see how the time gets away from you.

Practice being concise, your colleagues will thank you.