STUDENTS' CORNER - 186
A steno taking dictation in short-hand
Next in consideration for effective communication is ‘Conciseness’.
Conciseness means using words exactly and economically. That is, where two words are sufficient to communicate, using three words is waste of words and energy. Economy in use of words is conciseness.
To achieve conciseness in communication requires, first of all, clarity in what you want to say and then adequate vocabulary matching your need. In reality, what matters finally is the extent of vocabulary you have mastered. Mastering vocabulary means knowing the exact meaning of the word, the meaning that particularly the receiver, the reader attaches to the words. Because you understand a word through the meaning of the word you are used to associate. Take the common example; if you ask someone what is life, he will give his view which may not be the same as your view. Basic words which we use in life have this difficulty; for example, god, faith, love, education, money and even profit. This is only to impress upon you that you have to be careful in the selection of words.
Conciseness presupposes a good vocabulary; in fact there is no end to learning words; now let us not go into this topic which is very huge and complex.
Long letters, long sentences even long movies and any social event nowadays do not appeal. People have no patience. In business communication, a convention is the matter must not normally exceed one page or maximum another half page. Long letters with long sentences begin to tax the reader who normally happens to be a CEO or MD; they are very tightly-scheduled officials or authorities. That is why in any business letter, we have Ref and Sub. By glancing through these two, you can understand what the letter is about. This brings out in essence the importance of conciseness in communication.
We know the general practice in big companies and corporate. The CEOs and the MDs dictate their letters to the steno and the steno types the letters to bring them to the higher authorities. They go through the letters and sometimes may revise them. This is called vetting; checking the letter whether it carries correct details and information. When the final draft is ready for dispatch, the letter is usually precise. There are no extra sentences, no extra empty words. Precise letters convey their meanings effectively.
There are some simple steps to achieve this conciseness in communication. We shall see them in our next session.