In the early years of my training, I had to watch my video to find areas of improvement. I found two problems with my speech: I talked too fast and too much (sometimes irrelevant and confusing). I consciously practiced slow speaking to get speed in control, but the urge to speak less took some time.
One principle that helped me be more succinct is using “Forty Thousand Foot View”, and then detailing based on the response from the audience.
When a question or a query was asked, my first response was to speak. Now, I had to modify this by pausing to organize my thoughts, starting from the highest level and then chunking it. e.g. There are three critical areas which need attention, Goal clarity, Cross-functional team alignment & Rhythm of actions
My further discussion would depend on the interest or response from the audience. e.g. In which particular area do I need to speak more or Are these three relevant and sufficient etc.
If someone asked me, “Tell me more about how do you plan to bring cross functional synergies”. Then, my response would be: Pause - Organise - Forty Thousand Foot View – Speak - Question.
Another learning to be concise came from my coaching practices. In a coaching conversation, coaches must speak less, and the coachee must do more talking. I tried to find out the least number of words I could use at each point, making my coachee think better and keep the conversation flowing.
Details are important as long as it enhances the clarity. As Yuval Noah Harari says, “Clarity is power, in a world deluged by irrelevant information”.
Talking too much, overload of details and irrelevant information run a risk of delaying approvals, not getting buy-in from key stakeholders, and missing the strategic relevance. And, all these are significant derailers in the career path, and hence instead of dragging the conversation with details, it is better to be succinct to be relevant.