Lessons learned: Vivid images

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in Office Communication,Workplace Communication

Help listeners visualize your points. Replace wordy or convoluted analysis with succinct, vivid images. Here’s how:

Say what you observe, not what you think. Imagine your eyes are cameras and your words capture what’s in the photo. Saying, “I met with five employees this morning and they all fidgeted constantly. None of them looked at me” is better than reporting, “We have a problem with morale. I think employees are hesitant to speak up.”

Withhold your conclusion. Narrate a situation so that listeners feel as if they’re in the middle of it. Then let them ask clarifying questions. Don’t start by sharing your conclusion—or you deprive others of the chance to grapple with the issue.

Choose precise words. Select visually arousing words. And remember: The fewer syllables, the better.

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