Rule No. 1: Make a Point
In business communications the simpler the message the greater the chance it will be read and understood.
This is especially true when communicating a diagnosis to a patient who is a. concerned about their eye health and b. not medically trained.
It’s also important when communicating to staff about plans for practice growth, changes to procedures or expected behaviour.
Without clear communication – whether verbal or published in print or in digital form – you’re just not going to get your message understood and you’re not going to effectively achieve your goals.
That is a real sentence from a real business document…
A recent article, published on inc.com recently perfectly illustrates this point. Geoffrey James, author of Inc.com’s ‘Sales Source’ column wrote:
“All companies today are trying to do more with fewer people, which means that everybody is short on time. That’s why it’s crazy to load up your documents (e-mails, brochures, websites, etc.) with fancy-sounding business cliches, and unsubstantiated opinions. Nobody has time to wade through biz-blab:
‘In order to focus externally, we must focus both externally and internally (customer’s customer and internal alignment necessary to respond), with internal collaboration with common focus/goals by stakeholders accountable for ultimate business results oriented, optimized, and coordinated outputs, aligned around the sales cycle and with a proactive approach to higher order competency investments and being unwilling to throw deliverables over the fence to sales teams and trust results will be achieved.’
Yes. That is a real sentence from a real business document that somebody sent me. Translation:
‘We must measure whether or how much our sales training programs increase our revenue.’
Get to the point.”
The world authority on plain English, Professor Robert Eagleson had this to say about the merits of using plain English: “Plain English is clear, straightforward expression, using only as many words as are necessary. It is language that avoids obscurity, inflated vocabulary and convoluted sentence construction.
“It is not baby talk, nor is it a simplified version of the English language. Writers of plain English let their audience concentrate on the message instead of being distracted by complicated language. They make sure that their audience understands the message easily.”
And that’s the point.