Expert Panel

Focus on these things to succeed in Workplace Communication Skills

Less Is More When It Comes To Speaking


It may seem counter intuitive to think that the less you speak, the more you are heard, but it's true.  Why do you think that is?  Let's review a few reasons...

  • People tune out individuals that never stop talking, inevitably missing anything that is worth listing to.
  • If you constantly argue your point over and over, it may not be a very good one.
  • There is the "boy who cried wolf" theory, where people who raise issues too often are ignored after a while because the people receiving the messages are tired of everything being a crisis.
  • If you have an opinion on everything, you are essentially choosing to fight every battle.  When you really want to express your opinion, it will have less clout with the audience because clout is spread thinner every time you issue it. It gets back to "picking your battles" if you really want to be heard.

Now, all that being said, if you want to utilize the principle less is more, you need to appreciate a few things when you do have something meaningful to say...

  • Choose to spend your time participating in topics that are important to you, things you need support on, or issues where you can bring valuable support to others.  By choosing these topics, you will build your clout up, instead of spreading it thin.
  • Using fewer words to express your point is not the answer, choosing them wisely is.  When you are focused on something meaningful to your area of responsibility you should tailor your communication to your audience so that they can understand you. 
  • Use as many words as you need in order to get your point across.  The term "because I said so" is not going to cut it.  Do not simply repeat your point, use your words to explain it.


Here are some actions you can start implementing today:

  • Ask questions instead of forming an opinion right away.
  • If something being discussed does not impact you, be silent, yet supportive; do not feel the need to offer any opinion.
  • When a topic generates actions and results relevant to you, communicate to others in a way they can understand, discussing actions you think need to be taken, and follow-up that should take place.
  • Take the time to follow-up on things that you have an opinion on.
  • Share your follow-up with relevant parties to keep everyone informed and on the same page.


This communication tips are part of a series we are tackling in upcoming editions of our newsletter.  We are using "Eight Communication Tips to Gain Respect at Work" as the basis for a more in-depth look into how to implement communication concepts into our everyday work life.



Written by Lisa WoodsPresident ManagingAmericans.com

Lisa is a successful entrepreneur, world-class marketing strategist, and dynamic business leader with more than 20 years experience leading, managing and driving growth. Throughout her career, Lisa has been influential in integration techniques, organizational and cultural overhauls, financial turnarounds and developing employees into exceptional leaders, results driven managers and passionate team contributors.


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Do you emphasize your own opinions when you give presentations at work?