Rolling On – A Handful of Tips 5 – Get your Message Across


Rolling On – A Handful of Tips 5 –

Get Your Message Across:

Most people are lazy readers and poor listeners.

Today people haven’t time to read lengthy messages or to listen to long winded talks. Keep your messages simple and to the point. Be brief, but factual.  Use  simple words that can be understood.  

The five best ways to get your message across

  1. Use Basic English

There are many forms of the English language spoken in different countries. Use words that are understood by the people you are targeting.  

Today, most people speak some form of English.  Take care you don’t use words native to your country, or use your local jargon.

There are over two million words in the latest English Oxford dictionary. The 500 frequently used words have over 14,000 dictionary definitions therefore select your word meanings with care.

  1. Question first

Don’t be in a hurry to impose your ideas until you have consulted with others. When people are consulted they will support your views more readily. So involve them in discussions and decision-making first.

There is no substitute for asking simple questions like ‘What?’, ‘Why?’, ‘When?’, ‘Where?’, ‘How?’, and ‘How much?’.  Communication must be a two way affair.

You will please more people by listening to them than by talking to them. Give them your undivided attention and they will often give you new information and be more prepared to listen to your message.

3.Make your message easy to read and hear

Choose simple words. Use the smallest word you can find that has the right meaning.

Use short sentences and short paragraphs. For the written words use plenty of sub-headings and white spacing.

Remove jargon and words that some people may not understand.

(You are more likely to have your words shared and translated into foreign languages if you follow these simple recommendations.)

Try keep all your messages simple and clear. You will be well rewarded.

Choose your words carefully – to express, not to impress.

  1. Don’t write or talk too much

People don’t have time to read lengthy reports or listen to long winded presentations. So be brief , clear and to the point. What do you really want to say? What action do you want people to take from your message?

  1. Clarity is the key

Be ruthless with your editing.

The shorter your words and sentences, the easier they are to understand and remember.

The right word at the right time is worth much and costs little.

*  *  *

If you want to get your messages across make it easy for your readers and listeners. Keep your messages relevant, factual and brief.  

Geoffrey Moss

“Choose your words carefully – to express, not to impress.”

SOURCE: “Persuasive Ways” published by Moss Associates Ltd, New Zealand and in Chinese by the Shanghai People’s Publishing House and as “Secrets of Persuasion” by Cengage Learning Asia. Also published in Hungarian as “Getting Your Ideas Across” by  Bagolyvar Kft, Budapest and by Kogan Page Ltd., U.K.
Also available as an e-book from



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