The Art of Concise Conversations – An Analysis

The Art of Concise Conversations - An Analysis


Sometimes people call up their colleagues to discuss official matters. However, the professional on the other end of the phone starts discussing about personal things and the actual matter gets delayed. Again, there are times when a colleague states her point and keeps repeating it for half an hour. In this article, we will discuss about ways of keeping conversations short and at the same time entertaining.


  • The world of business is filled with people who do not understand how to stick to a particular subject. This attitude wastes a lot of time and hampers working relationships. But, being in an amiable relationship with co-workers is important.
  • Like all art forms, communication has a structure and like all efficient artists, good communicators are aware of the techniques that make communication effective. Learning the method to communicate in an effective way is not difficult, if someone wants to try it out. Once a professional learns about the basic things related to communication, she can handle critical communications without facing any problem.

Techniques to Follow

# Think first and then speak

  • If a professional wants to engage in concise conversation, she should think about the topic and what she wants to say.
  • Thinking helps in covering half the area before communication. People generally think before writing or typing, however, well thought out words while speaking is quite rare.
  • As a result, they cannot finish off in a short time. Thinking does not consume much time. It might not be possible for a person to think what she wants to say in a few seconds and reflect her thoughts word by word.
  • However, prior thinking gives the speaker an idea about what she is going to say. Thinking before speaking is very helpful when a speaker is supposed to speak among other speakers or when she is addressing many people, such as meetings in office.

# Come up with the actual topic in the beginning

  • The professional should start her conversation with the main topic. When a speaker starts conversation with the main idea, the other speakers get the time to think about the things they want to say.
  • The human mind goes through a lot of processing on the subconscious level and tries to put forward opinions on the topic which is being discussed.
  • As she develops the topic under consideration, the other speakers get a gist of the track followed by the former.

# Use only those supporting information that are necessary

  • A speaker should make it a point to avoid using irrelevant data when speaking.
  • An ineffective communication style is fraught with useless information which the speaker thinks are supporting ideas.
  • Conversation involves speaking out thoughts that come to the mind. When a person thinks, she associates her thought to various things that are relevant to it.
  • She should decide which of these relevant ideas are important and which are unimportant. She should not involve her thoughts to get much associated with all these ideas.
  • An effective speaker relates only those ideas that are most relevant to the topic in question.
  • Listeners and other speakers often pick up other associations to the topic.

# Use strong words

A professional speaker should use strong words and avoid the use of weak words. Weak words need more words to support their use. Passive sentences take time to percolate through the mind, on the other hand active and descriptive sentences are easier to understand.

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# Pay complete attention to the audience

  • The matter of discussion and the style of communication should be such that the audience understands it.
  • The extent to which the audience needs to learn about a matter should be decided by the speaker.
  • Social contexts are often interpreted in different ways by audience depending upon the situation, geography, age group, etc.
  • So, it is essential that the speaker structures the topic in a manner acceptable to the audience.

# Talk about a single topic at a time

  • People who speak about five things at a time confuse others. The listeners try to understand but cannot make out anything of what they have been told. Speaking about multiple things at a go is not the right approach, especially when all the topics require detailed discussion.
  • Elaborate discussion on a topic helps colleagues to learn about an idea in details.
  • When there are many topics to be discussed, the speaker should make a list in which the most important topic is kept at the top. This way, even if there is dearth of time, the important ideas are discussed before time passes.

Casual Conversations in Office

  • It is true that casual conversation and gossip are part of workplace culture and help in building relationship among fellow employees. But, if there is heavy workload an employee should stay back in office cabin. This way she can avoid meeting colleagues who talk for hours on end.
  • If in any case, the employee has to leave her cabin and is intercepted by colleagues, she should clearly tell them that she is busy, but in a polite way.
  • She can communicate with colleagues during lunch hour. She can go out for lunch with other team members and spend time with them. This way, relationship building does not hamper work.
  • A professional should understand the difference between productive conversations and conversations that build relationship because both are important for attaining success in career.

Face-to-Face Conversation

  • Talking face-to-face is often considered a power struggle. The person doing most of the talking becomes the winner. A professional should not try to control the flow of conversation. This leads to wastage of time and emergence of ego.
  • Again, a professional should not allow a co-worker to gossip for the whole afternoon.
  • A professional can follow tricks, like keep books on a chair in the cabin or stand until the colleague leaves. This gives the interrupter the indication that she is intervening.

To Wrap Up

From the above article, it can be deduced that while relationship building conversation is essential for success in career, keeping conversation short during the time of heavy workload is equally important.

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