Joe has one tweet that I’ve had favourited for years now. It’s one of those things that we have always agreed on and something that makes us both unsuited for academia and probably comes from our journalistic background:
We resent the use of large words when smaller ones will suffice.
I find that a lot of people in business, especially in person at conferences or meeting, use long preambles to their questions as though they are trying to demonstrate their expertise so that the person the question is directed at knows they deserve to be there.
I, of course, have been guilty of this. It’s part of imposter syndrome – you want to prove that you have good reason to be at the mic. But really? Most of the room is not there to see how smart you are and why you deserve to be there. They assume that you’re interested and there to learn more about the topic at hand. Just ask your question. You will get an answer without wasting anyone’s time.
The same is true in meetings, in online forums, in blog posts, all forms of communication. Keep it tight, simple, get your point across and move on.
When you’re using big words and long sentences, when you’re writing long preambles and take forever to get to the point you’re not proving anything, you’re just losing people.