What orators lack in depth they make up for in length. – Montesquieu
What does that mean?
This is the unfortunate reality for many college and university students. And for many of the rest of us, during the political season. People with little useful to say, often take the longest time to get around to saying it. But we would never do such a thing, would we?
For those who escaped High School or a College or University, how entertaining and useful were the commencement addresses? How much can you remember? Or is your only recollection an interminable wait, while some dignitary or another droned on?
In politics, you have probably heard more than a few of these sources of wit and wisdom drone on and on and on. There have been times when I have wanted to find any possible way to sneak out of a building and escape. I frequently turn off the TV or radio when the long-winded speakers get started.
Why is brevity important? In another quote, none other than Albert Einstein said “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” Blogging is another example. How many times have you found someone who goes on and on, nearly forever, and never really getting anywhere?
I’ve been told the optimum length for a blog post is about 600 words, but it usually takes me about 800 to wrap up my thoughts. I have a couple posts that go on to about 1600 words, but should probably have been cut down quite a bit, as there are quite a lot of words in there that aren’t really all that useful.
What about a friend who won’t shut up? They keep going on an on about their ant farm or their flower garden or their bird feeder or their grand-kids or … you get the idea. Get to the point, and then let someone else talk. Don’t monopolize the conversation, in person or in print.
Where can I apply this in my life?
I could just end it here, and be very brief, but (to me at least) this is the most important part of the blog. So, briefly, where do you tend to ramble on? Do you do it when you’re nervous or on-the-spot? Do you talk on and on when you’re excited?
At times, we all do. The most obvious way to deal with this running on and on is to simply stop. Easier said than done. So, let’s try some other things. You should already have an idea of when you tend to get a bit long-winded. That should be a great place to start.
Do you get chatty when meeting a new person? Do you tend to tell your favorite story to each and every new person? The time you met someone famous or did something really funny? Can you try to trim the story down to half the present length? Do you need every single detail?
If you’re a tech geek like me, technical discussions can get pretty involved, and often one person tries to control the conversation. So how do you get ‘shop talk’ under control? Consider not jumping in at every possibility. That might help a little.
In general conversation, yes, they may have paused to take a breath, but that doesn’t mean you get to cut in and take over, right? There is a little of basic politeness in that one, isn’t there? While some may welcome the give and take of aggressive taking of the conversation, many do not. Know who you are talking with, right?
If you’re ever given a time limit and a topic for a speech, be sure to time it, so you know how long it will take. Unless it’s for a grade, it’s usually better to be a little short than to run a little long. And much better than running a lot long.
The problem with being in the audience is that there aren’t too many ways to give the speaker a hint that they’re rambling. Yes, we could throw rotting fruit and veggies, but I don’t normally carry any in my pockets.
If people start to get up and leave, that might give them a clue, but it is a little rude. However, so is wasting a person’s time. Multiply that little rude by the number of people who are being annoyed, and it might be the right thing to do.
Keep an eye on the conversation, and an eye on the clock. Better to leave the lectern with them wanting more, than leave with them cheering because it is over. And if you’re in a group, try to draw out the quiet ones, and not monopolize the conversation.
Communication is a two way street, be sure to pay attention to the reactions of others. When in doubt, wrap up your thought, and then be quiet.
From: Twitter, @philo_quotes
confirmed at : http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/c/charlesdem382267.html
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