If you have an important point to make, don’t try to be subtle or clever. Use a pile driver. Hit the point once. Then come back and hit it again. Then hit it a third time—a tremendous whack. (Winston Churchill)
Did someone ever tell you, “Oh, so that’s what you mean”? Did someone ever ask you, “What’s your point?” In both cases, and in similar situations, the problem is the same. You have an important point to make, some issue to state, or some important idea to convey, but the meaning is obscured by your style. You were not clear.
Churchill made an astute admonition: Make your important points clearly and without artifice.
As I have written a number of times, style is important, but it is secondary in importance to clarity. To improve communication, write clearly so that your reader can easily identify and understand your important points.
Ask yourself, “What does the reader really need to know? What do I want the reader to understand about this?” Then state it as clearly, concisely, and obviously as possible.
Having done so, you might think that you are too blatant, too plain, and too obvious. But that’s exactly what you want for your most important points. You want to use the “pile driver.”
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