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BLUF: Efficient communication techniques advice

Hi all,

I agree that as quoted below from a recent Forbes article

"Clear and transparent communication are not simple skills that can be adopted and then dropped at the first sign of trouble, but rather must be practiced in thought, word, and deed. Without a culture of transparency, organizations quickly come unglued and little bumps—like an angry client or misinformed employee—turn into mountains. But with busy schedules, seemingly endless task-lists and diverse clients and personnel, creating a smooth flow of communication can be a challenge."

I need to improve my communication and especially writing skills and I am looking for advice; the article recommends to start with the context however the question at hand I have is: if you first explain the context, motivation and then goals, when it is in written communication, you end up with long emails which is usually very understandably only skimmed by the reader; if you go short, it can be misunderstood due to lack of context; how do you deal with that – do you have some good and working advice from your experience?

The only technique I know that addresses it is the BLUF but I am keen on adopting further working advice.

Thank you very much in advance and regards,
Svet.

Svet.'s picture

When you use BLUF (Bottom Line Up Front) do you mark with BLUF as I did above or you use it implicitly as a separate paragraph?

Thanks again,
Svet.

mrreliable's picture

Keep it short. When doing your final edit, remember that any word you cut that doesn't kill it makes it stronger. Short sentences, short paragraphs. As you noted, readers will make a snap decision at first glance about how they're going to read your writing. Short snippets look easy to read. Long paragraphs make the reader feel like it's going to be a chore.

Keep it simple. For you I'd recommend you put the colons and semicolons in your pocket and keep them there. They're like speed bumps in your sentences. Sometimes colons and semicolons are necessary, but rarely. Personally, if only a semicolon will work, I'll rewrite the sentence.

My two cents.

Svet.'s picture

Thank you, mrreliable, I will try your advice the best I can and see whether it makes a difference.

Regards,
Svet.

pucciot's picture
Svet.'s picture

I have listened to it before and it is helpful to listen to it again. It's still hard for me to decide on length for particular situation, I guess it is something you develop with more experience. A very useful piece of information to be reminded is that the email is not always the best media - I sometimes forget that and it is simple!

Thank you for your input.

Regards,

Svet.