How to Speak Concisely: Tips for Keeping Your Conversation Points Short and Precise

Clear and concise communication ensures your message is delivered effectively and caters uniquely to your audience’s needs and interests, whether it is to one person or to many. By following our tips and techniques you can make your conversations or speeches more engaging and ensuring you communicate clearly and concisely.

A Problem For Many With ADHD

Individuals with ADHD often struggle to speak concisely. Learning to speak more concisely is crucial for overcoming these challenges.

  • Executive Function Deficits: ADHD impacts the brain’s executive functions, which include managing attention, impulse control, and planning. This can lead to difficulties in organizing thoughts during conversations, very often resulting in less concise speech. Developing concise speaking skills is essential for navigating these challenges.
  • Common Communication Problems:
    • Excessive talking
    • Forgetfulness
    • Interrupting others
    • Going off-topic
    • Difficulty finding the right words
    • Impulsivity, especially when emotional
  • Impact on Daily Life: These communication challenges can strain personal relationships, hinder career advancement, and contribute to social anxiety and low self-esteem. Adults with ADHD might find it particularly hard to convey their feelings and thoughts succinctly, leading to misunderstandings and frustrations in personal and professional relationships. Learning how to get to the point when speaking and how to be more succinct can significantly improve these interactions.

Understanding Your Pitfalls

Recognizing the root causes of long-windedness is important. Other factors also contribute to excessive talking, including:

  • Desire for Attention: Humans naturally seek to be heard, and talking triggers dopamine release, enhancing the pleasure of self-expression.
  • Performance Anxiety: Leaders might overestimate their need to display knowledge, fearing underperformance.
  • Personal Motivations: Factors such as selfishness, seeking attention, agenda-driven conversations, nervousness, loneliness, and a desire for esteem or persuasion play significant roles.
  • Cognitive Indicators: Excessive use of filler words and losing one’s train of thought may hint at cognitive issues.

Remember, the average human attention span is short; concise communication is appreciated and necessary for effective information retention and career advancement. Engaging in concise communication training can be a game-changer for any communicator. In this TikTok world, it’s all too easy to lose the listener after the first sentence or two.

Strategies for Concise Communication

To enhance your ability to speak concisely and effectively, consider integrating the following strategies into your communication habits:

The Traffic Light Rule for Conversation

  • Green Light (0-20 seconds) You have the listener’s full attention. Keep your introduction or point clear and brief, ensuring you get to the point without delay.
  • Yellow Light (20-40 seconds) Caution! Your listener’s attention may start to wane. Wrap up your point or ask for feedback to re-engage them and ensure your message has been understood.
  • Red Light (40 seconds and beyond) Stop. It’s time to either conclude your point or pass the conversation to your listener, ensuring you stay to the point.

Key Steps to Improve Conciseness

  1. Plan Your Message: Identify the core message you want to convey before speaking.
  2. Simplify Information: Focus on essential points, eliminating unnecessary details.
  3. Eliminate Filler Words: Practice speaking without using “um,” “like,” or “so.”
  4. Use Examples Sparingly: Choose one strong example rather than multiple weak ones.
  5. Record and Review: Practice speaking for a minute, then listen back to identify areas for improvement.

Engaging Your Audience

  • Know Your Audience: Tailor your message to their interests and knowledge level.
  • Active Listening: Show you value their input by focusing on their responses and adjusting your message accordingly, using an active voice to engage more effectively.
  • Feedback Loop: Encourage feedback on your communication style and use it to refine your approach.

By adhering to these strategies, you can become a more effective, confident, and influential communicator, ensuring your message is not just heard but understood and appreciated.

Honing Your Skills Through Practice

To hone your skills in speaking concisely, especially when tackling challenges like ADHD-related speech issues, incorporating structured speaking exercises into your routine is critical. Here are actionable steps to refine your communication:

  1. Identify and Eliminate:
    • Record yourself speaking on a topic you’re passionate about.
    • Listen for filler words, unnecessary repetitions, and pacing issues in your speech. Focus on precision and clarity to eliminate these.
  2. Structured Practice:
    • It is important to start by setting a clear intention and understanding your audience, whether it is a single individual or a group.
    • Craft an engaging opening and establish your key message.
    • Practice the first and last minutes intensively, ensuring a strong start and a powerful close that drives home your call to action.
  3. Feedback and Iteration:
    • Seek constructive feedback on your revised speech.
    • Continuously refine your presentation, focusing on being concise and eliminating extraneous content.


By integrating structured approaches, eliminating filler words, and focusing on the core message, the article illuminates pathways to articulate thoughts in a clearer, more impactful manner.

It’s vital to remember that practice, feedback, and continuous refinement are key components in mastering this skill. While challenges like ADHD may present additional hurdles, strategically tackling these through tailored strategies and consistent practice offers a promising avenue for improving not only the brevity but also the effectiveness of our conversations. Thus, refining our communication style becomes not just an exercise in brevity but a step towards building stronger, more connected relationships and advancing our personal and professional goals, emphasizing the importance of short and simple exchanges, eliminating redundancy, and adopting condensed language.



What are the Three Core Principles of Effective Communication?

The three core principles, or the 3 Cs, of effective communication (whether to a single person or many) are:

  • Clear: Your message should be straightforward and easily understandable.
  • Concise: Keep your message brief, avoiding unnecessary details.
  • Complete: Ensure your communication is comprehensive, leaving no essential part out. These principles help achieve more effective and smoother interactions, and bullets and numbers help make it compact and direct.

How Can I Communicate in a Clear and Concise Manner?

To communicate with clarity and conciseness, consider the following steps:

  • Identify Your Goal: Be clear about what you want to achieve with your communication.
  • Organize Your Message: Structure your communication logically.
  • Choose Simple Language: Use straightforward and precise words.
  • Revise and Edit: Review your message to remove any ambiguity or redundancy.
  • Incorporate Visual Aids: Use diagrams or charts to complement your message.
  • Additional Considerations: Always keep your audience and purpose in mind.

To be more concise and direct in your communication:

  • Pause Before Speaking: Take a moment to organize your thoughts.
  • Outline Your Main Points: Consider jotting down your key points before you start.
  • Eliminate Filler Words: Cut out “uh,” “um,” and other unnecessary fillers from your speech.


Hal Meyer and the ADD Resource Center have been providing ADHD services specially designed to empower adolescents, adults, couples, and their loved ones to manage ADHD symptoms and reach their full potential. They have the expertise to provide personalized guidance and unwavering support on your journey to success. Take charge of your life and unlock your true capabilities with our specialized coaching services tailored to address your unique needs.

Harold Robert Meyer /The ADD Resource Center 646/205.8080 04/05/2024


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