There once was a monastery that had very strict rules.
The monks took a vow of silence and no one was allowed to speak at all. There was just one exception to this rule. Every year, the monks were permitted to speak just two words.
After his first year at the monastery, one monk was summoned to his annual meeting with the head monk. “It has been one year,” said the head monk. “What are the two words you would like to speak?”
“Bed hard” said the monk.
“Thank you” replied the head monk.
One year later, the monk was again summoned to the head monk’s office. “It has been one more year,” said the head monk. “What are the two words you would like to speak?”
“Food awful” said the monk.
“I see,” replied the head monk.
Yet another year passed and the monk once again met with the head monk who asked, “What are your two words now, after these three years?”
“I quit!” said the monk.
“Well, I can see why,” replied the head monk. “All you ever do is complain.”
You may well be wondering what has this to do with communication skills? The answer is simply this…
The more you say, the less people will remember what you have said.
If you found that story amusing, you will almost certainly remember it and be able to tell it to others.
Had each of the three conversations between the monk and the head monk been a paragraph or two, you would probably struggle to remember it, and most likely not bother.
Much the same goes for your communications with your prospects and customers. The monks story. If you want them to remember what you said, aim to convey your message powerfully and with as few words as possible, and maybe with a short story. Stories sell.