Swearingen Communications Insights

Fresh ideas, seasoned perspectives, and solid marketing strategies to keep you grounded and growing.

Be your best self.

Would You Rather Be Clever, or Understood?

Who doesn’t want to be viewed as witty, smart and memorable?

But if you’re trying to communicate value in terms that clients and prospects can quickly grasp, resist the bon mots. Being clear and concise wins out over cute and quick-witted every time.

Whether you’re an attorney, financial advisor, CPA, or other trusted professional, it pays to be plain-spoken and lucid. And it can cost you to be showy or superfluous.

There’s an old saying: “If you confuse ‘em, you lose ‘em.”

Harvard Business Review found that consumers are drawn to simple, easy-to-understand solutions. It cites a study that coined the term, “decision simplicity.” Decision simplicity is the #1 reason why consumers are likely to purchase a product or service, do so repeatedly, and recommend it to others. Communications that are straightforward and to the point engage more prospects.

Aristotle would agree. More than 2000 years ago, writing in Poetics, he argued “. . . the most persuasive individuals use simple, everyday language, known to the common man.”

Einstein attested, “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”

Mark Twain said, “The more you explain it, the more I don’t understand it.”

Don’t squander opportunities to engage with those who matter most. Ask yourself: “Am I trying to impress, or inform?” If you can be both clever and clear, go for it. Otherwise, simplicity rather than jargon is what readers most crave.

Leave a Comment