Keep it Simple… Stupid


Clear and concise communication is a skill our group completely lacks. The posts in this blog are evidence :) Majority of teams in MBA have struggled to present any given topic or produce a report within the stipulated time or length. Nowhere is the lack of this skill more evident than when we ask questions. Its as if the questions have to be decoded through the maze of prepositions, adjectives and irrelevent information :) I wonder why it is that we find it hard to get straight to the point and keep it simple.

Since english is not a native language for most students, many find it hard to articulate their thoughts in a clear and concise way, especially when attempting a pursuasive argument. But this cannot be the entire reason, because its also the native speakers who find it just as hard.

The main reasons is that we love talking about ourselves. If we were to simply quit talking about ourselves with words like “I think”, “In my opinion”, “I once noticed”, “the point that I want to make” etc. we would halve the time of each question/speech. Its not just this MBA class, the problem is all pervasive :) Here’s an example of a question asked to Eric Schmidt recently(during a Q&A session in a large crowd). The question was supposed to be “Does Google fund health-care projects?” and here’s the actual framing of the question:

“Hi, my name is XXXX.. I’m from XXX… I did my Phd. in management and I met director from NSF and I was speaking to him regarding NSF lab produces like a lot of interesting projects and I’m curious.. umm. you know.. you guys offer support for project like those? For example I did a project with a freind of mine developing tele-medicine.. you know.. he developed polymer and for patients travelling abroad or something, the polymer allows the doctor… you know…. millions of miles away to transfer the medication to… terminally ill patients and things like that… so.. I was wondering.. what’s… (cut off graciously at this point)” 


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