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Sidi

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9

How to be more concise?

One of my most frequently received feedback is that I need to be more concise.

In your experience, what is the best way to improve this, especially in the context of case interviews, when you're under pressure and the clock is already ticking?

Thanks in advance!

One of my most frequently received feedback is that I need to be more concise.

In your experience, what is the best way to improve this, especially in the context of case interviews, when you're under pressure and the clock is already ticking?

Thanks in advance!

9 answers

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Hi!

Usually this is highly correlated with not taking adequate time to think about what you want to say. Most candidates put themselves under time pressure, and as a result they build the habit of starting to talk before having ended their train of thought. As a result, the verbal communication will be unprecise and lengthy. Invest 5-10 seconds more thinking time - this will largely benefit the clearness and sharpness of your communication.

Cheers, Sidi

Hi!

Usually this is highly correlated with not taking adequate time to think about what you want to say. Most candidates put themselves under time pressure, and as a result they build the habit of starting to talk before having ended their train of thought. As a result, the verbal communication will be unprecise and lengthy. Invest 5-10 seconds more thinking time - this will largely benefit the clearness and sharpness of your communication.

Cheers, Sidi

Hi A,

Use the framework: Situation, Problem, Approach, Results and Learnings in your communication

Good luck,

André

Hi A,

Use the framework: Situation, Problem, Approach, Results and Learnings in your communication

Good luck,

André

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Hello,

The secret to be concise is to be structured. Everytime that you have to argument an answer, think if the information that you are gonna give are needed and add value.
Generally speaking, you should always structure your speech giving the answer and 2/3 main reasons to argument that answer.
If you think that it's a strong weaknesses for you, I recommend to record your answers. Then you can listen to them and try to do a summary of what you said: you will see that you can give the same information using much less time.

Best,
Luca

Hello,

The secret to be concise is to be structured. Everytime that you have to argument an answer, think if the information that you are gonna give are needed and add value.
Generally speaking, you should always structure your speech giving the answer and 2/3 main reasons to argument that answer.
If you think that it's a strong weaknesses for you, I recommend to record your answers. Then you can listen to them and try to do a summary of what you said: you will see that you can give the same information using much less time.

Best,
Luca

Book a coaching with Udayan

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I find that being concise like most skills related to case interviews can be learned. A few tips to help

1. Synthesize do not summarize - another thing you might hear is focus on the 'so what?' of what you are saying and not on repeating information. This shows you actually understand the implications of the case and will set you apart

2. Be Present - people tend to go off on a tangent when they are losing focus. Be present at all tines in the interview and do not let your mind wander under panic. Practice mindfulness techniques to improve your focus

3. Ask for time - it is ok to take 30 seonds to structure your thoughts

4. Practice - the best way to improve being concise is to constantly be concise! It doesn't have to be in just cases it can be in anything - e.g., in how you answer questions friends ask you, or in classes. Being concise requires more work as you have to say the same thing using less words and the more you practice the better you get

All the best

Udayan

I find that being concise like most skills related to case interviews can be learned. A few tips to help

1. Synthesize do not summarize - another thing you might hear is focus on the 'so what?' of what you are saying and not on repeating information. This shows you actually understand the implications of the case and will set you apart

2. Be Present - people tend to go off on a tangent when they are losing focus. Be present at all tines in the interview and do not let your mind wander under panic. Practice mindfulness techniques to improve your focus

3. Ask for time - it is ok to take 30 seonds to structure your thoughts

4. Practice - the best way to improve being concise is to constantly be concise! It doesn't have to be in just cases it can be in anything - e.g., in how you answer questions friends ask you, or in classes. Being concise requires more work as you have to say the same thing using less words and the more you practice the better you get

All the best

Udayan

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Hello!

Don´t worry, since it´s the most natural thing in the process.

There are a few tips & tricks you can leverage, such as writting ideas in bullet points, think in the same of an issue tree, and even work on your communication -its equally important to be structured than to communicate in a structured way-.

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

Hello!

Don´t worry, since it´s the most natural thing in the process.

There are a few tips & tricks you can leverage, such as writting ideas in bullet points, think in the same of an issue tree, and even work on your communication -its equally important to be structured than to communicate in a structured way-.

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

You have amazing answers here that I agree with. In addition to what has already been said, here is what I have learnt over the years. From personal experience, here are my top tips for being concise in your speech and I will show you how they all trace their root back to improved business judgement:

  1. Know what you want to say. I tend to ramble on when I want to bullshit my way out of something. In the case of a case interview, we often throw out a lot of ideas, in hopes that one will stick right on the interviewers face. But if you are confident of what you want to say, a feeling that comes from being confident in your business judgement (BI), you will state your answer clearly, without an alternative response (should in case your first three ideas are wrong). Improve your BI.
  2. The Interviewer is not a fool. As funny as this sounds, we sometimes speak as if they are eighth-graders. The Interviewer knows a lot and a multitude of words will not further clarify what you already stated in one sentence. I am always concise, every time I remember this. Prioritizing what to say also comes from your ability to draw insights based on your experience (BI).
  3. Understand the language better. Sometimes, we know what we want to say but language fails us. This is especially true for people whose first language isn't English, and even true for native speakers! You can improve your grasp of the English Language if you read more trustworthy content like NYT, WSJ, The Economist, BBC etc. As you improve your language understanding with this material, you are improving your BI, and vice versa.

I hope this helps and if you are looking for a way to improve your concision by the way of audio, I highly recommend you subscribe to FirmsConsulting podcast, the largest directory for management consulting related podcast, on iTunes and anywhere you get your podcast.

You have amazing answers here that I agree with. In addition to what has already been said, here is what I have learnt over the years. From personal experience, here are my top tips for being concise in your speech and I will show you how they all trace their root back to improved business judgement:

  1. Know what you want to say. I tend to ramble on when I want to bullshit my way out of something. In the case of a case interview, we often throw out a lot of ideas, in hopes that one will stick right on the interviewers face. But if you are confident of what you want to say, a feeling that comes from being confident in your business judgement (BI), you will state your answer clearly, without an alternative response (should in case your first three ideas are wrong). Improve your BI.
  2. The Interviewer is not a fool. As funny as this sounds, we sometimes speak as if they are eighth-graders. The Interviewer knows a lot and a multitude of words will not further clarify what you already stated in one sentence. I am always concise, every time I remember this. Prioritizing what to say also comes from your ability to draw insights based on your experience (BI).
  3. Understand the language better. Sometimes, we know what we want to say but language fails us. This is especially true for people whose first language isn't English, and even true for native speakers! You can improve your grasp of the English Language if you read more trustworthy content like NYT, WSJ, The Economist, BBC etc. As you improve your language understanding with this material, you are improving your BI, and vice versa.

I hope this helps and if you are looking for a way to improve your concision by the way of audio, I highly recommend you subscribe to FirmsConsulting podcast, the largest directory for management consulting related podcast, on iTunes and anywhere you get your podcast.

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Hello there,

One strategy is to take time and think in advance about 3-5 points you want to talk about.
Then place a structure upon them (refer to 'Pyramid Principle' by Barbara Minto on how to communicate succintly and in a structured manner).

Always mentioned the amount of points you want to elaborate at the beginning of your sentence.

It will take a lot of practice to get used to this, as it is not a natural ways of thinking for people.

Hope it helps.

Kind regards,
Nathan

Hello there,

One strategy is to take time and think in advance about 3-5 points you want to talk about.
Then place a structure upon them (refer to 'Pyramid Principle' by Barbara Minto on how to communicate succintly and in a structured manner).

Always mentioned the amount of points you want to elaborate at the beginning of your sentence.

It will take a lot of practice to get used to this, as it is not a natural ways of thinking for people.

Hope it helps.

Kind regards,
Nathan

Being concise means that you put the most important aspects of your answer in only a few sentences. Think of a consultants' 80/20 rule: Do 80 % of the work in 20% of the time. You should neglect less important aspects and show that you are able to prioritize arguments.

My recommendation: One sentence to summarize the problem, one sentence to mention the most important aspects, another sentence per aspect to elaborate your point. Them, finish with mentioning that you are willing to go into more detail if need be.

Being concise means that you put the most important aspects of your answer in only a few sentences. Think of a consultants' 80/20 rule: Do 80 % of the work in 20% of the time. You should neglect less important aspects and show that you are able to prioritize arguments.

My recommendation: One sentence to summarize the problem, one sentence to mention the most important aspects, another sentence per aspect to elaborate your point. Them, finish with mentioning that you are willing to go into more detail if need be.

Well, it is not an unbeateable strategy, but writting my ideas in bullet points helps me to get to my conclusion faster. Also, when explaining something, becareful with the examples, sometimes one example may be useful, however many of them can be confusing and tiring for the interviwer.

Well, it is not an unbeateable strategy, but writting my ideas in bullet points helps me to get to my conclusion faster. Also, when explaining something, becareful with the examples, sometimes one example may be useful, however many of them can be confusing and tiring for the interviwer.

(edited)

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