How Can I Communicate Succinctly?

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  • #64637


    This message is probably gonna take a long time to write, and then I’ll have to edit down. Because that’s what always happens.

    I was reading the other day about ADHD and found something that says that people with ADHD often have trouble speaking and writing succinctly. And that it has to do with the fact that our brains notice more and let in more information, so we have more to process.

    That is definitely me. I spend a lot of time trying to get my thoughts out of my brain in a way that is comprehensible to others, and then I spend more time paring it down so that it’s not too long. I avoid having important conversations with people because the amount of knowledge and research I have is really hard to funnel down into the main points that they actually need to know.

    This is off-putting to people, and has been throughout my life. I think it’s why at work, I’m not often volunteered to speak with clients, and why sometimes I don’t get invited to do things with people. I feel a lot of shame around this. When I was growing up, and I’d have an argument with my mom, she’d accuse me of having “diarrhea of the mouth.” That image is disgusting, of course, and made me feel so ashamed of myself. (Thanks, Mom!) I know she didn’t mean to hurt me, but she felt really frustrated and called a name. But it hurt me deeply. I still feel guilty every time I speak up in a meeting, because I know that, even though I have a good point, I didn’t get it out in an impactful way. I see people disengage. I know I need to change, but it’s hard and I don’t know how.

    As a result of the negative impact my communication style has had with people throughout my life, I often withdraw from conversations and don’t speak when I need to.

    But I don’t want it to be that way anymore. I want to be appreciated and heard, valued and cared about.

    I want to learn a way to work around this so that I can funnel my ideas and thoughts quickly, communicate them succinctly. My hope is that people will start to recognize my hard work and intelligence, and that I will be better understood and feel less isolated.

    Any ideas on what I can do? Are there any techniques for ADHD people to handle this? (I’ve seen plenty of techniques for “normies” but they don’t account for the extra hurdles my brain has to jump over!)

  • #76800

    WOW… Your speaking my language. This has been an ongoing problem for me too. I worked for a boss who said I was verbose and acted irritated whenever I tried to share. That led me down a slippy slope of self actualization and making it worse. I still struggle, but I do what you outlined above. I spend more time editing my message and spend more time using PowerPoint and other Office products to create my outline and speaking points. I then stick to it as much as possible.

    I also type my thoughts on a Word Document and then start edit it down. I find that the new Word helps you by identifying sentences that are using too many words and offers you a suggested alternative with less words.

    When speaking, I try to speak less and share only about 3 points at a time. I then stop, ask questions and get the other person talking. That allows me to be more responsive and only share what is needed.

    Hope this helps.

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