Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Provide the right level of detail for your audience

P started to tell me about the latest video game he had played. A complained and asked if we had to listen to this. My initial reaction was going to be to say "yes, P wants to tell us about this so we should listen" but P was giving me some very detailed information that was not very interesting to A. So I actually spoke about the importance of being brief and focus on the "important" stuff. It obviously depends on the situation: I am sure some of P's friends enjoy hearing every last detail of the video game, but one must asses one's audience and provide the appropriate level of detail for it. In this situation, P was giving more details than we cared to hear... Imagine a neurosurgeon talking with some non doctors. It would not be appropriate for him to get into the scientific details of his latest surgery. His audience would probably not even understand. Yet if he was talking with a fellow neurosurgeon, then obviously more details would be appropriate.

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