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Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker: The No. 1 communication mistake that even smart people make

Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker: The No. 1 communication mistake that even smart people make

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Test out your message

Test out your message

Seek feedback. What it's obvious to you might not be obvious to the others. 

Show your message to other people and have them honestly say how clear it is to them.

Take a break

Take a break

Write your message and put it aside. Come back to it after a while and read it again. 

It will give you a fresh perspective on it.

Choose your words carefully

Choose your words carefully

Use words that will help people understand what you’re trying to say rather than words that are confusing or distracting.

Avoid using jargon, idioms and obscure metaphors.

The “curse of knowledge”

The “curse of knowledge”

It is a cognitive bias that describes the fact that when you know something, it's very difficult to know what it's like not to know it.

The things you know seem so obvious to you and you assume that everyone else knows them too.

Edit savagely

Edit savagely

The most important part of writing is rewriting.

For every sentence, ask: ‘Is that actually conveying to someone other than me what I mean for it to convey? Can I state it more succinctly, more concretely?’

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