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Accuracy, brevity and clarity make up the ABC of communication, be written or spoken and recent research shows that if you ignore this simple ABC it can come across as tedious and boring. Some recent off-the-cuff research at an academic conference published in a letter to the journal Nature, showed that boring speeches do really drone on and on and on. Of the 50 talks at the conference 34 interesting ones lasted on average 11 minutes and 42 seconds, whereas the 16 boring ones dragged on for 13 minutes and 12 seconds. The longer the speech the worst it got because for every 70 seconds that the speaker droned on the odds that their talk had been boring doubled!

It would appear that the boring speakers failed to summarise and they spend a long time telling you things that were obvious; if only they remembered their ABC. The Gettysburg address was fewer than 300 words and Winston Churchill’s famous ‘blood, toil and tears’ speech to the Commons was only 600 words. It could be argued that the longer something is the easier it is to lose the point of it, and therefore the ABC of communication is the way to make sure you get your point across.


Mike Astrop, Leadership Expert and ITS Group Business Skills trainer


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