The 7 Cs of Communication

Video Transcript

Learn how to use the 7 Cs to communicate more effectively.

Welcome to Mind Tools' video learning series.

Whether it's writing an email, sending a report, chairing a meeting, or giving a presentation, most of your working day will likely be spent communicating.

So, one of the best ways to boost your productivity is to communicate in the clearest, most effective way possible.

A great tool for this is the 7 Cs of Communication – a seven-point checklist for delivering engaging and effective messages.

The first of the seven Cs is to be clear.

Ask yourself, "What's the purpose of your message?" If you're not sure, the person you're communicating with won't be either.

Make your key messages stand out. Do this by minimizing the number of ideas you talk about in each sentence. One is ideal. You don't want people to have to "read between the lines," as this could lead to misunderstandings.

Second, be concise. Keep it brief, avoid repetition, and delete unnecessary adjectives and "filler words," like "kind of" or "basically."

Third, when your message is concrete, your audience will have a clear picture of what you're telling them.

Detail is important, but not too much. Try to include some "standout" facts, and make sure you have a laser-sharp focus on your key message.

Next, be correct. Double-check for mistakes. When your communications are error-free, they'll look professional and polished.

When something's coherent, it's logical. It means that you've connected all of your points and made them relevant to the key topic. This will also help to keep the tone and flow of your message consistent.

The sixth point on the checklist is complete.

Supply your audience with all the information that it will need to make an informed decision or take action.

If, for instance, you're sending a reminder about a meeting, be specific. Include details of the location, time and purpose. And, ask people to respond!

Lastly, be courteous. This means having a friendly, open, and honest tone, and avoiding hidden insults or a passive-aggressive tone.

Always keep your audience's viewpoint in mind, and show that you empathize and understand its needs.

For further examples of how you can apply the 7 Cs to your communications, read the article that accompanies this video.

Terms from Cutlip, Scott M., Center, Allen H., Broom, Glen M., Effective Public Relations, 8th, 2000. Reprinted by permission of Pearson Education, Inc., New York, New York. [1]

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