Saturday, November 26, 2011

“Summarizing Skills” - Professor M.S.Rao

"Never use a sentence when you can use a phrase, or a phrase when you can use a word." - Berkeley

These days, people don’t have time to read lengthy statements. They look for well punched information hitting the bulls’ eye as it saves not only time, but also energy and precious resources. Summarizing skills help immensely achieve this objective.

What is Summarizing Skill?

Summarizing is all about condensing the entire content into a smaller one without losing the essence of message. It is a skill where people need to focus on what is required than what is not required and what is to be focused than what is not to be focused. Summarizing is called in different names globally. Some call it précis writing where people write one third of the given content without losing focus from the message during examinations. This skill is essential for everybody especially for the executives reaching higher positions. Summarizing helps you test your understanding and expressing abilities. It helps in avoiding redundant words. Here are few examples where you can shorten your words

Close proximity – proximity

End result – result

Enclosed herewith – enclosed

In spite of the fact that – although

Revert back – revert

Summarize briefly – summarize

Repeat again – repeat

Summarizing sounds paraphrasing. In fact, paraphrasing helps in summarizing the content. Paraphrasing is conversion of information from sender to receiver through various illustrations and anecdotes. In contrast, summarizing is condensing the content without losing the essence of message. Therefore, both summarizing and paraphrasing are different. Here are the tips to condense your content:

Tips to write Summary

  • Note down the key points or underline.
  • Rank them on priority.
  • Present them in simple and straight sentences.
  • Avoid giving examples and anecdotes.
  • Put preferably in phrases.

Summarizing is a skill that anyone can cultivate. To hone this skill, you must read quality blogs and articles of Time, Harvard Business Review, Forbes, The Economist, Sloan Management Review and Fast Company to name a few. With quality reading and thorough practice you will not only differentiate between chalk and cheese but also develop writing skills that shape you as a successful professional.

Professor M.S.Rao

Founder, MSR Leadership Consultants, India


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