February 2

Security Friday Fast Fact: Communicating Effectively

By Adam Dodge

A large part of almost any information security job is communicating ideas, concepts and thoughts to other people. These professionals can find themselves making the case to change a company policy, writing a management report of weekly activities, or training staff on various information security topics. Therefore, security professionals must be adept at effectively communicating (written, verbal or otherwise) to individuals with varying degrees of knowledge and interest in the subject.

While each of us develops our own personal communications style, here are a few tips to think on this weekend that might help you become a better communicator:

  1. Keep it short – People in your company are busy and they are not being paid to listen to you talk. You will have a much easier time reaching people if you limit yourself to keeping the message as short as possible. (P.S. This is the reasoning behind creating an Executive Summary and the “30-sec elevator pitch.”)
  2. Keep it simple – Unless you are addressing other security professionals, nobody is going to pay attention to an in-depth analysis of the topic. Just highlight the important parts that help you prove your point.
  3. Keep it on point – Nothing causes people to tune-out faster than someone who just rambles on and on ad nauseam. Have a list of topics you want to cover and stick with it. After all, you are trying to get a point across; not sitting with your friends at the corner bar.

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