You have more opportunities than ever to communicate your business insights, stories and data; but you also face more competition for time and attention. When you have those ears and eyeballs, make sure your message gets across.

Step 1: Define your communication purpose, embodied in one overarching message that's supported by a limited number of key points.

Step 2: Rely on the FastBlurb approach to effective, succinct communication based on three pillars:

Start with a spark

People are short on attention and long on distractions. If you don't grab them at the beginning, you may lose them before the end. A compelling opening will help you make a fast, "tell me more" connection.

Don't tell all

As tempted as you are to tell your audience everything you know, don't. Better to focus on a core message and a few key points, especially when speaking before a live audience. Always leave them wanting for more.

End with intent

The conclusion is your last chance to connect with your audience and make your point known, yet many business writers and speakers simply trail off or stop. Take full advantage of this final opportunity to bring your message home.

These three principles of writing and speaking are critical factors for successful communications.