The whole idea of shaving is to look good. Irritation, ingrown hairs, those little red dots, don't really complete the outfit. One way to have a great shave is to shave in the direction of the hair growth... until it isn't.
The first challenge is figuring out what direction your hair grows. It could be every direction all at the same time. Your cheeks generally have uniform hair growth and that's why it's so easy to shave them. The more tricky parts are on your neck and around your jawline.
If you are shaving other parts of the body the same rules apply but the degree of difficulty changes with each body part, I think you can follow my drift here.
A technique to work around the inconsistent hair growth is to use smaller and smaller strokes. This way all the strokes will be going with the hair growth, although, there might be a lot of strokes.
Once you have got a nice close shave while following the growth of the hair, the pro move is to then do the complete opposite and shave against the grain to get the closest smoothest shave.
If you started by shaving against the grain you would run the risk of possible irritation because you would be fighting against fully grown hairs. This way, you re only taking off the tiny tip of the hair.
Still, the small stroke technique should be used. It's really a mainstay in your top quality shaving arsenal. It will take you a few times to learn the lay of the land of your face but once you figure it out your shaves will be faster, easier and with better results.