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How to Communicate More Clearly

How to Communicate More Clearly

How to Communicate More Clearly

Here are four ways to improve the clarity of your communication:

  1. Define all your key concepts.
  2. State your message in affirmative terms.
  3. Use numbers whenever possible.
  4. Use diagrams, images and visual aids.

Break language into two types: Vague and specific.

You should be specific in your language, not vague.

Communication - Clear Communication : How to Communicate More Clearly

1. Define all your key concepts.

You need to specify the exact meaning of any vague, ambiguous or abstract terms.

There are many ill-defined terms such as, "appropriate size" or "Tasteful colours".

Anything that can be misunderstood, will be misunderstood.

Therefore, you must work to clarify the exact meaning of any ambiguous term, by providing a clear definition.

Clarity is a virtue, vagueness is a vice.

2. State your meaning in affirmative terms.

Write down what you do want, as opposed to what you don't want.

State your messages in affirmative statements.

Rather than say, "I don't want a small one", say, "I want one that is between X and Y metres".

Rather than say, "I don't what to go to Paris", say "I prefer to go to London".

Saying what you don't want does not clarify what you do want.

3. Use numbers whenever possible.

Using numbers is the best and easiest way to improve the clarity of your language. Why?

Because numbers denote more exact times, exact measures, exact proportions, they make your message more objective and less prone to misunderstanding.

Whenever possible, specify your meaning by using numbers.

4. If possible, use a visual image, diagram or drawing.

You have heard it said that a picture is worth a thousand words. If you cannot find the words, then consider using a diagram or a photograph or drawing.

Do whatever it takes to gain clarity.

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