Clarity of message is very important in public speaking and presentations. As a speaker, your goal when you come on stage is to relay your core message to the audience. Your primary purpose is to deliver a clear message in a way that will be understood and accepted by your audience. We speak to create change, to educate, to persuade, to influence and to make people think differently.
If your core message is not delivered clearly and unequivocally, then it may be interpreted in the wrong way or misunderstood. I was in Kuala Lumpur recently walking along the street when I saw this sign outside a Spanish Bodega.
From where I stood, I saw “Free Wine”. So with curiosity I approached the Spanish Bodega with a smile to ask for my free wine. When I came up closer to the sign, the true message was revealed:
It was the early morning and I wasn’t really after wine, so I walked away. But looking at the whole experience from a public speaking and corporate communications perspective, it made me think about my core messages. Is my core message clear? Is everyone in the audience on the same page as me? Is my message ambiguous and could it be taken the wrong way?
Aside from effective speaking and presentation skills, there are other factors that can influence the clarity of your message:
- Your Body Language – the way you move and walk on the stage, whether you use a platform or not, all play a role on how effectively you deliver your core message.
- Your Power Point slides – your presentation slides should serve as a visual aid and help get your message across to your audience; it shouldn’t be filled with more words looking more like a script than a visual aid, which would only confuse your audience
- Audience engagement – the audience is more likely to understand when they are involved in the presentation, engage the audience throughout the presentation to ensure you are always on the same page as them.
In every public speaking and business presentation, always ensure that your message is clear. Your audience should be on the same page as you, and they should understand the message.
Great communicators focus on one idea that is clear and memorable. Although, the sign is a deliberate example of an ambiguous and double-sided message, I must commend them for their brilliant and clever marketing strategy. It made me smile.