How often have you heard someone say, “I know that’s what I said, but what I meant was…” or some other example of it?

Communication is an interesting thing. We use words to convey ideas and often struggle to find the right ones. Speaking of course is the worst because it is real time. All the editing typically happens between the head and the mouth.



Now, if you’re a poor conversationalist, the tips I am about to provide probably won’t help you much. You’re better off renting the movie: The King’s Speech. What I want to work on here is how to be better understood in a more formal speaking setting. That being said, here are some simple tips:

1. Have a point – it is important to be a better communicator. To be clear here, when I say ‘have a point’ I mean something you can articulate in a single sentence. “The reason I am speaking to these people is…”

That sentence will become the anchor to which I attach all the info you are about to provide. Without it the information becomes overwhelming and floats off into the sunset like a boat one the waves.

2. Stick to the point – If you’re being asked to speak you have information. You probably have enough information to speak for hours. But how much of that information supports your point?

In business setting I typically find that something like more that half of the information in any presentation really belongs in an appendix, stuff that supports the talk but isn’t directly connected to the main point. Leave all THAT stuff out. Save it for the question & answer at the end.

3. Consider you audience-  Whatever it is you’re communicating should have some relevance to why your audience is there. Otherwise your point becomes one of trying to prove how smart, or funny, or important you are.

It is important to connect to your audience and learn to seek first to understand rather than just talk about yourself.