What’s the point of your message?

Sometimes I rush my speaking. I hear someone express an idea and I rush in to share my thoughts. Or I speak publicly on a topic in my expertise and I pack as much information in as possible to demonstrate my intelligence. Does either of these actions leave the impression I am effective? No. When my listeners are left working hard to determine the point of my message, I obviously haven’t first worked at it. I haven’t made myself clear.

The lesson I learn is this:

Instead of rushing in to speak, take time to get clear about the point.

What do you think and how do you feel about it?

Determine what you think by digging deep. If that seems overwhelming, say to yourself, “Here’s what I know about this” and begin organize your thoughts. Then make it interesting. Decide how you feel about what you know. This helps you decide the theme of your perspective.

Here’s a description to illustrate what I mean:

Lack of speaking clarity, in my experiences, can lead to rambling, rapid talk. So when we aren’t speaking clearly, we tend to throw up all over our listeners. Now there’s a sensory perspective! When I share speaking clarity in this way, I suggest that not only can this type of speaking become messy, but also possibly disgusting, rank and may even tend toward being clingy. With this theme in mind, my listeners tend to be repulsed by anything but clarity, through which I suggest we offer clean, refreshing experiences.

Themes don’t come to mind easily, so if we are to use them, we must give thought before we speak. Perhaps we consider the impact of our ideas, the impact of not having our ideas as well as to how we would animate the impact.

Based on your experiences and/or feelings about the topic or idea, suggest an analogy, a metaphor, or other form of comparison to offer a sensory response for your listeners to react to.

Take time to think in big picture terms – a theme – and then speak by sharing the big picture which leads you to make your point. This reflective process helps us both crystallize our thinking and effectively make our point.

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On May 12th, 2014, posted in: speaking, time for thought by