If you’ve ever looked through a corporate PowerPoint deck or sifted through a strategy binder, you’ve probably encountered a few emotions: confusion, frustration, and aggravation.
Read: Analyzing Communication Challenges
Many of these types of documents start out with the best of intentions. They are, after all, the primary ways that corporations explain their most promising ideas and initiatives. But, more often than not, these documents don’t end up communicating what the authors intended because they lack one key component: clarity.
This lack of clarity leads to more than confused employees and shareholders. It can stop the advancement of promising initiatives right in their tracks. After all, how can stakeholders allocate funds or plan for your initiative if they don’t understand what it’s about?
Corporate communicators: it’s time to see the value of clarity in your day-to-day strategic work. The benefits of clear communication can help you advance your initiative or strategy.
Four benefits of clear communication
1. Removes ambiguity.
One of the biggest barriers to clear communications is jargon. Are you using synergy to truly talk about combined efforts? Does all of your audience understand that CBI means critical business issues? Further, do they know what that concept actually entails? Spell out acronyms, avoid business jargon, and explain terms that aren’t intuitive to outsiders or new comers. Removing ambiguity will set a strong foundation for clarity in your communications.
2. Increases actionability.
By being clear and removing ambiguity, you are removing your audience’s barriers to action. Your audience doesn’t have to continue to sift through details after you’ve presented. They have the information they need to make a decision or allocate funds. Help your cause even further by defining clear next steps. In doing so, you’ll be creating a path forward, from understanding to action.
3. Avoids bunny trails.
Confusing communications often have too much information and are flooded with unnecessary details. Unfortunately, those details can be distracting. Clear communication employs the Goldilocks Principle to keep the audience on track and out of rabbit holes: give just the right amount of information so your audience stays on topic and doesn’t get sidetracked by a superfluous detail. Even better, avoid those detours entirely by shaping your idea into a visual narrative that guides the audience to your view of the future.
4. Demonstrates accountability and confidence.
Clear communications do more than just get your point across. They show that you care and that you know what you’re talking about. Clear communication doesn’t add fluff or use smoke and mirrors to suggest that an idea or initiative is worthy. They use facts and a clear, persuasive argument to show the value in an idea. This instills confidence from leadership, peers, and other members of your audience.
Up next: Does my Company Have a Communication Gap?