• Always stay focused on the main idea you are trying to express.
• Organize your supporting thoughts so that they lead to your main idea.
• If you feel that you are misunderstood, ask yourself:
∗ What was my intended message?
∗ What and how did I say it?
∗ What and how did they think it was said?
∗ Which points were misunderstood?
∗ Which people misunderstood?
∗ Finally: What adjustments need to be made to improve my communication?
How to Speak Clearly and Concisely:
• Try not to be too wordy. It obscures the meaning of your key points and often distracts the listener.
• Use the signaling approach with a friend again if you are being redundant or are wandering off the topic.
• Take note of nonverbal cues from your audience.
∗ If they are losing eye contact with you or they are becoming restless, assume that your communication is becoming redundant or you are straying from your topic.
∗ If you feel your are losing the audience, sum up what you are saying and end your speech or go on to your next point.
• Keep your answers to questions less than one minute.
• Remember that there’s power in a “pause”. Don’t hesitate to occasionally pause for a few seconds to let the people ponder a thought or to simply get their attention.