Powerful and effective speaking comes from Thought, then Talk. But the clarity of your thoughts helps you create clear speaking. Muddled thoughts equal muddled speaking! A clear mind allows you to speak clear words, sentences, and ideas.
It is almost humorous how the drift in the culture is that you know something clearly but somehow can’t find the words to explain it. Sure, maybe with love or the beauty of a sunset over the Pacific Ocean, you can’t find the words. But when your project depends on getting the right resources, a clear mind generates clear speaking to articulate the reasons you need them. Your projects and leadership rely on the clarity of your strategic thinking.
Clear Thought – Clear Talk
When you see someone give a garbled rationale for a decision, you do not see a clear thinker expressing words sloppily. Instead, you see a garbled thinker expressing his thoughts accurately!
Wittgenstein gives you a couple of points for reflection here:
- Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent. – Ludwig Wittgenstein
- If a lion could talk, we could not understand him. – Ludwig Wittgenstein
It’s pretty plain, isn’t it? If you can’t say it, you don’t know it. If you don’t know it, you can’t say it. Since you think in words, you can actually explain what you think with the words you have to make up the thought. If you don’t have the words, you don’t have the thought. Now, this makes clarity a profound thing…unless you are clear first in your Thought, you have no chance of being clear in your Talk.
Clear Terms – Fewer Terms
Clarity is essential in communication because that helps others understand you. And clarity is also normally easy to remember as well. And opposites clear up our misunderstandings by way of contrast. When you think about something being unclear, it usually involves either poor definition or too many elements to make sense of the information. If you want to guarantee clarity in communication, then you pay careful attention to two simple aims:
- Use clearly understood terms or define the terms
- Use as few terms as possible
You can try those two simple principles in your writing or speaking today and note the difference. You will likely see that by practicing just those two ideas, you will be thinking about your communication more and, therefore, speaking about your topic with greater clarity.
Clarity Aids Persuasion
Our THOUGHT-Talk System helps you persuade someone. It teaches you how to be clear, credible, and convincing.
Persuasion is a matter of changing someone else’s mind. If there is no clarity, you will not convince them to conclude anything different than what they believe. So, if you want someone to think similarly, be clear and credible.
Clear talk comes first, then Thought in the other person’s mind follows. Persuasion takes a belief someone has that it is one way and moves it to a new place of thinking another way. It isn’t having someone see your perspective; they now conclude what you’ve concluded. There is a difference between knowing (1) you want to buy a new house and (2) your partner wanting to buy a new house with you.
Clarity not only persuades with words but also helps your listener form pictures of what you say. Persuasion is most naturally a move from words to pictures. Language centers are on both sides of the brain (which helps a lot with translation), but the general idea is that the words construct an idea, which in turn becomes a Vision for the listener. People are persuaded when they grasp the Vision and conclude it is worth the effort. Sometimes this Vision is pessimistic (a future to avoid), and sometimes positive (a future to pursue). It is the whole brain at work; nevertheless, the movement is generally from Words to Vision.
So, if your thoughts are clear, your talk will reflect that clarity. Then with clear definitions, clear terms, and clear pictures, you will increase the odds of persuading your listeners to your point of view.