In recent blogs, we’ve discussed the importance of clarity, because at Ethos3, we know that clarity is the cornerstone of great communication. If you’re not communicating clearly, your audience will not understand clearly, and your message will quickly turn into a muddied story of confusion. While gaining clarity in your personal presentations is crucial, what happens when your message is being delivered by someone else is just as – and maybe even more – important.
Our team designs many presentations that must be used by multiple presenters in multiple, changing environments. We have seen first hand what happens when a team of presenters plays a game of telephone with a presentation and how each person removed from the creator adds one more level of lack of clarity.
That’s why we’ve put together these 3 simple tools that will not only improve your message but also keep it clear no matter who is presenting.
Step 1: Create a playbook.
Your team cannot communicate clearly if you have not told them how to do so. Without direction or guidelines, it is likely that your team will take the clearly articulated message you have designed and make it their own. While individuality is vital to making the presentation feel genuine, it can also muddy the message, lose clarity, and weaken the message.
That’s why we recommend creating a playbook where you write down all the guidelines of your messaging. Be specific and set clear expectations of what you expect when your team is delivering the presentation.
Practical Tip: Use the stop light system to communicate expectations. Red light items are messaging that your team must use word for word – there is no room for change with these items. Yellow light items are messaging points that your team can customize but not change; this allows them to use their own voice but not lose the clarity of your message. Green light items are where your team has complete freedom. These will typically be stories or real-life examples that they bring to the presentation.
Step 2: Create sticky statements.
Sticky statements are key points that are easy to memorize and recite word for word. They are short and to the point and connect with your audience in a way that keeps them engaged. Think of these statements like lyrics to a repetitive song that you can’t stop singing – your goal as your audience leaves your presentation is to have them reciting your sticky statement over and over for the remainder of the day. This will create long-term engagement and retention with your platform and your ideas.
Practical Tip: Sticky statements should be between 7 and 10 words to ensure maximum engagement and retention. Make it memorable, quirky, and catchy.
Step 3: Keep communication lines clear.
As the designer of a presentation, it is your job to ensure everyone who delivers it can do so with clarity and conviction. The fastest way for clarity to slip is to add middle men to the communication chain. By keeping a clear communication line between you and the other presenters, you give your team access to ask direct questions while allowing yourself to answer them directly. There is no room for an accidental game of telephone when it comes to clarity.
Practical Tip: It may not always be efficient or effective for you to be the sole communicator. In these circumstances, train a small team of coaches who can communicate with your team. It’s important that you train these coaches first-hand so that they understand they are an extension of you to the rest of the team.
As a presenter, clarity is paramount, and if you are not able to deliver every presentation yourself, it’s important that the clarity you’ve built isn’t weakened by having someone else give the presentation. By implementing these 3 easy-to-use tools, you are equipping your team to deliver with clarity and conviction every time they step in front of an audience. This will ultimately improve productivity and overall effectiveness, moving your idea one step ahead of the competition.
Looking to learn more about how to create a powerful presentation that can be delivered with clarity? Contact the team at Ethos3 today to find out how we can help!
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