“A lack of clarity could put the brakes on any journey to success.”

Steve Maraboli

If you’ve ever been trapped next to a talkative stranger on a cross-country flight, you’ll understand the maze of communication without clarity. Let me tell you about Joe, my unexpected seatmate on a seemingly endless trip to Phoenix. He took nearly the whole flight to explain his special salsa recipe. By the time we started our descent, I wasn’t sure if we were talking about a spicy dip or the blueprint for a secret society. His story was like a plane that took off without a clear destination: lots of airtime but no landing in sight.

Similarly, in the world of brand and marketing, a lack of clarity can send your message flying in circles. It’s confusing, roundabout, and makes one ponder the essence of the message. Is it a unique selling point or just hot air?

Life isn’t always about the most direct flight route. Sometimes, the detour is scenic. But when you’re trying to land a clear brand message or express genuine sentiments, indirect routes can cost you dearly in audience engagement and understanding.

The beauty of clear communication is much like that moment when you finally see the landing strip lights after a long flight. That instant urge to buy a product after an ad, or that connection when someone truly gets you? That’s the gift of clarity. It’s a harmonized dance of words and intent, where the receiver isn’t merely informed, but genuinely moved.

Seeking to achieve this level of clear skies in communication? Here are some in-flight instructions:

  1. Know Your Purpose: Just as flights have destinations, so should your messages. Are you imparting knowledge, stirring emotions, or perhaps sharing a recipe (preferably a shorter one than Joe’s)?
  2. Be Authentic: Inauthenticity is like turbulence—unsettling and instantly noticeable. Keep it real—your audience will appreciate the smooth journey.
  3. Simplicity is your BFF: It’s about making the message accessible, not watered down. Like packing only essentials for your carry-on—it ensures a hassle-free trip.
  4. Engage, Don’t Preach: Conversations are two-way. Open channels for feedback, encourage interaction. It’s the difference between a monologue and a rich dialogue.
  5. Body Language & Tone: Often, the mood set by delivery surpasses the message itself. A friendly demeanor can be the warm blanket that comforts your audience.

So, whether you’re introducing a groundbreaking product, sharing feedback, or explaining your views on modern art, aim for clarity in communication.

In our information-rich age, the clear message soars above the rest. Not the loudest or most flamboyant, but the most lucid. So the next time you’re amid verbose presentations or clouded brand language, think of Joe’s salsa saga, breathe deeply, and steer towards clarity. Your market, and your fellow travelers, will be grateful.

Stephen Boudreau serves as VP of Brand & Community at Virtuous Software. For over two decades, he has helped nonprofits leverage the digital space to grow their impact. To that end, Stephen co-founded RaiseDonors, a platform that provides nonprofits with technology and experiences that remove barriers to successful online fundraising. He is an avid (but aging) soccer player, audiobook enthusiast, and the heavily-disputed UNO champion of his household.

Copyright ©2024 Stephen Boudreau.