Clarity is The Key

Mist in the pulpit means there is fog in the pews” 

When I was getting my masters, I took a class on speaking. It involved all the things you would think of when you think of a speaking class; how to give a presentation, using your hands, voice inflection, etc. The one real thing that has stayed with me from that course though is this quote. If there is mist in the pulpit then there is fog in the pews. It struck me because it was so simple and explained so much.

I started my experience in speaking in front of one of the hardest audiences known to mankind… middle school kids. I remember crafting my first message and spending hours on the subject, the content, and the messaging I wanted them to take away. Over the next 3 years I had some talks that really resonated with people… and I had some that I got a lot of silence and phone screen lit faces (aka they were looking at their phones because they were so bored). If I think back I can remember the messages that stuck were the ones that I intentionally crafted. And the ones that stunk… you guessed it. I was flying by the seat of my pants with no direction. Just trying to fill 30 solid minutes.

You might not be asked to speak in front of a ton of people, you might never speak in front of a crowd, but the principle taught in this quote can be applied to any piece of communication you send out. If you don’t know what you are saying clearly… neither will they. As leaders you must be able to communicate with clarity.

Here are 3 question to ask yourself before you communicate next:

  1. What are the key points (1-3 things) I want my audience to get from this communication?

  2. If they received this right now will they be able to communicate those points to someone else with ease?

  3. Can I take out anything that does not drive my key points?

Less is always more in communication and remember, “if there is mist in the pulpit, there is fog in the pews”.

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