Our thoughts have the potential to make a difference. We however don’t always know how to put in the right words to express these thoughts. In other words, you may not know how to put your thoughts into words. There are techniques that have been tested and proven to help articulate your thoughts better so that you express yourself in a very clear, concise and compelling way.

Leverage the audience’s intake styles

Intake styles refer to the way your audience or the person you are talking to receives your message and interprets it. There are different styles with which people take in the information you give them and interpret it. The first is through visuals. Examples of visuals in a chart, a PowerPoint presentation, and images etc. visuals are very important for people who learn from seeing. The second intake method/style is auditory. There are those of us who learn best through audio books, podcasts and other hearing material. Auditory learners need to hear a message in order to take it in. choice of words is important for this category of learners. The third style is kinesthetic. In this category, the individuals appreciate knowing how something feels or moves in order to understand it. They appreciate practical learning that is being able to physically take part in activities in order to understand a certain subject. You can ask these type of learners to take part in activities like closing their eyes and imagining a scenario, writing something down, or you can ask them questions on the spot then give them time to come up with a response. If you have the privilege of knowing the intake style of your audience, pick the style best suited for them in articulating your message. If you don’t know your audience’s intake style, it would be best to incorporate all three styles when speaking to them.

Lean on the audience’s behavior

If the person(s) you are talking to have dominant and commanding tendencies, give them a big picture vision of your thoughts, tell them the big benefits of what your thoughts are going to do for them, make bold promises of why you are telling them your thoughts and lastly, use a serious and stern tone. When you talk to persons that are social and optimistic, express to them the more altruistic side of your thoughts and ideas, the purpose behind your thoughts and how they will impact other people’s lives. Use a softer and friendlier tone with this group of people. When talking to people that are more laid back, be casual. Use a casual tone, be a bit more laid back and friendly towards them. When speaking to people who are analytical, use flow charts and express your thoughts in facts and figures where possible.  Use a steady tone and be more serious.

Learn how others see you

How others see you is more often than not as a result of how you see yourself. If you see yourself as someone unable to articulate their thoughts clearly, with a lack of confidence, others tend to see you that way too. People don’t always see you through their eyes, they see you through yours. To know what people think about you, get feedback from them. Ask people you trust to give you an honest opinion. Put together a list of questions and gather feedback from these people. An example of questions can be: 1) How do you see me? 2) When I express this to you, how do I make you feel? 3) How did you feel I presented the information? 4) What did you think of it? 5) How did you relate with my tone?  Their feedback will be a roadmap on how you can change it or adjust the way you express your thoughts.

Write them down

Get your thoughts out of your head and onto paper. Write them on paper as if you were conveying them to another person. This will help you build a vocabulary around your thoughts. This will especially come in handy for introverts and will help get the thoughts out there in practice before doing it out in the real world.

I hope these tips help you as you learn to articulate your thoughts in clarity. The more you practice this the better you will get at it. Many great speakers also had to practice and became great at it over time.

By Wanjiru Muhoro | Writer

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