Clear and memorable, every time…

Many professionals dream of making their mark at work: they want to be noticed, and perhaps tapped for greater responsibilities. But the path to distinctiveness is not always apparent.

One visible — and valued — way to distinguish yourself is to be clear and memorable whenever you speak. The secret is to be structured and organised, making it easy for people to understand and remember what you said.

This is also particularly helpful for communication in virtual teams and in multi-lingual environments, as it helps reduce the confusion and misinterpretation that can occur in those settings.

So here are five simple tips for structuring and organising your remarks so they will be clear and easy to remember:

· Plan. Sometimes we are caught off-guard and have to improvise, but we usually have time to plan our remarks for meetings and presentations. Take advantage of this opportunity and plan what you will say.

· Key points. Offer structure by breaking your remarks into key points. People want you to organise for them and make the important points clear. Build structure into your remarks and enjoy a reputation for clarity.

· Be concise. Many people don’t listen as well as we would like: they are busy and have too many distractions. Adapt to this reality by getting to the point quickly, keeping your language simple, and using fewer words.

· Big picture, then details. This is especially true when speaking to senior leaders: they typically want to hear about ‘context’ first. If you are asked to discuss details then by all means do so, but otherwise you should start at the ‘macro’ level and offer details when appropriate.

· Limit your airtime. More airtime is not necessarily better; sometimes less can be more. Focus on being clear and memorable and the airtime will take care of itself.

Click on the video link below to learn more about being clear and memorable when you speak.

Mark Brown is a leadership educator and author based in Lisbon, Portugal. He likes to swim and play the piano, but not at the same time.

Contact Mark at