The 68-page report on Managing Clarity in Corporate Communication is a lot to chew on. That’s why I picked out just the best parts and boiled them down into easy-to-digest blog postings, like:
- Best Part #1: Clarity Killers
- Best Part #2: Why We Make Communications So Complex
- Best Part #3: 5 Steps to Be CLEAR
But here’s another tasty morsel:
Best Part #4: Measure Clarity the Easy Way
Slim chance you’ll ever find a business writer who doesn’t intend to be clear. We all think our writing is clear, right? It’s clear to us, anyway.
But how do we know if it’s clear to anyone else?
Report authors Martin Eppler and Nicole Bischof make it easy to find out. You can measure communication clarity (on a scale of 0 to 10) by asking readers 5 questions:
- Was it clear why this message was sent to you?
- No indication (0 points)
- Some indication (1 point)
- Communication context clearly indicated (2 points)
- Did you understand the structure of this message?
- No explicit structure (0 points)
- Somewhat unclear structure (1 point)
- Very clear and visible structure (2 points)
- Are any parts of this message non-essential?
- Many superfluous items (0 points)
- Some superfluous items (1 point)
- No superfluous items (2 points)
- Are any words ambiguous, unclear or otherwise difficult to interpret?
- Many ambiguous terms (0 points)
- Some ambiguous terms (1 point)
- No ambiguous terms (2 points)
- Does the communication provide useful illustrations that resonate with you?
- No useful illustrations/examples (0 points)
- Somewhat useful illustrations/examples (1 point)
- Very useful illustrations/examples (2 points)
Add up your points, and score your success on this scale:
- 0 = Clear as mud
- 10 = Clear as crystal
Best Part #5: Writing Lessons from 1946