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Speaking Clarity. Don’t Leave Home Without It!
Frank DiBartolomeo --  Presentation Coach For Technical Professionals Frank DiBartolomeo -- Presentation Coach For Technical Professionals
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Centreville, VA
Sunday, January 15, 2023


“The best way to succeed is to have a specific Intent, a clear Vision, a plan of Action, and the ability to maintain Clarity. Those are the Four Pillars of Success. It never fails!”

– Steve Mariboli, author of Life, the Truth, and Being Free

You have attended rambling presentations which were too long, and you left not knowing how to apply what the speaker says to your life. Don’t be one of these speakers.

I attended a virtual seminar sponsored by the National Speakers Association (NSA) Washington DC Chapter yesterday morning. Performance consultant Debbie Peterson was the speaker and spoke on “Getting to Clarity: The Roadmap to the Next Level of Your Speaking Business” from her book Clarity: How Smart Professionals Create Career Success on Their Terms.

I started thinking about what speaker clarity meant. Below are my thoughts on this:

Clarity About Your Audience

If you are unclear about your audience’s wants and needs, you have a great chance of missing the mark with your message. If your presentation is about

  • Retirement planning and your audience is millennials instead of mid-career people, you are going to miss your mark

  • Running marathons and your audience is an older crowd, some of whom are disabled, you will fall flat with your audience.

  • Entrepreneurship and your audience is a group of CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, you may not reach your audience.

Before you create your presentation, you need to know your audience’s wants and needs. So how do you determine this? Below are three methods to gain a better understanding of your audience:

  • Ask the event planner about the wants and needs of the audience. They can give you much information that would take a long time to collate even if you could find it.

  • Ask the event planner what the audience is currently reading. First, determine the industry and companies represented by your audience. Next, read a few articles from the industry’s or companies’ journals. Journal articles cover the interests of the industry and companies.

  • Finally, be ready to mix with the audience any hour before your presentation. Remember, there will be audience members who come early. Your interaction with these early audience members will be a gold mine of information about your audience’s wants and needs. You can’t change your slides at this point, but what you can do is decide what slides you may want to delete or on which you spend less time. Remember, your message comes from your words, body language, and the pitch of your voice, which you can always change “on the fly.”

You may be clear about your audience’s wants and needs, but is your message clear?

Clarity About Your Message

A prerequisite to being clear in your presentation is to have a structured format that logically transitions from your opening to your main points to your closing. Mentioning the outline of your presentation during your opening, main body, and closing will add to your clarity.

My second piece of advice about being clear about your message is to state its central theme throughout your presentation often. If you do this, it will continually remind your audience of what your message is.

You can think of your message as the skeleton of your presentation, your main points as the flesh on the skeleton, and repeating your message throughout your presentation as the vital organs of your presentation’s body.

I have seen speakers deliver overly complicated presentations. It takes extra effort to ensure your presentation outline, opening, body, and closing are as straightforward as possible. Even though you may know the wants and needs of your audience, chances are you will not know their individual life experiences. You will just have to react and change your presentation during your presentation depending on your audience’s responses, both verbal and non-verbal.

You may be clear about your audience’s wants and needs and precise about your message. Still, if you are unclear about what you want your audience to do with the information you present, your presentation will have minimal effect on your audience members’ lives. And isn’t that why you became a speaker – to improve your audience members’ personal and professional lives?

Clarity About What You Want Your Audience to Do

You know, at the end of every one of these articles, I have a Call to Action. Why do I do this? I don’t want just to settle for you to be entertained by these articles. You are spending your valuable time reading these articles. There has to be a payoff for you. Hopefully, these Calls to Action will improve your personal and professional lives.

Keep asking yourself, “What do I want my audience to do as a result of my presentation? If you haven’t noticed already, my three Calls to Action at the end of this and every one of my articles ties back to the three main points in these articles.

You may have already said the Call to Action in your presentation. However, because the Calls to Action are in a concise list at the end of your presentation, they will be “easily digestible” by your audience. This is important. If your audience clearly understands the Calls to Action, there is a good chance many of your audience’s members will take your advice and implement your Calls to Action.

People remember beginnings and endings. Make your Calls to Action at the end of your presentation items your audience can immediately implement. This is key. Don’t make the Calls to Action too complicated.

Your audience members must believe they can accomplish the Calls to Action you state at your presentation’s end. Making them clearly understood will encourage your audience to implement them.

To achieve speaking clarity, you must know your audience’s wants and needs, have a clear message and be clear about what you want your audience to do with the information you present.

When you attend a presentation, you want the speaker to be clear about their message.

Pay forward the favor of a clear speaker and be clear in your presentations.

Your audience will love you for it!

Call to Action

  • Before you start creating your presentation, determine your audience’s wants and needs

  • State your presentation message clearly and boldly many times throughout your presentation

  • In your presentation closing, always tell your audience how they can implement what you said to improve their personal and professional lives.

“Clarity within leads to clarity without.”

– David Dillard-Wright, Ph.D., Professor of Philosophy, University of South Carolina

Frank DiBartolomeo is a retired U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel and award-winning speaker, presentation and interview skills coach, and Professional Member of the National Speakers Association. He was awarded Toastmasters International’s highest individual award, Distinguished Toastmaster because of his outstanding work in public speaking and leadership.

Frank formed DiBartolomeo Consulting International (DCI), LLC (www.speakleadandsucceed.com) in 2007. The mission of DCI is to help technical professionals to inspire, motivate, and influence their colleagues and other technical professionals by improving their presentation skills, communication, and personal presence. Reach Frank at frank@speakleadandsucceed.com and (703) 509-4424.


Don’t miss Frank DiBartolomeo’s latest book!

“Speak Well and Prosper: Tips, Tools, and Techniques for Better Presentations”

Available now at Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com

News Media Interview Contact
Name: Frank DiBartolomeo, Jr.
Title: President
Group: DiBartolomeo Consulting International, LLC
Dateline: Centreville, VA United States
Cell Phone: (703) 509-4424
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