Make It Clear
Speak and Write to Persuade and Inform
The essentials of communication for professionals, educators, students, and entrepreneurs, from organizing your thoughts to inspiring your audience.
Do you give presentations at meetings? Do you ever have to explain a complicated subject to audiences unfamiliar with your field? Do you make pitches for ideas or products? Do you want to interest a lecture hall of restless students in subjects that you find fascinating? Then you need this book. Make It Clear explains how to communicate—how to speak and write to get your ideas across. Written by an MIT professor who taught his students these techniques for more than forty years, the book starts with the basics—finding your voice, organizing your ideas, making sure what you say is remembered, and receiving critiques (“do not ask for brutal honesty”)—and goes on to cover such specifics as preparing slides, writing and rewriting, and even choosing a type family.
The book explains why you should start with an empowerment promise and conclude by noting you delivered on that promise. It describes how a well-crafted, explicitly identified slogan, symbol, salient idea, surprise, and story combine to make you and your work memorable. The book lays out the VSN-C (Vision, Steps, News–Contributions) framework as an organizing structure and then describes how to create and organize your ideas with a “broken–glass” outline, how to write to be understood, how to inspire, how to defeat writer's block—and much more. Learning how to speak and write well will empower you and make you smarter. Effective communication can be life-changing—making use of just one principle in this book can get you the job, make the sale, convince your boss, inspire a student, or even start a revolution.