How to Articulate Your Thoughts Clearly: 3 Precise Steps!

Do you have the desire to articulate your thoughts clearly? Perhaps you feel that you don’t make sense when you speak, you get your thoughts muddled, or what you want to say doesn’t come out clearly. 

Articulating your thoughts clearly when you speak may seem like an impossible feat. You probably admire people who speak eloquently either in real-life or on television and assume they have a special skill that you will never be able to develop.

But learning how to articulate your thoughts clearly is not limited to a select few in this world. It is absolutely possible to develop this skill.

The underlying principle you need to remember is that our speech is a reflection of our thinking. If your thoughts are muddled, your speech is going to come out muddled too. Whereas if your thoughts are clear, your speech will come out clear as well.

So in order for you to communicate well and articulate clearly, you need to first work on your thoughts. You need to sort out all the thoughts in your mind and organise them in a structured way so you can communicate them clearly and articulate them better.

How do you do this? The three-step process I share in this blog post will guide you in the right direction. This is the process I use myself to help me articulate my thoughts better.

1. Read

The first thing you need to do is read. Yes, you heard me correctly. Reading is incredibly important because it fills your mind with new ideas, organised thoughts, good structure and rich vocabulary. Every time you read a good book, preferably non-fiction, it fills your mind with these things.

Think of how long it takes somebody to write a book. How many revisions are made. How many people are involved in the editing process. There is a lot of time, effort and money put into every book that is published. You can leverage all of this hard work of other people and enrich your mind with their finished product.

What kinds of books should you read?

There are certain types of books that will help you more with articulating yourself. I recommend you stick to biographies, classical literature, historical events, business books or literary fiction. I encourage you to chose topics you don’t normally read as this will introduce you to new topics and styles of communication. 

How often should you read?

I recommend you read 5-10 pages everyday. You need constant exposure to new ideas and styles of communication to ensure it becomes a part of your thought process and everyday communication. I usually read in the morning over breakfast so I start my day infusing my mind with these new ideas.

Do you have any book recommendations?

One of the books that opened up my world to more intelligent communication is “Profiles in Courage” by John F. Kennedy. It was written in 1965 and uses a more classical style of English which you rarely find in more modern books. I talk about this book in more detail and give my thoughts on how it can help you articulate better in this video.

2. Write

The second part of this sequence is to write. Writing will help you organise and identify the thoughts that you have acquired when reading. As I mentioned before, “our speech is a reflection of our thinking” so we need to get our thoughts organised first (before we jump into speaking) and the best way to do this is by writing.

Writing allows you to take the time to uncover your thoughts, put them in order, and eliminate thoughts that aren’t important or don’t add anything to your communication. If you feel that you don’t make sense when you speak, it’s probably because you haven’t identified and organised your thoughts first. You’ve jumped into speaking without any preparation.

How often should you practice writing your thoughts?

You should get into the routine of writing every day. I recommend you write at least one page. You can write in the morning or evening, whatever time suits you best. You can use journaling or formal writing. The most important thing is that you practice putting your thoughts on paper and organising them.

What should you write about?

You can reflect on the past and write about conversations you’ve had, things you’ve learned, your fears or challenges that you’ve faced. You can also write about the future and focus on your goals, desires, things you want to learn, do or say to other people. There are so many things you can write about. Within 2 weeks of this process, you should see an improvement in how you organise your thoughts.

write to articulate your thoughts clearly

3. Speak

The third step in this sequence is to speak. This is where you finally see the results of the hard work you’ve put in for step one and two (reading and writing). Speaking allows you to bring those thoughts out into the world, use them in your communication and impress others with how articulate you sound. 

This is your final destination and your ultimate goal. It’s the whole purpose of this sequence – to help you speak in a way that makes you sound articulate, clear and well-structured.

How do you practice speaking?

I want you to choose a person you feel comfortable with and have a good relationship with. It could be a family member, friend or trusted coworker. Practice impromptu speaking with that person for five minutes straight. 

You can speak about a concept you learned at work, a strategy you used, a conversation you had, or something you learned in book you read in step one of this whole process. Ideally, you would choose the topic that you read about and wrote about in step one and two of this process.

I encourage you to organise your thoughts before jumping into speaking. So use the writing step of this process to organise your thoughts and decide how you are going to communicate them to this person in the most structured and articulate way. Then start communicating those thoughts to them by using the tips I share in this blog post here.

When you repeat this process on a regular basis, you will train your brain to organise your thoughts better, and communicate them well so you sound more articulate when you speak.

I talk more in-depth about this topic in the below video so I highly recommend you watch it.

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About Kara

Kara Ronin is the founder of Executive Impressions. She is an executive coach who specialises in leadership presence, social skills and business etiquette. She is also the creator of Bestselling Udemy course, Business Etiquette 101. Kara’s advice and unique perspectives have been featured in Time Inc., Business Insider, Ignites Europe (a Financial Times Service), The Muse, The Local France, The West Australian, and more. Kara works regularly with lawyers, investment bankers, and finance professionals to help them build presence, authority and influence in business. Get Kara's insights delivered straight to your inbox