The ABZ's of Communication for Technical Professionals... C: Clarity and Consistency, and Confidence

This is the 3rd posting of my new 26 part (A through Z) blog series with Tips on Communication for Project Managers and Technical Professionals! With communication accounting for over 80% of a project manager’s time, the importance of GOOD communication cannot be overlooked.  Good projects begin with good communication!

C= Clarity and Consistency, and Confidence

Clarity and Consistency

It is common to assume that our words convey the message we intend to deliver, but that is often not the case.  The following communication model highlights how what we say is not necessarily what is heard.   Because of the “noise” that can interfere with all communication, it is critical that we speak with clarity (see the earlier post B: Brevity) and consistency:

Communication model One way to think of how noise obscures message clarity is with an analogy:  consider how glass block (or a shower door after a shower) distorts clear vision.  “Feedback” permits us to see and hear how the message we sent may not be the same as the message that was received, and gives us the chance to resend it to improve clarity.

Selecting words that appeal to all 3 learning styles: visual, audio and kinesthetic (more on this in an upcoming segment) can improve the CLARITY of our message and increase the effectiveness of communication.

Consistency is a concept in its own right (think of how inconsistency in corporate communication creates confusion!), but also tied to clarity.  A key goal of a communication plan (communication management is one of the nine knowledge areas of the Guide to Project Management Body of Knowledge® (PMBOK) Version 4) should be consistency of messages throughout the project. Consistency is key!


The key to confidence is knowing what you are talking about and having a practiced delivery.  Audiences respond to the mood projected by the presenter – if the mood is one of confidence, the audience responds with receptivity and comfort; if nervousness and agitation prevails, it will take over the room. Audiences are incredibly forgiving – it is better to relax than to pretend, and your audience will relax with you.  Believe in your message and so to will your audience!  Confidence, like enthusiasm, is contagious.

To your successful projects!


Carol Dekkers

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