One of my favorite card games to play is Euchre. Okay, moment of honesty: I’m not very good at it, but that doesn’t negate the fact that I love playing it. One of my favorite parts of the game is when it is my turn to call out what is going to be trump for that hand. In that moment I get to decide which cards have the most power. One time, while I was playing, I was dealt all spades, and both black Jacks. I was about to POWN everyone. I said that I was going alone… why??? because I had trump in EVERYTHING! Trump cards are good to have because they are superior to every other card.
When thinking about communicating to people, whether it be from a stage in church, to a small group, to a business client, to a football team, every communicator needs to understand this principle: Clarity is Trump.
Clarity trumps catchy.
Clarity trumps creativity.
Clarity trumps cliche.
If you are not clear in what you are communicating, it doesn’t matter how creative or catchy you are… people WILL NOT UNDERSTAND. I’m reminded of a scene in the movie “Wedding Crashers”. They are playing a game of 2-on-2 “touch” football and Jeremy is Qb-ing. He looks over to John and yells “Hot Route, Hot Route… red 7, red 7.” John gives him this weird look, as if to say, “What in the world are you yelling?” Again, “red 7…Hot Route.” John looks at him and says, “I don’t know what red 7 means.” Jeremy gives him a hopeless glance and says, “Just go stand over there.”
Clarity is trump.
The Apostle Paul said it like this:
“I’d rather say five words that everyone can understand and learn from than say ten thousand that sound to others like gibberish.”
So the next time you are given the opportunity to communicate to someone… before you speak, ask yourself: “Is this going to be clear to those I’m speaking to?”