When a TV camera operator is about to film an interview, he or she zooms in tightly on the person’s nose and gets that in focus before zooming back out to the shot. It’s a little trick to make sure all of the person’s face is in focus.
It’s also a great way to approach communications.
Instead of trying to describe everything, all at once, zoom in to the essence of what you are trying to say. When that is clear and crisp you can add the other details that make up the whole picture. Too often we concern ourselves with background that is extraneous to the point we’re trying to make – so much so that the point is lost.
The term “key message” is often used in public relations and some people despair that key messaging is a dumbing down of complicated information to a 10-second sound bite.
But the key message is not meant to be all that you’ll say about a topic. Extra details can be important. They help prove your point and provide clarification. Those extra details are only effective though, if the central point they are supporting is very clear.
So just like the camera operator zoom in first to your key message. If that is well-focused you can then zoom out and add more detail.