How much more could you achieve if you could communicate more confidently and effectively? That's what Create, Clarify, Articulate is all about!
Communication can refer to many things (e.g. presentations, speeches, blog posts, podcasts, videos, …) but all effective communications have three things in common:
Effective communication has an original, clear and engaging message.
Do you find it hard to create and construct messages which are both fascinating and original?
Do you struggle to incorporate facts, data and research in a way that is entertaining?
Is your message as clear and powerful as you'd like it to be?
Can you engage an audience with your voice?
Can you inspire them?
I made this blog to help people to create, clarify and articulate their messages more effectively. If you have ever wished you could improve your presentations, speeches, blog posts, podcasts, videos, or any other communication… this is the blog for you!
Who is Alex Owen-Hill?
When I was around 10 years old I would do anything to avoid talking to people. I'm naturally shy, quiet, overly intellectual… a classic introvert. I shied away from social situations, stayed silent even when I had something to say and stressed for days when I had to stand up and speak in front of an audience.
But, I am also a born engineer. At 15, I decided to tackle my shyness like an engineering problem to be solved.
Throughout university — where I studied robotics — I took any opportunity I could find to speak, perform and communicate.
It was challenging.
It was uncomfortable.
But, slowly, I started to enjoy communicating with audiences. I taught myself story-writing techniques, learned to direct films and started singing on stage.
By the end of university, my goal had come on so far that I was awarded the BP prize for best presentation of the year. I didn't realise it at the time, but this small win was a sign of things to come. Throughout the following three years I completed a PhD in robotics. I continued to develop my speaking skills and my confidence grew. I supplemented the technical presentations in my job with open mic storytelling and poetry in my spare time.
Now, I am a professional blogger and speaker.
I am still an introvert.
I am still shy sometimes.
But now, I am a great communicator on stage.
These days, people often say to me:
"Alex. You're so naturally confident when you give a presentation. I wish I was."
I thank them for the compliment, but I am quick to reassure them:
This is not natural. I have learned how to do this. And you can too.
I have learned what it takes to transform a person from a struggling introvert into an engaging communicator — myself.
Now I want to share that knowledge, to help others to do the same.
What is Create, Clarify, Articulate?
The name of this blog describes the process to construct and communicate a message effectively.
Each word describes one step:
- Create — Creation is the catalyst for exceptional communication. When you create a message that's original and worth sharing, people will engage with it. I'm fascinated by the process of creation and have explored it in many ways throughout my life. This step is where my inner artist comes in. Over the years, I've been a jazz musician, a painter, a poet, a filmmaker, a cook, a comedian, a sculptor, a photographer, and many more hobbies besides. These all have one thing in common — they centre around creation. I've learned the best (and the worst) strategies to create consistently exciting ideas.
- Clarify — The first draft of anything is always messy. No matter how good a creator you are, you can only communicate your ideas effectively by honing them. This step is where my inner engineer comes in. Throughout history, people have developed reliable techniques to clarify an idea into a solid message, and I am obsessed with learning these techniques. I've studied story-engineering, poetry form, comedy writing, graphic design, rhetoric, song-writing, video editing, sound design and I'm always discovering more techniques to use and teach to others.
- Articulate — Finally, you must communicate your message to others. Although this is the third step, it is actually the most fundamental. If you can communicate effectively, your message will connect with your audiences. This step is where my inner performer comes in. As an introvert, I've learned techniques which can work for anyone, not just for outgoing people. I've practised voice training, public speaking, jazz singing, improvisation, stand-up comedy, open-mic storytelling, coaching, networking, and I am always looking for new ways to push myself out of my ever-widening comfort zone.
This blog explores all three of these steps. My approach is very practical and I include exercises and demonstrations whenever I can. I hope that you to come away from this blog both with a better understanding of how these three steps work, and with the practical skills that you need to Create, Clarify and Articulate your message.