How to Improve your Clarity of Thought

“A problem well stated is a problem half solved” Charles Kettering

The most read post ever on this blog is Amazon Staff Meetings: “No Powerpoint”.  It shares the story of how Jeff Bezos banned powerpoint from management meetings at Amazon.  His reason: “powerpoint is easy for the presenter and hard for the listener”.  At Amazon, if you want to request resources, you must write out a 6 page memo laying out the details of your request.

This week’s video is How to Improve your Clarity of Thought.

What seems clear in your head is not clear.  What you can write out and it still remains clear… this is clarity of thought.

I have a lot of posts on the blog about the mechanics of writing well:


  1. Ahmad · · Reply


    This is really helpful. I have been doing so since long time, whenever I need to write a pace of writing, I first write it in a paper with pencil before I type it in Word document. I believe you have confirmed that this habit is original and powerful. the second thing I learn is separating writing from editing which helps clarify and sharpen ideas.

    Thanks a lot.

    1. Yes, this cycle of write, edit, re-write, edit, re-write, edit, re-write is what produces great writing. First get a complete draft, then work to improve. If you start editing before full draft, you will never finish the draft.

  2. Andrew Frye · · Reply

    Conor, thanks for your post on clarity of thought. For so long, i needed to put down all my points in PPT, now I understand why just a picture and a story are more memorable. I really appreciate the encouraging words about first, second, third drafts, its encouraging to know that this is a normal and important process – I’m energized!

    1. Andrew – this post from Vincent Carlos was a powerful reflection for me about why writing is powerful…

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