You mean dumb it down?’
That’s a line we hear a lot during our media training sessions.
It’s generally in response to our advice to use simple language during interviews with journalists.
But dumbing down is most definitely not what we mean.
If you want your audience – be they are reporter or the general public, to take on board the point you’re making, then they need to understand it instantly.
If they’re trying to wade through lots of convoluted prose and complex language to make sense of what you are saying, they won’t be absorbing the essence of your message.
And that is the whole point of doing the interview in the first place – to get your message across.
So don’t make them work too hard.
This is especially important in radio and television interviews where the audience can’t just read what is written five times while they try to work it out.
If they’re interested enough they might be able to watch/listen again, but I wouldn’t bank on it.
So make sure you use simple, accessible language so they get your message first time.
And, in my defence, I cite no less than Albert Einstein, who said:
Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.’