Clarity means that your content is readily understandable. If your readers can't understand what you're saying, then your content may as well be written in hieroglyphics. Conversely, if your writing is simple and intelligible, making clear the value of your content suddenly becomes a lot easier.
Here are a few ways to make your content unequivocally clear:
Simplify. Get rid of unnecessary adjectives and adverbs. Words including: very, just, really, perhaps, and like aren't adding to your writing—in fact, they’re probably confusing your readers—and would be better cut out all together. Stephen King (whose book On Writing is a must read), once said that “fear is at the root of most bad writing.” We think that he was right.
Also, if you need to use a word that your readers may not be familiar with, come out and define it. That way, you can be sure that your reader knows exactly what you’re talking about. Explaining your terms—even if they may seem obvious to you—will help your reader one way or the other.
Keep your sentences short. It may sound silly—we’re all intellectuals here—but keep your sentences short and to the point. With so much content floating around us every moment of every day, human beings have taken to skimming rather than reading. Short sentences are easiest to understand, and they’re more likely to catch the eye of someone who is skimming your piece, rather than fully reading it. As a rule of thumb, short sentences work well at the start of a paragraph or speech item to grab attention, and at the end, to summarize.
Know your audience: The better you know who it is you're trying to reach, the clearer and simpler you can make your writing. You’d write differently for a classroom of second graders than you would for a student getting her Masters in English, right? In the same vain, you should also take into account your readers’ area of expertise when deciding how to write and how to format content. For instance, if you're writing for someone in IT, you’ll likely have success using bullet points, as that type of audience is most familiar with data masses and collecting only the most quintessential information. If you’re writing for someone in the professorial field, though, you could probably get away with slightly longer sentences and more complex language. But choose wisely—even though you could get away with this, it may not be the best course of action.
It’s evident that being clear is a great way to ensure that your readers are getting the most out of your content. And though clarity in writing is an art not often achieved, do your best to break that mold. Keep your writing simple, short, and audience-specific, and both you and your reader will benefit.