Failing to communicate a message in everyday settings can be a frustrating experience. However, miscommunication can lead to disaster in high-stakes situations. Yet in these contexts, under pressure to perform efficiently, speakers may also find themselves with limited resources to devote to message clarity. To understand how cognitive constraint affects communication and explore a possible low-cost solution, we investigated a method for moderating ambiguity production in the face of competing attentional demands: taking the perspective of the listener. Over two experiments, speakers labeled images (Experiment 1) or provided instructions (Experiment 2) to listeners in a non-interactive communication task. In both experiments, speakers were randomly assigned to cognitive constraint and perspective-taking conditions, such that some speakers were under higher cognitive constraint and some speakers received a simple perspective-taking directive. We replicated previous findings that additional cognitive constraint impairs speakers’ ability to avoid ambiguity. Additionally, we found that a simple directive can promote speaker clarity when labeling images, but not when providing instructions. These results suggest that a simple directive is likely insufficient to ensure speaker clarity in all cases.