Seth Godin had a great post yesterday on asking others to share their confusion. Sounds kind of kooky, but I know he’s right when he says it’s a valuable tool because it’s a “service” we offer our clients on a regular basis.

Overcoming the Power of Context

When we’re creating our own stuff, we have tons of background information to pull from. This context often leads us to leave out things we know or be less precise than we need to be in explaining things. If we’re addressing people with similar background knowledge and experience, maybe this isn’t a problem.

But in a world where we’re all inundated with information, usually the folks to convey their information most effectively and efficiently get the eyeballs. This puts a premium on creating content that’s clear, not confusing. And it can be hard to tell when you – the subject matter expert – are the only one reviewing the work.

Getting a Non-Expert's View

Getting someone who’s less familiar with the concepts to look over the work presents an opportunity to make sure we’re being as clear and strategic as possible. And, we can all make our writing better. I’m not saying you have to put every jot of feedback to use, but you damn sure have to give it due consideration using your audience and your purpose as the main filters, like this:

  • Will the suggested changes help your audience understand what you’re putting out there?
  • Will the suggested feedback help your audience know what you want them to think or do after they consume your content?

Following this easy process  -- asking people to share their confusions, checking those off against your audience and purpose, and using the stuff that makes your piece more effective -- will help you produce content that gets the results you want.