So What?

From Presentation Zen by Garr Reynolds, page 64:

When building the content of your presentation, you should always put yourself in the shoes of the audience and ask, “so what?”

Same goes for essays, stories, or any form of writing. I’m fond of this Stephen King quote: “Write with the door closed, rewrite with the door open.”

In step 1, be concerned with what you want to say. Block out everything else. Ignore convention. Ignore the rules. Ignore trends and styles and advice.  The best writing is driven by self-interested exploration.

However, in step 2, it’s time to consider the audience. Who are they? How will your message be received? How can it be shaped for maximum effect? How can you make your ideas appealing without sacrificing your core content?

A good way to start:  look yourself in the mirror and ask, “so what?”

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