I recently was invited to deliver a message about the themes in my book to a locally based charitable group. As a teacher, I talk for a living and, armed with a seminary degree, I figured I could prepare my comments without much difficulty on the Saturday before the mid-week event.
Spending several hours on my remarks, I handed them off to my wife for proofreading. With us both being former reporters, I have learned well that not having her look over my work can lead to disaster.
Well, what I thought would be a few recommendations here and there turned out to be an admonition to re-structure the entire message. What she thought was the best part I considered a mere afterthought and what I loved she felt was disjointed.
I wish I could have said I absorbed the advice quickly and went back to work, however it took some time of reflection to realize that, as usual, she was right.
Eventually I returned to the keyboard and spent another half-day rewriting and pruning the 20-minute message. The final product was a couple minutes longer than the original draft but the tone was significantly different.
When the day came, the event went off without a hitch. While my delivery could have been improved, the content was spot on. People expressed their appreciation for the way I presented my ideas in such a concise format.
While it would be easy to take complete credit, I know better. Without my wife’s help, my words would not have been as well organized and their impact not nearly as great.
Through this experience I was reminded again of a lesson I learned long ago but I frequently manage to forget—Always listen to the smart one.
I've been writing stories and taking photos since I was old enough to hold a pencil and stand behind a tripod.