“How do I know what I think until I see what I say?”
Right now, I'm at work on my presentation for this year's Midwest Regional Symposium for ISES Indiana on Oct. 10--if you're in the neighborhood, I hope you can make it.
I'm not a great speaker—and every time I hear a great speaker, I am more convinced of this—but I'm tremendously grateful for what preparing a speech does for me.
Preparing a speech makes you reconsider what you think is true. It makes you question your assumptions and demands that you back up your opinions.
After all, it's one thing to congratulate yourself on your brilliant thinking when you're talking to yourself in the shower. It's something else entirely to get up on front of an audience of industry professionals and do it.
Clear writing is clear thinking, and clear speaking is the same.
And when in doubt, take this prescription from Dr. Samuel Johnson: “Read over your compositions, and wherever you meet with a passage which you think is particularly fine, strike it out.”