The Curse of Self-Edit

When we sit down to do a project, we never seem to see the end of it.

Let’s say you want to create a simple information product such as a fifteen minute audio.

Technically speaking, this audio should take you fifteen minutes to create. If you sit down and write an outline, it should take you thirty minutes at best.

Yet that’s not what happens

Your self-editor kicks in.

And then all hell breaks loose.
You want to fix the ums, the ahs. You don’t like the sound of your voice. You want to fix this and you want to fix that. And suddenly the thirty minute project is now either a three-hour project. Or the project is postponed indefinitely.

And this curse of self-editing is easily fixed if you follow these simple rules:

1) For starters at least, do not record sitting in front of your computer.
2) In fact, don’t record anything till you write a brief outline.
3) This outline should not take you more than 10 minutes. If it does, it’s not an outline.
4) The outline should cover three main points. And then three sub-points under every main point.
5) Get a friend to call you. And ask the questions based on the points and sub-points.
6) Record the conversation.
7) Fifteen-twenty minutes later you have a product.

And now when you listen to the product, you’ll hate how you seem to have ums, ahs and other gaps. You’ll find you may have even rambled at times. It doesn’t matter. It’s a good enough product. And it’s time to get it out.

The reason why people never get anything done, is because of the evil power of self-editing.

If you want to get rid of the curse, use this simple system.
Ok, enough reading. Off you go to create your product.

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Comments

  1. says

    I find that the less concerned I am about making mistakes in my speech, the fewer mistakes I make.

    I also find that I need to be well-rested. When I’m tired I’m far more likely to have pauses or mis-speak.

    And I agree that it’s crucial to have an outline.

  2. says

    I have to disagree. It’s EZ to record in Audacity and only a few minutes to take out the ahs and ums to have a professional sounding audio.

    The extra 10 or 20 minutes is worth making a good first impression.

  3. says

    @Judith: It may be fine if you’re recording a few minutes worth of audio. I’ve done three-seven day workshops. And removing ums and ahs are well, impossible…

    Better to learn how to eliminate it completely. Amazing as it may sound the elimination/reduction of ums and ahs can be done in less than 20 minutes of learning it. ;)

  4. says

    @Sean Your article wasn’t talking about live seminars but rather a simple 15 minute audio and that’s what I based my disagreement on. It takes very little extra effort to sound professional.

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