Scott Hodge

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Lost in Translation

Feb 27, 2006
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Seth Godin had this great post today that needs nothing added.


How much of what you’re transmitting is actually getting through?

Of course you’re listening. You’re the one that’s sharing such valuable insight with the universe. You’re busy talking about your product or your new book or your organization. You walk into a meeting and there are four impatient people sitting around the table, urging you on, faster faster faster don’t waste our time.
So you assume that they’re getting it the first time.

They’re not.

Odds are, your very clear, very useful ideas are getting garbled in translation. I’ll do a post on a topic, and people will trackback to it, announcing that I’ve said something quite different. I double check my riff to be sure I said what I meant to say, and yes, I did. But they didn’t hear me.

It’s so tempting to compress your ideas into the smallest possible space and assume that the text or the images or the design will carry the day. But we know that repetition is essential.

The paradox is that the long stuff gets skipped. The long stuff gets ignored. Short books sell better, short commercials get more viewers. So repetition becomes essential. It’ll bore your biggest fans, but you can do that (a little).

Sticking to (and building on) your story works if you do it over time.


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