Yesterday, whilst discussing some business matters with my dear colleague Kathryn Myronuk, she made a comment which made me stop and think:
You can’t edit your own words (or at least you shouldn’t).
Even if you are an expert in a specific subject, it is close to impossible for you to edit your own words — to find the flaws and holes in your argument, the inconsistencies and stylistic challenges. This is as true for making a scientific argument as it is for pitching your startup to a group of investors.
Find a group of people who act as your sounding board. Present your material early and repeatedly to this group. Make the group as diverse as possible. Listen, don’t argue. Take their input and sharpen your arguments, presentation or pitch.
Make it a habit to do this. As you truly can’t (or shouldn’t) edit your own words.