Magazine article Communication World

The Real Treasure

Magazine article Communication World

The Real Treasure

Article excerpt

We're always looking for new ideas and fresh perspectives. To that end, some time ago an IABC colleague recommended a speaker (let's call her Veronica) to write an article for the magazine. He provided all kinds of recommendations, including newspaper clippings and endorsements from prominent members. "You absolutely must include her in the magazine," he said. "She's amazing." It's hard to argue with that. The topic was on target. She had the experience. So I ran it through the editorial process. And sure, the outline came in a bit thin, but that happens. A small course correction, I thought. But I was wrong. The article came in--and it was terrible.

What happened? How could this amazing person turn in such poor work? And it came to me. Everything that had been said about Veronica related to how she had touched her audience--as a speaker, not as a writer. No one seemed to be able to articulate what they had learned, only the overall impact of her presentation.

This reminded me of a story I'd heard about the journalist Bob Woodward and an interview he did with former President Bill Clinton. "He almost had the capacity to create a subchannel of communications with the eyes, not just the words that we were exchanging," Woodward said of Clinton. …

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