Tell ’em what you did, not what you’re going to do


If you want an easier way to create content, a good rule of thumb is to share stories about what you’ve done rather than what you plan to do.

Two reasons.

The first reason is pragmatic. When you predict something or share your plans for the future, there’s too much pressure on you to perform.

You might describe a case you’re working on, for example, and talk about the possible outcome. A lot of things can go wrong, however, and if they do, you’ll be left having to explain.

Which might make you look less formidable.

Why not make it easy on yourself? Wait until the case is done, share the results, and then talk about why things turned out the way they did.

And, if you didn’t get the results you wanted or predicted, or did something that hurt the case, you don’t have to write about the case at all.

CYA, my friend.

The second reason to talk about what you did instead of what you’re going to do is that it makes for a better story.

Telling your readers you’re going to deliver a presentation next week is okay. It’s also a good idea if you’re trying to fill seats. But it’s an announcement, and not terribly exciting.

Telling them about the presentation you delivered last week, on the other hand, is a story and it might be a good one. You can describe what happened—the size of the crowd, anecdotes about how you were introduced, some people you met, questions you were asked, and so on.

Much more interesting.

(Yes, do both. Promote the presentation and do a recap.)

That’s all I have for you today. What will I talk about tomorrow? C’mon, if you’ve read this far, you know I don’t want to tell you what I’m going to do. . . okay, okay, I don’t know what I’m going to do. I guess we’ll both find out tomorrow.

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