2008-05-12 8:37 PM

Familiarity Breeds Content

It never ceases to amaze me how many often we assume that others know what we know — quite often incorrectly!

The best method I’ve discovered for revealing that unconscious competency is to teach something about a topic. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to expose your knowledge by getting it out of your head. Because people learn in different ways here are several options:

  • Record yourself as you talk your way through a topic. This is stream of consciousness or a brain dump not anything prepared. Remember, this is getting the info out of your head — we can clean it up and package it later! If you want your content into text form you can transcribe the audio — or better yet have someone else do the tedious part of transcribing while you record more of your expertise! If you don’t have a microphone for your computer there are free teleconference services that will record digitally and all you need is a telephone.
  • Mark Joyner reminded me recently about a stream of consciousness style done in writing, I call it blind writing, where you explicitly separate typing and editing. This involves brain dumping by typing into a word processor with the monitor off (after testing to make sure it is capturing your keystrokes!). There is no way to edit so it is much easier to let the ideas flow past the inner critic or censor.
  • Similarly Richard Lee posted a good action plan for writing a report. Again, notice the emphasis on writing as an action completely separate from editing.
  • To riff off of Richard’s plan I suggest using Google Docs rather than downloading another application. You can just as easily save it to PDF and as a bonus you can share or “publish” the file so that people can access the latest version. You could even type into Google Docs with your monitor off and record your voice at the same time!
  • Big picture people can create a stack of index cards with topics or points of interest by recording any and every idea that comes to mind. Then you can just pick one at random to start talking/writing about. The nice thing about this method is that you can organize the index cards as a distinct activity from recording the details of what you know — just be sure that you take a break from sorting index cards and spend some time recording those details!

That should get you started — which is the hardest part!
What other methods do you use for getting info out of your head? Please share in the comments.

Posted by Wayne Buckhanan No Comments »

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