Re: Make it Pretty for the SMEs You Want to Interview

Subject: Re: Make it Pretty for the SMEs You Want to Interview
From: Donna Horowitz <horowit -at- en -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 18 May 2001 11:36:29 -0400

At 11:07 AM -0400 5/18/01, NarrWriter -at- aol -dot- com wrote:

Though you would not think so, there are a few professionals who are insecure
and translate that tremulous state into seeming disrespect for the people
that transform what they say into readable or listenable form. How many times
have you heard, 'Oh, I'll just write that up, it's easy."? Then easy becomes
difficult when the words don't flow quite as simply as they thought they

A lot of what I do takes the written work of scientists and present it to
sales or stockholders or at conferences in either written or mostly video
format. Over the years I have met a general behavior I'll call the I know
more than you syndrome. During the interview there are all kinds of
qualifications and admonitions. There are sometimes little agonies over
descriptions or objections to a particular suggested analogy. I think this
comes form the fear that there will be either misinterpretations or
misunderstandings. I assure them, at this stage, that we will work together
to get every detail correct. Sometimes this helps.

I agree with this and also believe it helps. We have to remember as
writers that typically in our jobs we write for others. Thus, our
voice is not as important in the final piece as theirs is, typically.
They often have much insecurity about allowing someone else to
represent their important point of view. I think that's where a lot
of the defensiveness arises. I have always been one to assure and
reassure that our final product will be what they want to say. Of
course, when I'm really done with the project, it says maybe just
what they wanted or more, but the presentation is just as vital as
the hard-core info. To me, the presentation is what seduces your
reader to look at and read what you have on the page. If your
presentation isn't appropriate for the document, it doesn't matter
how good the words are or how well the material flows. No one will
read it.


We're not only writers, sometimes we have to be psychologists, confessors,
and hopefully collaborators. If you are able to concentrate on the project
and not the personality, you can usually get through and come out the other

I think as communicators, we should have superior skills at being
able to sift through that maze of what someone is thinking to their
expression of it to our understanding of it and then our regenerating
it. We should be skilled at the nuances of communication that cause
roadblocks to understanding and then be able to sort through them to
present a statement or paragraph or document that truly reflects the
intent of the piece. So many times I have found myself in the
situation where they would say to me I don't know how you're going to
put this, it's really complex ? and in the end they would say I don't
know how you did that, but it's great. I think that's when you know
you're really absorbing the information, the meaning and the intent
and then skillfully stating all of those parts. In my opinion the
sense of satisfaction at a time like that is in direct relationship
to the degree of difficulty of expression by the SME at the outset.

Donna M. Horowitz

Hectic but free
no other way to be
life is joyous when
you pursue
what you love.


*** Deva(tm) Tools for Dreamweaver and Deva(tm) Search ***
Build Contents, Indexes, and Search for Web Sites and Help Systems
Available now at or info -at- devahelp -dot- com

Sponsored by Information Mapping, Inc., a professional services firm
specializing in Knowledge Management and e-content solutions. See or 800-463-6627 for more about our solutions.

You are currently subscribed to techwr-l as: archive -at- raycomm -dot- com
To unsubscribe send a blank email to leave-techwr-l-obscured -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Send administrative questions to ejray -at- raycomm -dot- com -dot- Visit for more resources and info.

Re: Make it Pretty for the SMEs You Want to Interview: From: NarrWriter

Previous by Author: Re: Make it Pretty for the SMEs You Want to Interview
Next by Author: RE: Correct Usage
Previous by Thread: Re: Make it Pretty for the SMEs You Want to Interview
Next by Thread: Re: Make it Pretty for the SMEs You Want to Interview

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads