051: Mini Moved Me - On Asking 'So What?'

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I worked with a speaker once who would wisely take on the role of the critical audience member and ask, "SO WHAT?!"

In other words, Why should I care? Why does this matter?  

This is an important question - maybe the most important question - and if you're going to stand up there and talk, I hope you've seen this line of thinking all the way through in your content.

Asking "So what?!" forces you to think beyond the easy. It requires us to think from many angles, to think like a critic, to defend our ideas - all of which help you pull and stretch your content so it's as thoughtful - and as simple - as possible.

To do this, I put my and my speakers' content through the "So what?" test.  Simply put, when I make a statement that sounds like it's a finished ideas, I ask "So what?" - as if I'm that critical audience member - until I feel satisfied that I've dug underneath the easy answers.

What's so cool about this is that the answers don't actually get more complicated, they just get more interesting, more personal, with more at stake and with much more meaning.

And if you keep digging, you will inevitably land on the simple truth that lies far beneath the surface.