Think Twice, Speak Once

Mack Simpson spent a month working to piece together a list of dos and dont’s for newly minted advertising creatives. He suggests common sense things like “Don’t be late” and “Don’t be an ass.” But my favorite, hands down, is:

6) Think twice, speak once
There are a lot of very bold, bright people working in advertising, people who hold strong opinions and feelings about the work. Boldness is a virtue so, in meetings, you’ll be tempted to chime in with your own two-cents regarding whatever point is being discussed. This is a good thing, but be sure to speak only after you’ve thought about what’s being said—after really digesting the comments and analyzing them fully—and not just speaking “from the gut.” Your words will match your intelligence and someone might actually listen to what you have to say.

Great writers are almost always great listeners who care deeply about what other people have to say. If you only care about what YOU have to say, you’re no writer, you’re a pontificator. Pontificators don’t go far in this business.

About David Burn

Native Nebraskan in the Pacific Northwest. Chief Storyteller at Bonehook, a guide service and bait shop for brands. Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. Contributor to The Content Strategist. Doer of the things written about herein.

  • Bubba

    Finally coming clean and admitting you’re a pontificator? There may be hope for you yet Burn.

  • David Burn

    That’s funny, “Bubba.”
    I have another rule to add to the list: Don’t Explain.
    When your boss kills your lame, tired or off-the-point idea, just move on. DO NOT spend valuable time explaining why you went down that twisted lane. No one wants to know.

  • Mack Simpson – Adverb

    Thanks for the plug, David– and thanks for the addition to the advice list. ;-)