I did not say THAT! -Neil Armstrong

“I did not say THAT!” -Neil Armstrong

While I’m only speculating on what Armstrong said, I know what he thought. I did not say THAT!

‘That’ is the famous phrase, “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”

It was broadcast to the world live, recorded for posterity and replayed billions of times. It may be the most famous live saying in history.

There’s one problem though. According to Armstrong, that’s not what he said.

He said, "one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind."

Adding one extra word dramatically improves the impact and effectiveness of the quote. Unfortunately, the world didn't hear a in front of man.

To lesser degrees, we’ve all experienced a similar situation where a person or group of people hear something different than what we believe we said. Maybe they did hear the exact words, or our comments were taken out of context.

This is prevalent in today's social media-driven communication. Face-to-face conversations with friends and acquaintances are replaced with hastily written communications with total strangers, who are only skimming over what is published. With little to no relationship with the writer, the reader is apt to skim the content and form an immediate opinion—based on what the reader read (or heard when he read it to himself), not what was written.

These can be two completely different things.

As writers and content producers, we have no control over what our readers think, but we do have the ability to clarify what we say or what we post.

It helps to have another party read and comment on your message before it’s shared with the world. That’s why I have my posts reviewed and edited before they’re released. Receiving feedback beforehand forces me to clarify my message and be more concise.

It’s too bad Mr. Armstrong couldn’t ask for feedback before his famous first step—and message. An editor would have said, “hey Neil, you need to enunciate that A!” What type of review process do you have for your message? Looking for a speaker for your business or service club event? Email info@philyale.com to help your business or organization Be Significant.

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