Here are some tips for finding the type of presentation editor that makes your work better.
/1 A good editor asks questions that get you closer to your idea, not theirs.
It’s tempting for an editor to take a creator’s idea and make it his or her own, but that’s not the editor’s job. The editor’s job is to lead his or her subjects to better versions of their own ideas. That means asking the right questions and helping to clarify ideas. It may not be the most glamorous of roles, but it’s the most helpful.
/2 A good editor knows when to let you struggle and when to take the reins.
Some people learn by being told what to do. Others need to struggle through a problem before the lesson sinks in. A good editor can sense how their mentees need to learn and responds accordingly. It can be hard to figure out whether your editor is sensing the right path for you because the right path isn’t necessarily the easy path. Learning can be a tough process. But if you feel like your editor is stretching you as a creator rather than just helping you knock out your work, you probably have someone worth holding onto.
/3 A good editor teaches you along the way.
There’s nothing worse than getting one of your drafts back only to find out that it’s been completely rewritten. Not only is this demoralizing, it doesn’t teach you anything. A good editor will put in the extra effort to explainwhy he or she made the changes they made. That way, not only do you end up with a better draft, you learn something that will help you make your next draft better, too.
/4 A good editor won’t inflate your ego, tell you everything is fine, or defer to your expertise.
Executives need to be edited, too. Sometimes it’s hard to find an editor that’s willing to tell their boss the honest truth—or find a boss that’s willing to accept it. But being open to constructive feedback from a good editor is necessary if you want to continue to grow. Again, it’s not easy, but it’s worth it.