Proving that good writing and presentation can be found anywhere, writer Nancy Friedman points to Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett’s annual reports as examples of excellent copywriting. These points are very much in lock step with Made to Stick and Resonate - this gives another point of view.
Tell stories. Reading a Berkshire annual report is like sitting across a booth in a diner with a great conversationalist possessed of both intelligence and insatiable curiosity. The second S in the Made to Stick SUCCES model.
Use vivid language. This makes thing both concrete and credible.
Talk about people. It’s one thing to say, as almost everyone does, that business is about people. It’s another thing entirely to portray those people fully fleshed and full of foibles.
Be generous with humour. Every Berkshire annual brims with jokes (including some groaners), drollery, and wit - this makes things unexpected.
Get to the point. “Be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful,” Buffett writes. That’s an entire business philosophy in twelve words. Simple statement.
Write with a specific person in mind. When writing Berkshire Hathaway’s annual report, I pretend that I’m talking to my sisters. I have no trouble picturing them: Though highly intelligent, they are not experts in accounting or finance. They will understand plain English, but jargon may puzzle them. My goal is simply to give them the information I would wish them to supply me if our positions were reversed. To succeed, I don’t need to be Shakespeare; I must, though, have a sincere desire to inform.
That’s the key; picturing your audience as intelligent non-experts. I think this is the same key idea when dealing with our kishores and kishoris - they are also intelligent non-experts. Thoughts?