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What Children’s Books Can Teach You About Business Writing

Posted by Confessions of the Professions in Articles

Jason Bayless


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Whether or not you have small children, you can learn a tremendous amount about how business writing by reading children’s books. No, you don’t even have to be a children’s book author. And one of the very best things about learning more about business writing through the reading of children’s books is that you can read such a book multiple times in just one hour -- meaning for you that you can absorb it deeply into your conscience and make use of all that you gleaned when it comes time to use your writing for business communication.

Why Great Business Writing Is So Important

We human beings are story tellers. The shortest distance between two worlds is a story. We have a powerful left hemisphere of the brain for processing symbols, which we use to make stories and translate into our hard, rough realities. Therefore, as a business owner or VP of marketing you need to tell the tales of your business, your goods, your personnel in order to reach people and compel them to buy from you.

What excellent storytelling does is fascinate, captivate, illuminate, entertain, and finally (for business purposes) convince or persuade members of the audience. Great business writing is beyond advertising, and in today’s marketing world it is your new way of branding.

If people can get no-cost stories that do what excellent storytelling does from you, they are far more likely to decide to trust you and see you as an authority -- which means, ultimately, buy from you.

What Children’s Books Teach the Business Writer

Because they’re written by adults, children’s books contain an array of subtly expressed adult themes which are perfect for conveying what are in fact sophisticated and profound ideas about the number one thing for business success: communication.

Here are the things that you want to look for and notice in children’s books…

Images. No children’s book is complete without illustrations or other imagery. The great majority of our brain space goes into processing visual images and impressions. Look at the way children’s books blend images and words into a complete story. Isn’t that what great marketing does?

Hungry Caterpillar

The way of the words. Children’s books are simple reads. They may have a message that’s quite deep, but they always have simple language. They’re as straightforward as it gets linguistically. They can be read and re-read multiple times in quite a short period -- which, if you think about it, is of the utmost importance to the business writer.

Emotional expressiveness. A children’s book evokes some strong emotions. It does not attempt to appeal directly to reason. Notice how the writers bring out emotional responses in you and, if you have small children whom you read to at night, in them.

Who are the characters? The most important part of any tale are the characters. In a given children’s book, who are the good guys, who are the bad guys, and why are they that way in the story’s context? What do the characters want, and why? Do the “good guys” have any flaws? Do the “bad guys” have any good in them?

What are the conflicts? There’s no story without a conflict. What’s the conflict in a given story, and how does it get resolved?

Sense of humor. Children’s books can be immensely funny (even insanely so). How does the humor move the story forward and help to give a more powerful meaning to the tale?

Think of your favorite children’s books. What can you learn from them that you can apply to your serious, adult business writing endeavors?

About the Author

Jason Bayless is a professional blogger that gives small business and entrepreneurs SEO advice. He writes for, a nationally recognized comparison website of the best SEO services in the United States.

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