Writing a business book: Build strong chapters three ways

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There are many ways to structure the chapters for your business book, but solid chapters are supported by three pillars. One represents the learning points, a second pillar represents the research that supports the points, and the third the stories that draw the reader in and make everything clear and memorable.

Make Your Point

Your point is the “what” that you want people to get from your chapter. Some chapters make several points leading up to a conclusion. Every point should be explicit and clear.

I like telling people what they’re going to learn early in the chapter. Don’t be shy about this, say exactly what you expect people to learn. Then after you’ve gone through the chapter, do a brief review that states your key points.

Research Should Support Your Points

Use surveys and studies to support the points you make. Be specific about the studies you’re citing and the findings you’re using. Avoid blanket statements like “research says” or “studies indicate.”

If your point is the “what,” then research should help provide the “so what.” Demonstrate to the reader how he or she will be successful or avoid disaster if they do what you suggest.

Stories Are the Magic Stuff

Human beings have used stories to communicate important information since we first developed language. Your points and your research are important, but people are likely to remember the stories and learn from them.

Tell stories in your book the way you’d tell them to a friend, informally and conversationally. Some my clients record their stories and use the recording to guide the language they use when they write the stories down.

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