Timeless storytelling tips from Warren Buffett

The renowned business magnate is comfortable with self-deprecation and plain talk, offering a wealth of winsome, relatable narratives that build trust and admiration.

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Warren Buffett, one of the planet’s richest men, is a world-class storyteller.

To keep readers hooked, he uses an engaging mix of:

His 6,000-word narratives cover the requisite financial housekeeping, but that’s not the endgame of his annual letter to shareholders. Instead, Buffett wants to provide a window into what makes Berkshire Hathaway tick, including its perspectives on the economy, investing and business in general. He also wants you to trust him.

Here are examples of his storytelling techniques:

Conversational language

Their position of power causes many executives to use “corporate-speak,” but Buffett relies on plain talk.

Here’s how Buffett explains his philosophy of empowerment:

We tend to let our many subsidiaries operate on their own, without our supervising and monitoring them to any degree. That means we are sometimes late in spotting management problems and that both operating and capital decisions are occasionally made with which Charlie and I would have disagreed had we been consulted.

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