Do you dread writing “construction bond rationales” and other similar pieces that require a comparative analysis of some kind?
Writing to you about communications and the work we do in our schools is a blast.
Writing up a straight-forward presentation of specific facts and figures for a broader school audience takes effort.
A lot of effort.
I was reminded of this reality the other evening when Cindy and I were discussing the future wedding plans of our daughters… and I was given the news flash that the girls and their beaus were having fun “house hunting.”
What’s fun about house-hunting? (I wondered to myself.)
“Don’t be surprised if Kate asks you about down payments, mortgages, and stuff,” she alerted.
Cindy’s not a teacher, but she said this to me in a way a teacher would warn her students that a pop quiz might be on the horizon.
I wasn’t worried.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that I’d read any of them, but having a hodgepodge of articles and links within easy reach gave me the confidence of a poor man’s Warren Buffet.
As I began looking them over later, I was impressed so much by this article written by Maryland based financial advisor David Vogelsang, I have to share it with you.
Not because it’s about 15 year vs. 30 year mortgages.
But because of the way Vogelsang turned his comparative analysis into a conversation.
His article offers an effective template for us to follow.
If you have the time later or over the weekend, you may want to see if you agree.
Here are the 10 essential elements that Vogelzang employs so well.
1 He begins with a significant “real-world” decision and then frames it in a “this or that” format.
2 He asks his readers “what do you think?” at the very beginning, not at the end.
3 He develops a common story: showing how two different paths move toward two different outcomes, with a bit of mystery woven in
4 He engages readers by asking even more questions without making them feel stupid.
5 He teases reader interest throughout. Notice when he inserts “… at this point…”
6 He comfortably layers (not piles on) additional information and updated calculations.
7 He doesn’t over-do the questions, either. He also highlights a maxim: The good is the enemy of the best.
8 He connects his chosen maxim to a clear fact and a common sense conclusion.
9 He doesn’t rush to a finish. Rather, he still gives another little “nugget.”
10 And if items #4-9 had no value at all, he sums up with a simple “moral” that allows readers to still take away a good lesson.
Vogelsang scored a perfect 10, don’tcha think?
I hope you do, too, especially in learning Vogelsang’s pointers about mortgages.
If I start fumbling my explanations of them to Kate, I may need your help!