In her book group an author asked group members to vote on two options.  These options were potential ‘back of the book’ information about the author.

The two options contained the same information about the author’s relevant work experience and knowledge. However, one option gave more details of specific higher levels of achievement. Essentially, it was a higher specification description.

The majority of voters, including myself, voted for the less specific, the lower specification, option.

I reflected on why I preferred the option I did.  I realised that the option I had chosen communicated enough relevant information to view the person as credible.

The other, the higher specification option, did not appeal for two main reasons:-

  1. It conveyed an impression of ‘trying too hard’, that the author felt it necessary to prove their credibility by adding the higher specification information.
  2. It magnified the difference between the reader and the author. From the description the author was less like me. And could this mean the book was not written for me.


Credibility matters. But beware of ‘over egging’ it. It could be counterproductive. Being credible enough is being credible enough to achieve your objectives with the audience you want and need to be credible to.



© Krista Powell Edwards 2021