Content MarketingMarketing Infographics

Storytelling versus Corporate Speak

Many years back I was certified in a hiring process called Targeted Selection. One of the keys to the interview process with a new candidate was asking open-ended questions that required the candidate to tell a story. The reason was that it was a lot easier to get people to reveal their honest answers when you asked them to describe the entire story rather than ask them a yes or no question. Here’s an example:


  • Question: Do you work well with tight deadlines?
  • Answer: Yes


  • Question: Tell me about a time at work when you had a number of very tight deadlines that were going to be a challenge, or perhaps impossible, to make.
    Answer: A story that you could ask additional details about.

Stories are both revealing and memorable. Most of us don’t remember the last press release we read, but we do remember the last story that we read – even if it was about business.

In a business context, storytelling means thinking more like a journalist than like a novelist. It means building something human and interesting around a core premise. It’s finding a way to bring to life something that might otherwise seem mundane.

The Hoffman Agency

Content strategies online demand that we quit the marketing and corporate speak and start telling stories. It’s a key strategy in content marketing. People don’t want to hear corporate speak about your company, product, or service, they want to hear actual stories about how your customers are doing better by doing business with you!

The Hoffman Agency has developed an infographic on Storytelling vs. Corporate Speak. You can also read more about storytelling techniques on Lou Hoffman’s blog, Ishmael’s Corner.

storytelling vs corporate speak v3

Douglas Karr

Douglas Karr is CMO of OpenINSIGHTS and the founder of the Martech Zone. Douglas has helped dozens of successful MarTech startups, has assisted in the due diligence of over $5 bil in Martech acquisitions and investments, and continues to assist companies in implementing and automating their sales and marketing strategies. Douglas is an internationally recognized digital transformation and MarTech expert and speaker. Douglas is also a published author of a Dummie's guide and a business leadership book.

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