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 because it was a lot easier to get people to reveal their honest answer when you asked them to describe the entire story rather than ask them a yes or no question.

Here’s an example:

  • Do you work well with tight deadlines? Answer: Yes
  • Storified… Can you tell me about a time at work where 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. The Orabrush story is the last one that comes to mind for me.

Content strategies online demand that we quit the marketing and corporate speak and start telling stories. It’s a key strategy with Corporate Blogging. 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 the founder of the Martech Zone and recognized expert on digital transformation. Doug is a Keynote and Marketing Public Speaker. He's the VP and cofounder of Highbridge, a firm specializing in assisting enterprise companies to digitally transform and maximize their technology investment utilizing Salesforce technologies. He's developed digital marketing and product strategies for Dell Technologies, GoDaddy, Salesforce, Webtrends, and SmartFOCUS. Douglas is also the author of Corporate Blogging for Dummies and co-author of The Better Business Book.

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  1. Doug,

    Thanks for taking the time to spotlight our infographic on storytelling.

    Your example using the interviewing process is a good one. Our experience with open-ended questions affirms that everyone has the ability to tell stories.

    Now, one might not have the glibness of Conan or the bite of Chris Rock, but that’s o.k.

    For a company, the goal isn’t to have them laughing in the aisles.

    The goal is to “connect.”

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