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Corporate Masturbation

A bit more details about the enemy of corporate films number four.

"Every day we make progress, build relationships with our partners, and work with professionals. Every day we go forward and overcome resistance together. We grow stronger, try to be ahead of the time, search for non-standard solutions. We are developing - personally and as a team. We use best practices to our advantage, everything that is new. We create new standards".

This fragment comes from one corporate presentation. The presentation lasts for three minutes. But it could last half an hour. Or thirty seconds. It depends on the way you want it.

I guess any company would love to say these words about itself. It is pleasant.

I come across similar texts at least in half of all corporate presentations I happen to see. A company is saying nice things about itself - and it enjoys doing it. The audience acts as lookers-on only. They do not learn anything new; they are watching the company play with itself using simple and vapid phrases. Next time you find yourself in a similar situation you can remember what it is called and smile. It'll ease your boredom.

The problem with the text from the first paragraph is not even that it is pompous to the point of being treacly. The problem is that is useless for the audience and absolutely, totally unsupported. It is a complete victory of commonplaces over examples and details. Whereas details and specifics are what is remembered, what revels the essence and persuades, commonplaces do nothing of the kind.

Everybody who makes such materials should keep in mind what it looks like to an outsider.

Andrey Skvortsov
CEO, Mercator group


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