Don’t let bad quotes spoil your story

Quotations ruin more corporate publications than we can count.

Quotations ruin more corporate publications than we can count

We came up with a new exercise for our workshop. It goes like this: We give you a powerful, well-known quote from a famous person, and you rewrite it in corporatespeak.

Really lay it on thick.

The rewrites are clever and hilarious. In one seminar, someone took Winston Churchill’s famous line about the Lend-Lease Act, “Give us the tools and we’ll finish the job,” and transformed it into this:

“If we can leverage our core competencies and escalate the full integration of our systems, it is believed that we have a big picture opportunity to implement a bottom-line result that will meet our strategic objectives.”

And that was just one of the offerings. But here’s the best part: Every time we do this exercise, several people in the room make the same comment: This is too easy. I wrote this effortlessly. Oh, my God! I’m good at this!”

It’s no wonder. Corporate quotes are absolutely horrific—and getting worse all the time.

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