A real thought leader shifts the paradigm by thinking outside the box and leveraging the business’s core competencies and monetizing its assets.

Technically, the above sentence is grammatically correct English. And yet, it means absolutely nothing. It is a potpourri of corporate jargon, full of words and absent of substance.

Go to the website of a corporate entity of your choosing and browse around for a little while. If you didn’t already know what that company does, would you be able to figure it out based on the website copy? Too often, the answer to that question is no. Perhaps out of a belief that corporate jargon is some kind of industry standard, many companies fill their websites with terms like “best of breed” and “synergy.” As a result, these companies all come across as soulless, generic corporations.

Choose your words

We created the Tempesta Media Voice Profile®, in part, to combat this problem. Your company is distinct, and its voice should reflect that. If you describe your company with buzzwords like “thought leader” and “full service,” the content you receive will likely have a corresponding lack of personality.

The words you choose impact the way people see your company. In fact, a 2010 study by Jochim Hansen and Michaela Wänke, of New York University and the University of Basel in Basel, Switzerland respectively, showed that people tend to trust statements that use straightforward, concrete language over those that use abstract terms and passive constructions. According to Hansen and Wänke, this has to do with the human brain’s greater ability to create images from clear data. Essentially, the easier something is to understand, the more our brains want to trust it.

So, when you fill out your Voice Profile®, don’t think about what other companies might do. Think about what makes your business unique. Use real words to describe what you do and who you are. Then we can provide content that will establish you not as a “disruptive presence” or a “shifter of paradigms” or any other meaningless corporate jargon descriptor, but rather as a distinct and reliable source of information that readers (and potential customers) can trust.

Michael Marchese is the founder and CEO of Tempesta Media. He is responsible for corporate strategy, executive team leadership and overall business operations across all the company’s segments.

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